Whether or not it helps treat and cure ailments is debatable, one thing is quite certain – alternative medicine has emerged as a vital medical stream, followed and adopted by an increasing number of people around the world. So what exactly is alternative medicine? Well, it’s a kind of medicine system that complements conventional medical treatment to make it more effective and efficient. An example would be reflexology treatment.
There’s a long list of treatments that constitute alternative medicine. From yoga to aromatherapy , homeopathy, ayurveda, acupressure and acupuncture, the variety of alternative medicine is extraordinarily impressive. Reflexology is one such field of alternative medicine that’s used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world to complement other forms of treatment for all kinds of diseases and health problems. With conventional systems of treatment often failing to address health problems, more and more people are opting for reflexology to find a possible cure to their ailments.
What is reflexology treatment?
You’ve probably heard of the existence of certain points and regions in your feet, hands and also ears that, if pressed properly, can help alleviate health problems in some other part of the body. While there’s no clear scientific basis yet for this belief, it is nevertheless a widely accepted system of alternative medicine that has gained immense popularity in recent years. Reflexology, or zone therapy as it’s also called, is basically the application of the right amount of pressure on these specific points or regions to treat some or the other health disorder.
So under this system of alternative medicine, there’s a point which can be pressed to relieve your digestive disorders. And if you know which point corresponds with your liver, maybe you could actually expedite your liver problem cure by pressing on that point. At least that’s what reflexology practitioners believe. In some ways, reflexology is considered similar in philosophy to acupressure and acupuncture. Though the points involved may be different, all these three treatments involve stimulation of body regions or points to release energy. As in the case of other forms of alternative medicines, reflexology is used in conjunction with conventional treatments to augment their effectiveness.
The principle behind it
Reflexology works on the principle of creating a balance in the energy system of your body, while concurrently releasing the stress in your nervous system. The technique of reflexology is designed to decongest your system, clearing it of tension and disease. Reflexologists believe that clearing energy blockages in the body helps in the healing process. According to the proponents of this system, reflexology helps in ridding the body of its harmful toxins. If properly executed, the reflexology technique is said to boost circulation and also augment weight loss, while leading to overall improvement in the health of all body organs.
Roots of reflexology treatment
It’s actually quite an old medical practice, dating back to ancient Egypt, with the first records being traced to 2330 BC. Certain evidence of reflexology has also been found in the Asian continent, particularly India and China. It was brought to the United States, where it has now become quite popular, in 1913 by Dr. William H. Fitzgerald. He was an ENT specialist who termed the concept as zone therapy. He developed his own version of reflexology, in which the body could be divided into 10 vertical zones, with different trigger points corresponding to each of them.
Benefits of reflexology treatment
You’d be surprised to hear of the kind of health issues that reflexology treatment is supposed to be effective for. From mental disorders like anxiety and stress to serious diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart problems, reflexology is considered beneficial in treating a wide range of health issues. So if you’re having problems with your kidney or lungs, or are suffering from chronic asthma or even PMS, reflexology practitioners recommend trying out this pressure treatment as a complementary cure. Thyroid, prostrate, stone, anemia, bronchitis, hair loss, cataract and hemorrhoids are other problems that reflexology is believed to help in treating, especially when used in combination with other treatments.
Identifying reflexology points
The theory of reflexology identifies certain points and areas in your hands, feet and ears as corresponding to some specific regions, bones and parts of the body. These points are said to exist on the bottom, top and sides of the feet and hands, as well as both inside and outside the ears. While experts do have difference of opinion on some of these points, overall, however, there’s consensus among reflexology practitioners on most. For instance, there’s a broad agreement among them that the left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and the right foot to the right side. So organs located in either side of your body can be targeted by pressurizing points on the corresponding foot. Similarly, there are some broad propositions for the points in your hands and ears too.
Mind you, despite certain similarities in the technique employed, reflexology is not the same thing as massage. Full body massage entails relaxation of the body muscles by working on soft tissues across the body. Reflexology, on the other hand, is focused on specific points only. While the application of pressure is usually done with hands, reflexology practitioners are also seen to use wood sticks, rubber balls, rubber bands and other items to aid the process. With no side-effects, reflexology is considered to be a safe treatment except for some minor discomfort which some people are seen to suffer as a result of the acute pressure applied.
Despite its growing popularity, reflexology is not a legally accepted medical treatment in many countries. A few countries have, however, accepted it as a valid treatment process with certain pre-conditions, including special licensing requirements. But legal or not, the demand for reflexology is on the rise, with more and more people opting for this specialized complementary treatment methodology.