Most reflexology is performed on the feet and hands, so let’s start by defining what foot and hand reflexology is the simplest terms. Imagine that someone would pull the whole body on the feet and your hands where all are out on the right foot and right hand corresponded exactly on the right side of the body and all drawn on his left foot and left hand corresponded exactly to the left of the body. When you want to look at the soles of the feet or hands, you would be able to see the area of the heart, the lungs, spine, kidneys, bladder, and so on. This mirror areas of the body are called reflex zones – or reaction – and Reflexology is a science responses. Reflexology rebalances the body chemistry by opening the actual organs and various parts of the body through the mirror area of the feet and hands. How? Using 7000 nerve endings in each foot, using the blood flow, with lymph flow, and possibly acupunctural meridians as well. In the hands of well-trained reflexologist – and this is the important point – reflexology will stimulate and optimize nerve flow, blood circulation and lymph flow in the area of the body treated in the feet or hands, thereby minimizing pain and muscle tension and facilitate natural healing and detoxifying processes of the body area. This is done by deep pressure thumb and finger technique that recreates the effect of walking barefoot in nature in different uneven surfaces, such as rocks, sand, grass, branches and so on. Too good to be true? Sounds more like a science-fiction than science?
Then allow me to introduce science for you. In the 1930s, Eunice Ingham, an American physiotherapist, developed Western reflexology as we know it today. She is the one who dumped out all the reflex areas of the hands and feet. She did it by trial and error on thousands of patients work closely with physicians, Dr. Riley, and without modern equipment. She knew what her complaints of patients were and it looked for the corresponding area of the foot that seemed to be “congested” and cuts. This is how, over the years, she dropped out foot reflexes. Also, she realized that when she treated the area with a deep pressure, complaints her patients improved or disappeared. Today, methodologically valid studies prove that she was right. In 1999, thanks to the Doppler sonography for example, Austrian researchers proved that reflexology kidney reflex increased blood flow inside the kidneys. When reflexology was applied other than kidney reaction, did not measure blood flow inside the kidneys. Only when certain areas of the foot that corresponds to one of the kidneys was induced by a deep reflexology techniques did amount of blood inside matching kidneys become greater. This means more oxygen and more nutrients were immediately transported to the kidneys to improve the functionality of a simple way to do reflexology kidney reflex. For those interested, below is referred for investigation.
“Changes in renal blood flow during organ-related foot reflexology measured by color Doppler sonography” after Sudmeier I., Bodner G. Egger I. Mur E., H. Ulmer, M. Herold, Forsch Komplementarmed . 1999 Jun; 6 (3): 129-34
One of the values and truly exciting research on the effects of reflexology was commissioned by Oregon Research Institute and published in 2005 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study showed that Cobblestone mat walking significantly improved the health of older physically-disabled adults (between 60 and 92 years) over 16 weeks. This was recommended by several physical performance tests, balance tests and blood pressure changes. Below is referred to the study
“Improving physical function and blood pressure in older adults through the cobblestone mat walking: a randomized trial.” After FUZHONG LI; FISHER K. John; Peter Harmer, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society ISSN 0002-8614 2005, Vol. 53, no8, p. 1305-1312 [8 page (s) (article)] (27 ref.)
This study is very important because it shows the health of the elderly, who walked on the cobblestones three times a week unquestionably improved much more than the elderly people who did normal walking on a flat surface (the control group). In other words, the pressure caused by cobblestones made the difference. One should look at the re-enactment of reflexology as a natural barefoot walking on different uneven surface. If you think about it, this is the way nature intended for us to live – walking, not sitting all day like we do. What the study suggests is that it is natural for a proper system of our body (our health) Integrated in our feet that is being guided by the deep pressure. And in the original plan, that pressure would come from walking barefoot in nature. With modernization and the daily cycle, this system is not in use anymore. That is where reflexology comes in. As a matter of fact, every city in Asia has Cobblestone health garden.
Scientists in some universities are now looking at what happens inside the brain when stimulated certain reactions. The first results are very encouraging and in the next 20 years I’m sure that many of the benefits of reflexology will be fully explained by scientific measurements and observations.
Be aware that there are two types of reflexology. The first is the type of reflexology is often given in spas, this is more like a foot massage better than anything else and can not be considered clinically relevant. The second is the type of reflexology above studies talking about: it activates the natural healing process of the body and detoxifying process and reduces pain as well as stress levels. With this type of reflexology, some reflexologists as I prefer to call a doctor (or clinical) reflexology, many illnesses and their related symptoms – especially pain -. Will add in some of several meetings