Reflexology helps release stress, which in turn helps the body heal and regenerate itself with several theories about how this process works.
By working with the central nervous system
There are a number of theories as to how Reflexology helps the body. One theory is based on research done in the 1890s that showed that a neurological relationship exists between the skin and the internal organs, and that the whole nervous system adjusts to a stimulus.
The reflexologist's application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. The process enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal). This positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.
By reducing pain through stress reduction and mood improvement
Another theory that may also explain how reflexology can produce pain relief is the ;gate control' theory, or, more recently, the neuromatrix theory of pain. This theory suggests that pain is a subjective experience created by your brain. The brain does this in response to the sensory experience of pain, but it can also work independently of sensory input and create pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. Thus things that influence the brain, such as your mood or external factors like stress can also affect your experience of pain. According to this theory, reflexology may reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.
Reflexology keeps the body’s “vital energy” flowing.
Another theory suggests that there is a "vital energy" in the human body. If stress is not addressed, it leads to congestion of the energy, which in turn causes bodily inefficiencies, which can lead to illness. According to this theory, reflexology helps keep the energy flowing.
The Zone theory
The recognition of reflexology as a specific type of treatment began with Zone Theory, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes all the way up to the top of the head. For example, if you are standing up with your hands on your thighs (palms facing down) the thumbs and great toe would be Zone 1 on either side of the body, the index finger and second toe would be Zone 2, etc.
With this theory, every organ, valve, muscle, etc. that lies within a zone can be accessed via a point or area on the feet or hands. For example, working between toes 2 and 3, or fingers 2 and 3, the eye point is found. These pathways between pressure points and other parts of the body are thought to be connected via the nervous system, as previously described.
Contact Nicky to visit her Doncaster office for a personal reflexology consultation to discuss the benefits of and whether it will suit your needs.