Without modern medicines and medical science, how did our ancestors manage good health? One of the most common ancient treatments for the prevention and cure of diseases was ‘Foot reflexology.’
Read and understand what it was and how it worked.
What is foot reflexology?
Foot reflexology is an ancient system of preventive and curative therapy by massaging specific zones and points on foot.
It is a very ancient therapy, with its origin in China thousands of years ago. Some believe that reflexology has developed out of Europe. China gave foot massage to the world. Where ever the origin, humankind is blessed to have a simple and effective therapy at its disposal.
According to the reflexology belief, the whole body is divided into ten zones, and all these ten zones are represented in different parts of the feet.
The life energy qi gets blocked, and that results in various disorders and malfunctions of the body part. The stimulation of reflexological points on foot releases the blockage and allow the free flow of the qi throughout the body.
It is like we have tiny valves on the feet, which, when opened, the life energy surges through the body, and the ailments are flushed out. That is the theory if it has caught your imagination.
There are about 1500 nerve endings in the feet, and these are the stimulating points. The foot is immensely sensitive from the reflexology point of view. These nerves ending correspond with various parts of the body.
Foot therapy lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. Post foot therapy, one should drink lots of water because after the reflexology therapy, the body releases lots of toxins.
Out of the three reflexology (hand, foot, and ear), foot reflexology is considered to be the oldest and the most effective.
A therapist would do magic with foot therapy, but it can also be self-administered, with reasonably good results.
What are the benefits of foot reflexology?
The foot reflexology has a dual role to play. It is a preventive therapy, trying to keep the disorders away. And at the same time, if an ailment strikes, it turns curative.
With thousands of practitioners and beneficiaries of this therapy, countless benefits are enumerated. But the most common and most experienced benefits are:
- It improves blood circulation. As life energy gushes, it takes the blood along with it. There is always this hypothesis that the ancient chinese qi is nothing but blood. Because after the therapy, blood circulation increases in the body. It results in better distribution of oxygen and nutrients and efficient disposal of toxins from the body.
- The health of the internal organs improves. The foot has various points for internal organs, which on stimulation fine-tunes and increases their efficiency.
- There is a perceptible reduction in stress and anxiety. Mental peace and calmness are enhanced. Reflexology stimulation induces secretion of happy hormones like serotonin and endorphins
- It improves mental and emotional balance. The hormonal balance improves the emotional and hence the mental balance.
- It actively fights depression and pessimism.
- Suitable foot reflexology guarantees excellent sleep. With all the strains and stress alleviated, the mind soothes down. Such a state is excellent for sleep.
- It is known to relieve all kinds of pain. The blocked qi runs through all the meridians and helps reduce pain.
- Foot reflexology is an excellent remedy for cold and sinus. The blocked sinus is released, and the pain is also controlled. Reflexology is very popular for sinus treatment.
- Manages post-chemotherapy trauma: The chemotherapy generates a lot of stress in the body. The skin and hair suffer a lot. Reflexology helps calm the nerves and mind. The balanced emotional state then can accept the situation and endure the treatment.
- Cures liver disorders
- Manages constipation and IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
- Very effective and useful in skin allergies
- It lowers blood pressure
- Daily massage improves PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome)
- It helps cope with multiple sclerosis-like muscle weakness, double vision, etc.
- It helps reduce edema. In the case of many people, the foot gets swollen for no apparent reason. Sitting for too long or standing in one position for long swells the feet. Reflexology hastens the blood flow and the swelling subsides.
- A great relief in spinal pain, both cervical and lumbar.
- It is an excellent detox. Lots of toxins are thrown out immediately after the foot massage.
Is it safe?
Yes! It is perfectly safe. It has no side effects or long-term complications. However, people suffering from any of the below-mentioned conditions should avoid foot reflexology:
- Pregnant ladies should not opt for it:- There is always a fear that the stimulation of reflexology points may induce contraction of the uterus.
- Suffering from athletes’ foot: This is a kind of fungal infection, and massage with bare hands is not advised in such a condition.
- Plantar wart: Viral infection on the sole of the feet results in plantar warts. Since it is a skin infection, massage with bare hands is not advised.
- Osteoporosis: The bones weaken because of osteoporosis. Excessive pressure during the reflexology massage may hurt the bones further.
- Inflammation, or blood clots in leg veins: The reaction of foot reflexology increases blood supply. And if there are any blood clots in the pathways, that may not be good for health.
- Foot ulcers: The presence of ulcers will make the massage impossible. The ulcers may burst and get complicated.
- Thyroid problems
- Epilepsy: There is always this danger of increased spasm.
- Low platelet count: patients with low platelet count may bleed because of foot reflexology.
After the foot reflexology:
- For some, the head feels light and dizzy
- Persons with delicate skin may have tender feet after the therapy.
- Because of the intense detox effect, urination will increase.
Apart from these, there is no reported effect of foot massage. One should always drink lots of water after the foot reflexology to flush out the toxins.
A straightforward and efficient pathway to good health. The biggest attraction of foot reflexology is its simplicity and ease of execution. Anyone without any special equipment can practice it and gain good health.
Though ancient, but it is still very relevant in the modern space age.