‘Tis the season for sinus and allergy flare ups. Take off your shoes and socks, put your feet in a relaxing bath for a few minutes then lay back in a recliner and let Diane Phillips go to work. Ms. Phillips is a certified clinical reflexologist contracted to work at the Ramstein Northside Fitness Center who specializes in pressing the reflexes located in the feet. That’s a fancy way to say that she rubs peoples’ feet for a living.
But this isn’t just any foot rub. The roots of reflexology are embedded in ancient history when pressure therapies were recognized as preventive and therapeutic medicine. A widely held theory is that it originated in China some 5,000 years ago.
Foot reflexology is based on the premise that feet are crowded with nerve endings that connect to everything throughout your body. Foot reflexologists know the locations of these nerve endings, what they connect to and how, and with the right amount of pressure, they can relieve − if not cure − pains and ailments.
Since reflexologists can access all the organs and glands through the feet and hands, it is a great way to help the body to begin to use its natural healing ability to bring it back into balance. When the reflexes on the feet are stimulated, an involuntary response is elicited in organs and glands connected by energy pathways to these specific reflexes. A chain reaction is set in motion causing physiological changes to occur throughout all the body systems.
Reflexology helps to alleviate the effects of stress by inducing deep relaxation. The increased state of relaxation facilitated by reflexology allows the body systems – including the excretory systems – to function efficiently, eliminating toxins and impurities properly. By reducing stress and tension, reflexology allows the cardiovascular vessels to conduct the flow of blood naturally and easily.
A number of chemical changes take place in the body during a treatment. One such change deals with the sedation of pain. The body produces its own painkillers, known as endorphins, during a session. Endorphins are produced by the pituitary gland and can inhibit the transmission of pain signals through the spinal cord.
A reflexologist is actually trying to feel for grainy crystal deposits in the nerve endings in the feet. These calcium deposits can interfere with normal blood circulation. These deposits are quite common in the feet due to the restrictive nature of shoes preventing the natural movement of the foot. When these deposits are broken up it frees up the energy pathway as the uric acid deposit will be flushed away in the bloodstream.
Reflexology can be particularly powerful for those with glandular kinds of issues such as adult-onset diabetes and hypothyroidism. Reflex points are actually located throughout the body and pressing on the points – also located on the head – can often provide substantial relief for headache sufferers.
For more information or to schedule a reflexology appointment, call 480-7661.
(Courtesy of Ramstein Northside Fitness Center)