Reflexology, the study of reflexes, is a form of bodywork that originated in ancient China around 4000 B.C. and was also practiced in ancient Egypt. The practice involves the application of pressure to the hands, ears, face, spine, and feet. The premise of reflexology is certain reflexes in the body sync with glands, organs, and soft tissues, and the application of pressure to specific reflexes can benefit health and relieve pain. Today, reflexology is used as part of holistic and complementary medicine, and it was first used for medical purposes in the early 1900s in Russia. While massage and other forms of alternative medicine rely on manipulating bones, muscles, and soft tissues and can be painful, reflexology allows practitioners to indirectly work on the problematic body area without causing pain. Patients do not have to undress at all for a reflexology session, and the treatment is entirely non-invasive. Studies have shown reflexology may have a number of health benefits, including those outlined below.
Reduces Musculoskeletal Pain
Reflexology gently reduces musculoskeletal pain, and most patients find it to be very relaxing. A reflexologist will first ask the patient about their health history and any injuries or particular aches and pains that may be present to effectively reduce musculoskeletal pain, as the treatment session will be customized to focus on those concerns. Many patients visit a reflexologist for back pain, and these patients may benefit from a type of reflexology known as craniosacral reflexology. This form concentrates on the feet and also incorporates elements of osteopathy. In addition to using their fingers and hands to apply pressure, reflexologists treating musculoskeletal pain may also use small balls or blunt wooden sticks to provide additional pressure. To relieve the musculoskeletal pain associated with pregnancy, a special type of maternity reflexology may be appropriate, and it is safe to use at any stage of pregnancy.
Keep reading for more on what reflexology can help treat now.