Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are."
Rachel Naomi Remen
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 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.
The physical, mental and emotional benefits of reflexology make it particularly helpful for all stress-related conditions, even when there is no clinical evidence of disease. By inducing a state of relaxation, tension is eased, circulation improved and toxins released and eliminated from the body. And as the body’s energies flow there is a renewed sense of health and well being on all levels. Reflexology can benefit, and be enjoyed by, everyone.
History of Reflexology
Egyptian hieroglyphics depict the ancient beginnings of reflexology approximately 4000 years ago (Kunz & Kunz, 1995). There is evidence that some forms of reflexology were used by the ancient Chinese and early American Indian tribes (Bolting, 1997). Medical practices developed based on the notion that a stimulus applied to the body produces a response in another area of the body.
Models of reality do not have to be scientifically true. You can take a model as a philosophy if it empowers you
Reflexology in MS
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.
It could be worth a try for you. If nothing else, reflexology can help you relax and simply "feel good," which everyone deserves.
Alzheimer's Dis-ease (and other forms of dementia)
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).
Alzheimer's Disease and Reflexology Hippocampu
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 Findings and understandings of Reiki 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.
Certain parts of the brain such as the hippocampus may be easily damaged over time. Scientists maintain that mental exercise not only improves hippocampus health but also sharpens memory and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mental exercises are good for the brain as are physical exercises.
Activities such as learning a new language, taking up a new hobby, using your non-dominant hand to do manual tasks, reading, playing card games, solving word or number puzzles and many other mental activities have been proven to improve brain function.
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.
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:
Results from 24 studies conducted by nurses in ten countries are reported in Medical Applications of Reflexology: Findings in Research about Cancer Care (Kunz, Barbara and Kevin, RRP Press,2011). The results show that reflexology helps cancer patients improve the physical and emotional symptoms of the cancer experience.
From chemotherapy to symptom management and from postoperative care to palliative care, research demonstrates reflexology’s effectiveness at alleviating pain, relieving anxiety, easing nausea, fatigue and more for cancer patients
• In eleven studies totalling 697 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, reflexology was found to be effective at in easing symptoms such as nausea vomiting, fatigue, and anxiety.
• For those under cancer care with concerns about management of symptoms, six studies of reflexology which included a total of 255 patients demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing pain and anxiety
• Two studies of post-operative cancer patients including a total of 89 cancer patients noted results of lessened pain and anxiety reported by patients to whom reflexology was applied as well as significantly less use of analgesics.
• Five studies of reflexology applied to a total of 69 cancer patients in palliative care found that reflexology helped with alleviation
Typical reactions during and after a reflexology session are:
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.
Reflexology through the ages...
Is your baby suffering with colic or teething pain? Have you a teenager studying for exams or worried about identity, friendship groups and other pressures? Reflexology is a fabulous tool that can be used to help ease many common concerns and discomforts at all stages of childhood and adolescence.
Treatments are modified to suit the age of the client - so a much shorter treatment is given to babies and younger children.