Let’s admit that today we all often forget about good rest. The rhythm of life is so intense that there is practically no time for mindful recovery.
Moreover, what many call rest is just noise and sensual pollution. Lying on the couch in front of the TV or scrolling through social media feeds prevents the body and mind from fully recovering.
As a result, chronic fatigue sets in. In order to instantly return to normal functioning, the body needs a shake-up. A great foot massage can come to the rescue. Reflexology is the science behind proper foot massages.
What is foot reflexology?
Reflexology is a kind of therapy that includes working with pressure points to heal certain organs of the body. Many reflexologists claim it’s a gentle type of therapy used to restore the body’s natural balance. The most common reflexology methods include massaging feet, hands, and ears.
Historically, the use of reflexology dates back to ancient China, Egypt and Greece. However, it was not introduced to modern-day Western world until the twentieth century, when a doctor named William Fitzgerald started practicing it.
Reflexology today is a therapeutic treatment for a range of conditions including back ache, sports injuries, migraines, and arthritis.
This kind of therapy is even considered to be effective in treating infertility, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances and sleep disorders. In addition, many use it for treating the full spectrum of stress-related conditions.
Does reflexology work?
The University of Minnesota has published an article detailing a number of studies that have identified some of the benefits of reflexology: reducing pain, increasing relaxation, and reducing anxiety and depression.
These studies have concluded that reflexology can increase blood flow to the kidneys, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and reduce pain.
Separate studies have shown that reflexology can have positive results in patients with specific health problems.
- Anxiety: Reducing anxiety in patients with varicose veins as well as in postmenopausal women.
- Cancer: Improved several categories of quality of life, including appetite, breathing, communication, concentration, fear of the future, mood, nausea, pain, and fatigue. Patients with breast cancer experienced a significant reduction in pain.
- Type 2 diabetes: pain relief, improved glycemic control and nerve conduction in patients.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Reduces fatigue in women with MS.
- Pediatrics: reflexology helped infants who suffered from acute pain to lower heart rate, increase oxygen saturation, and shorten periods of crying. Children who suffered from chronic constipation, were detected to increase the number of bowel movements while reducing the rates of constipation symptoms.
- Physiological research: Thermographic images of the soles of the feet before and after a reflexology session, as well as similar images of the spine, link foot reflexology to many organs, including the lungs, liver, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. The blood flow to these organs is regulated by reflexology.
- Postoperative symptoms: In the postoperative period, there was a decrease in drug use and a decrease in postoperative pain.
- Sinusitis: Reflexology caused the same improvement in symptoms as in patients who used nasal irrigation products.
Contraindications to reflexology
Despite the high level of security, this method may not be suitable for everyone.
Before choosing reflexology treatment, check with your doctor if you suffer from any of the following health conditions:
- problems with blood circulation in the legs;
- blood clots in the veins of your legs;
- foot ulcers;
- thyroid problems;
- blood problems that easily cause bleeding and bruising.
Foot reflexology map
Many centuries ago, people noticed an interesting fact: those who go barefoot a lot usually feel good and are noticeably healthier than others.
There are more than 70,000 nerve endings on the feet of a person. They form reflexogenic zones which connect parts of the foot with certain internal organs and with physiological systems.
On the soles, the projection zones of the internal organs are very close to each other, and have clear boundaries. Reflexologists view the sole of the foot as a map of the human body.
Let’s take a look at this foot reflexology chart.
Each zone of the foot massage chart corresponds to a specific organ. The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and the left to the left.
- The pads of the four nail phalanges of the toes (except for the pads of the thumbs) are associated with the frontal and maxillary sinuses. This is why wet feet are the most common cause of a cold, accompanied by a runny nose and headache.
- The eye zones are located in the fold of the second and third toes. It is enough to walk barefoot a little, and the person’s visual acuity will improve, intraocular pressure will normalize.
- The forefoot and lateral surfaces of the feet on the plantar surface are the locations of the inner ear, throat, and bronchi areas.
- The heart area is located in front of the arch of the left foot. In older people, a day or two before the development of a heart attack, a slight left-sided lameness often appears. Unfortunately people don’t pay attention to it which results in serious disorders. If you palpate the left foot, then if there is a problem, the heart area usually responds with pain.
- In the depths of the arch of the feet are the zones of the kidneys, adrenal glands, stomach and solar plexus – organs, the activity of which should not strongly depend on the physical activity of a person.
- In the same place, nearby and only on the right foot, is the liver zone. A sedentary lifestyle has a relaxing effect on the zones of the kidneys and liver, which generally contributes to the development of diseases of these organs. At the same time, moderate physical activity keeps these zones in good shape.
- Almost in the center of each of the woman’s heels is a large, rounded one of the ovarian zones connected with the ovary on the same side of the body: the left with the left, the right with the right. It has been noticed that long before the appearance of pulling pains in the lower abdomen and other symptoms, it becomes painful for many women to step on the heel of the leg on the side of which onexitis begins.
Foot massage in tune with the foot reflexology map is very important for improving health and preventing various diseases.
All foot pressure points are responsible for their organ and reflect their state.
For example, coughing fits can be alleviated by massaging the tracheal point.
Points of the stomach, intestines, small intestine directly send signals to the entire alimentary tract.
Pressure on the eye point helps to relieve eye strain and fatigue. A narrow strip of the inner surface of the sole, connected with the spine and its ligamentous apparatus. By systematically massaging the area of these points, you can cure osteochondrosis, sciatica, lumbago, myositis.
By pressing on the point responsible for the heart, you can relieve heartbeat, rapid breathing and restore vigor. Daily rubbing of the area of points responsible for the genitourinary system relieves cystitis, even those that have already become chronic.
How to give yourself a foot massage?
A full massage of both feet is a must in order to improve the health of the whole body. You can easily do it home or even in transit. Let’s figure out how to do it correctly in accordance with the foot reflexology principles.
For best results, massage your feet every night before sleep. Before the massage, walk barefoot for a few minutes, stretching your feet: rise on your toes, walk, alternately transferring the weight of the body from the inner edges of the feet to the outer ones. Then take a warm foot bath. An important point of self-massage is the convenience of a posture that provides relaxation of the foot:
– sitting, with a bent leg, when the foot lies on the thigh of the other leg;
– sitting, with a leg on a support, when the foot is on the seat of a chair;
– reclining, half-sitting on a chair, when the leg rests slightly on the edge of the chair;
– lying on your back with a raised bent leg.
Massage is best done with warm, dry hands. Initially, it is necessary to act on the entire space of the foot.
You need to massage the foot with the fingers of both hands, connecting the fists and knuckles to the work.
Move from the fingertips to the heel. With a general massage, the plantar part should be massaged most deeply. Do not press toes, just gently knead: from the nail to the base. Each finger is massaged separately.
The ankle and ankle bone are massaged in a circular motion. All movements should be soft and light. The massage technique alternates between rubbing, intermittent touches, stroking, light blows and pinching.
During the general massage, you may find pain points. These are areas of risk that show which organs you have weakened and which should be treated with special attention. It is not enough to press only on painful points.
It is necessary to massage the “neighboring organs”, even if they do not give painful point signals. Pain points need to be massaged especially carefully. Pressing on the pain point and pauses should alternate.
The result of the correct impact on the point is the disappearance of pain.
After a long, stressful day of walking for a long time, a pleasant foot massage is something everyone should enjoy.
Beyond relaxation, foot massage has many therapeutic benefits for both physical and mental health.
We would like to hope that by studying our article you will make reflexology your daily habit or contact professional massage therapists.
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