Reflexology is based on the concept that every part of the body is connected by energy pathways which end in reflex areas on the feet, the hands and the head. Reflexology is the practice of working over these reflexes in a precise and systematic way. By applying controlled pressure, the body is encouraged to achieve its own natural state of wholeness and good health. Working on the feet is especially beneficial in clearing and balancing the body.
A reflex is a point on the body which, when stimulated by a reflexologist, will have an effect on another part of the body. The classic one is the knee jerk reflex. If you tap the knee, the reflex action is the spasm of the thigh muscles which makes the knee jerk.
Models of reality do not have to be scientifically true. You can take a model as a philosophy if it empowers you
During the 1930s Eunice D. Ingham (1889-1972) who met Riley as early as 1919 worked for Dr. Riley in St. Petersburg, Florida and continued to refine and improve his work. From her first book, Stories the Feet Can Tell (1938) she was encouraged by Riley and others to take her work to the public and non-medical community. Eunice’s major contribution to working with reflexes was that alternating pressure, rather than having a numbing effect, stimulated healing. She extended the work of Dr Fitzgerald and painstakingly mapped the feet with all the corresponding organs and glands of the body. She was a real pioneer who was determined to help people to help themselves, if their doctor was not using reflexology. In the early years, she worked with doctors to prove her findings and to demonstrate to them that reflexology was a useful diagnostic tool.
For forty years she lectured and travelled back and forth across the United States. She wrote three books in the process, often using the term ‘compression reflex massage’ though she never envisioned reflexology as part of massage. She saw reflexology as a separate discipline but felt if she used the medical term ‘reflexology’ she could get in trouble with the medical community.. In the 1970s Eunice retired and the lecturing was taken over by her nephew, Dwight Byers.
Reflexology as an International Movement
In the 1950s French medical doctor, Paul Nogier developed charts based on reflex points on the outer ears. This is sometimes referred to as auriculotherapy. In 1955 a German, W. Kohlrausch wrote in his book Reflex Zone Massage that disturbances of the organs follow vascular channels which are associated with the reflexes of the arteries instead of the nervous system.
In 1958, Hanne Marquardt was working in a German sanatorium when she first came in contact with Eunice Ingham’s book, Stories the Feet Can Tell. The book had become well-known in Switzerland in the 1950s and from there, it entered into the German-speaking countries. In the 1970s Hanne, who had personally studied with Ingham in America, took Eunice’s work to Germany where it was termed Reflex Zone Therapy. Marquardt would go on to instruct many of the future teachers of reflexology throughout countries in Europe in her over 50 year career with reflexology.
Another one of Eunice’s students who became an author was Doreen Bayly from England. Doreen was trained in America in the late 50s and was the first teacher in Europe for Eunice introducing the work there. She authored Reflexology Today in 1984.
In 1969, Mildred Carter who had studied with Ingham wrote Helping Yourself with Reflexology. It was the first book published by a major publisher in the United States with sales of over 500,000 copies. This not only created greater public awareness of reflexology but also opened the door for all the self-help books available today. In the 1970s and 80s many books on reflexology were written. Today there are several hundred books on the subject around the world.
The Origins of Reflexology
The roots of reflexology are found in many different cultures, from the tombs of Ancient Eqypt to the earlist texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ancient techniques of pressure to relieve pain were widely used in earlier times.
The art and techniques of massage and manipulation of the body largely come from Greece, Rome, North Africa, and the Arabian peninsula. They date back many thousands of years and have known from this time to have profound and positive effect on the health pf the recipient. Known as the "father of medicine," Hippocrates a physician of Ancient Greece, spoke of rubbing and manipulation in order to relieve pain in the joints.
The ancient Egyptians also used massage daily. It is in one of their tombs that the first depictions of some sort of treatment of the toes and fingers have been found.
The term reflexology was coined by Vladimir Bekhterev 1917 a Russian neurologist and the father of objective psychology.
Vladimir Bekhterev was best known for noting the role of the hippocampus in memory, his study of reflexes, and Bekhterev Disease (Ankylosing spondylitis).
Moreover, he is known for his competition with Ivan Pavlov regarding the study of conditioned reflexes..
Reflexology is offered to clients, their families, and communities in a variety of settings, including home, long-term care, retirement home, hospital, and it's clinic in Castle Douglas.
Like all holistic therapies, reflexology cannot claim to cure, but works by encouraging the body to heal itself. The following are just some of the health conditions that may respond well to this calming holistic therapy:
Everyone is different, and some people may feel nothing during a treatment and this is also normal! Reflexology works in the way that we need it as individuals.
