Reflexology Proves to be Quite Beneficial
Reflexology is a specialized dry foot or hand massage that has been used thousands of years in other parts of the world to alleviate illness and enhance wellness. Yet, many still question the effectiveness of reflexology, citing a lack of clinical evidence. So does it work?When done correctly, yes! Documented benefits found in a recent study, the first large-scale and randomized research involving the complimentary therapy, provide scientific proof of its value.
Although reflexology is broadly respected within the alternative medicine community, some allopathic practitioners may view it as merely a comforting measure. Now, because of the positive findings from the research published in Oncology Nursing Forum, lead author Gwen Wyatt says, “This is the first step toward moving a complementary therapy from fringe care to mainstream care.”
What is reflexology and how does it work?
Reflexology, sometimes called zone therapy, is based on the premise that specific pressure points on the hands and feet correspond to certain organs, systems and body structures. These corresponding relationships are called reflexes, as stimulating the pressure points elicits a response in their corresponding body parts. The elicited responses promote wellness by restoring balance within the affected tissues and organs. Proponents say the therapy can bring relief from a broad range of medical conditions.
Physiological responses of the body to reflexology can be placed into three categories. The therapy induces relaxation, which is beneficial because it has been estimated that 75 percent of illness is related to stress. Reflexology also improves the flow of blood and lymph to cells, which aids in transporting nutrients to the tissues and cleansing wastes away from them. Finally, it has been postulated that the therapy stimulates the flow of nerve energy.
What do the studies find?
- The most recent research led by a Michigan State University scientist offers strong evidence that reflexology can alleviate the symptoms of cancer patients, enabling them to better perform their daily activities. Of a group of 385 women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, those who had reflexology treatments experienced less shortness of breath. This improved breathing enhanced their ability to perform daily tasks like climbing a flight of stairs or going grocery shopping.
- Some studies indicate reflexology can relieve pain and enable patients with migraines to reduce their pain medications.
- A 2005 Oregon study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that reflexology reduced blood pressure as well as promoted balance and physical performance in older adults. One of the lead researchers, John Fisher, Ph.D., was excited about the results, pointing out that blood pressure and mobility issues were important in delaying frailty in the elderly.
- Case studies in China between 1993 and 2003 found professional foot reflexology to be effective in relieving diabetes and the complications associated with the disease.
Reflexology can be self-administered.
Based on the results of the studies, as well as reflexology’s history of being used for centuries, it is easy to understand the therapy’s potential to improve health. For those desiring to try it out, Expose Entertainment has provided a simplified guide showing the parts of the foot and the body parts with which they correspond.
- The toe – treats the head and neck area, pituitary gland, brain, eyes, ears.
- Ball of foot – treats the lungs, heart, thyroid, parathyroid, neck diaphragm.
- Foot arch – abdominal area, liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreas
- Heel – helps the pelvic area, pelvis, sciatic nerve.
- Outer foot – treats the knee, hip, elbow, shoulder.
- Top of foot – for breasts and circulation.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
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