Typical reactions during and after a reflexology session are:
International track and field athlete Steve Watson was left crippled after a horrific sports injury with his 2016 Olympic dream in tatters
Crippled athlete to fitness model: Reflexology cures man's debilitating back injury
Steve said: “Like many, prior to the Reflexology treatment I was a real sceptic, and now I’m kicking myself for not trying it much earlier following my injury.
“I would strongly recommend alternative treatments to anyone who has been let down by conventional treatment.
“It totally worked for me and if it worked on me, it can work on anyone.”
'The Chinese believe that reflexology stimulates the body into healing itself by improving circulation, reducing stress, pain and restoring natural balance.
Some very prominent PGA Tour Pros, also use the ancient eastern healing therapy of Reflexology. The list is extensive with such names as Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, John Daly, Fred Funk, David Duval, Fred Couples and more. Fred Funk stated in a testimonial that Reflexology has helped him deal with ‘over use injuries’ he has from playing golf.
Foot care, Dumfries and Galloway
The brain reflexology point is located on the toe pad of your big toe. You’ve got brain reflexology points on both of your feet.
Your big toe represents everything in the head and neck. Your sense of self or self-esteem is also connected to the big toe. The most common defect of the big toe is with the nail. Any kind of ingrown nail, fungus, discoloration, etc. relates back to life stress that are currently compromising your sense of self. The deeper the issue, the more trouble with the toe.
However, because energy meridians cross over at the neck, the reflexology points are reversed for any part of the body from the neck up. This means that the reflexology point for the right side of your brain is on your left toe and the point for the left side of the brain is on the right toe.
The hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage; short-term memory loss and disorientation are included among the early symptoms. Damage to the hippocampus can also result from oxygen starvation (hypoxia), encephalitis, or medial temporal lobe epilepsy. People with extensive, bilateral hippocampal damage may experience anterograde amnesia (the inability to form and retain new memories).
The hippocampus is so important that when it is damaged, you may be unable to form new long-term episodic memories although you may still be able to learn new procedural memories or motor sequences of everyday tasks. Memory is not totally lost as you may still be able to remember events stored prior to hippocampus damage.
There are a growing number of research studies and trials in relation to reflexology and the following paper by Nancy A Hodgson RN PhD CS Lymph Drainage Reflexology as a Palliative Treatment in Nursing Home residents with Dementia: Pilot Study July 2006 suggests that reflexology “may be an effective treatment for older people.
Stress and Digestive Disorders
Reflexology for Cancer Care
When cancer patients face stress, fatigue, or nausea, they may turn to integrative therapies such as reflexology to help ease symptoms. Although each patient responds individually, reflexology can support relaxation and comfort during cancer treatment and offers an alternative to traditional massage.
Reflexology may be a good choice for patients who don’t want to be touched, or who can’t be touched or moved during treatment. Unlike massage, it involves only the feet, with no re-positioning or undressing required.
Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes the tissues within the body to swell as the body lymph is not drained properly. Whilst it can occur throughout the body, it is most common in the arms and legs. This swelling is a result of excess fluid in the tissues which is not drained due to the Lymphatic System being damaged, defective or blocked. This network of glands and channels is responsible for not only fighting infections, but also removing excess fluid.
A study looking at reflexology to manage lymphoedema after breast cancer treatment. More about this trail and Summary of results.
How Does RLD Help?
The Lymphatic System is connected to three other body systems: cardiovascular, digestive and immune system. The specific area of the feet has thousands of nerve endings that corresponds to other parts of our body. Stimulation of nerves supplying the feet can help improve blood and lymph circulation and restore energy flow.
RLD can help in a variety of ways. This includes:
RLD Lymphatic Drainage
RLD is an award winning reflexology technique which focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. The aim is to cause an effect on the lymphatic system in the body. It is a unique sequence that has been researched and developed by Sally Kay BSc(Hons), whilst working in Cancer Care. The results appear to support the theory of reflexology.
Lymph Drainage Reflexology
Effectiveness of Reflexology in MS. There have been a couple of small studies conducted on the use of reflexology to alleviate symptoms of MS. For example, one study was a randomised control trial involving 53 participants with MS. It showed significant improvement in sensory symptoms, urinary symptoms, and spasticity.
Whether or not one ascribes to Chinese traditional medical theories, reflexology results in deep relaxation, stress reduction, and an overall improved sense of well-being for many people—and it may have the additional benefit of helping your MS.
What to expect
If you have never experienced reflexology before, you may be a little nervous prior to attending your first appointment. I will soon put you at your ease and will give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
You will never be asked to undress for reflexology. The only clothing to be removed is socks or tights and your shoes. It is best to wear loose comfortable clothing so that you feel relaxed.
Treatments provided for children or anyone seriously ill may be shorter and more frequent. With all appointments, the practitioner will customise the treatment plan to meet the client’s needs.