What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a form of therapy based on the principle that certain points or areas on the feet, hands and ears correspond to organs, systems and structures throughout the body. These reflex points are thought to be interconnected with the rest of the body through energy channels. By applying precise pressure and specific techniques to these reflex points, reflexotherapy aims to restore balance and promote healing in the body. This therapy can be used to alleviate various ailments and health problems such as stress, pain, dysfunction of the digestive, circulatory or respiratory system, as well as to improve general well-being.
What are the benefits of reflexology?
Reflexology offers numerous health and wellness benefits, the most important being:
- Relaxation and stress reduction: Reflexology can induce a deep state of relaxation and help reduce stress and anxiety levels. By stimulating reflex points, it promotes the release of endorphins and serotonin, hormones responsible for well-being and relaxation.
- Pain relief: Reflexology can help reduce pain and discomfort. By stimulating certain reflex points, it can help release muscle tension, improve blood circulation and promote relaxation.
- Boosting the immune system: By activating reflex points, reflexology can boost the immune system, helping the body fight infection and disease. It can improve immune response and support overall health.
- Improved blood circulation: Reflexology can stimulate blood circulation throughout the body, including organs and tissues. This can help to oxygenate and nourish cells properly, as well as eliminate accumulated toxins in the body.
- Muscle relaxation and improved flexibility: By applying appropriate pressure and technique to reflex points, reflexology can help relax tense muscles and improve flexibility. This can help reduce stiffness and improve joint mobility.
- Promoting balance and vitality: Reflexology aims to restore energy balance in the body by stimulating the flow of vital energy (chi or qi). This can support general health and vitality, as well as improving emotional and mental wellbeing.
What does reflexology treat?
Reflexology can be used to treat and relieve a wide range of conditions and health problems:
- Stress and anxiety: Reflexology can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, promoting deep relaxation and release of accumulated tension.
Headaches and migraines: By stimulating reflex points in the head and neck, reflexology can help relieve headaches and migraines.
Digestive disorders: Reflexology can be effective in treating digestive problems such as dyspepsia, bloating, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Reflex points on the feet and hands correspond to the digestive organs and system, and stimulating them can help balance digestive function.
Respiratory problems: Reflexology can be helpful in relieving nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma and other respiratory problems. Stimulating the right reflex points can help open the airways and improve circulation in the chest area.
Chronic pain: Reflex therapy can help reduce chronic pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia or sciatica. By stimulating the appropriate reflex points, it can help release muscle tension and relieve pain sensations.
Sleep disorders: Reflexology may be beneficial for treating sleep disorders such as insomnia or difficulty relaxing before bedtime. It can promote restful sleep and an overall state of peace and calm.
What contraindications does reflexology have?
Although reflexology can be beneficial for many people, there are certain situations where it may be contraindicated or caution should be exercised:
- Pregnant women: Certain reflex points may have stimulating effects or induce uterine contractions, which may be undesirable during pregnancy. It is therefore advisable to consult your obstetrician before starting reflexology during pregnancy.
Thrombosis and blood clotting disorders: Reflexology involves stimulating blood circulation, which can be problematic for people with clotting disorders or a history of thrombosis. It is important to consult your doctor before starting reflexology in these situations.
Infections and open lesions: If you have open wounds, ulcers or infections on your feet or hands, it is contraindicated to apply pressure or stimulate those areas with reflexology, as there may be a risk of infection or aggravation of the lesions.
Skin problems: People with severe skin conditions, such as severe eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis, should talk to a specialist before doing reflexology, as pressure or stimulation to the affected areas may worsen symptoms.
Thrombophlebitis or phlebitis: Reflexotherapy involves manipulation of the feet and legs, which may be contraindicated in people with thrombophlebitis or phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) as it can increase the risk of dislodgement or migration of blood clots.
In order to go for reflexology, it is very important to identify the right specialist. Only experienced people work in our massage parlour, who know exactly what to do to ensure that the massage has the desired effect and that the techniques used are in line with the patient’s condition: Before the reflexology session, discuss your needs, concerns and goals with the therapist. Communicate about pre-existing medical conditions, allergies or other health issues to tailor the session to your needs.
During the reflexology session, communicate openly with the therapist and clearly express your comfort level. If you feel discomfort or excessive pain while manipulating certain areas, inform your therapist immediately.
Make sure you are well hydrated before and after your reflexology session. Adequate water consumption can help flush toxins from the body and promote better recovery. After your reflexology session, take time to relax and enjoy the well-being induced by the therapy. Avoid strenuous exercise and stress immediately after the massage to allow your body to recover.
Reflexology can be used in combination with other forms of therapy and medical treatments. Talk to your therapist and rheumatologist to determine how reflexology can be integrated into your care plan, depending on your specific health problems. Remember to pay attention to the recommendations your reflexology specialist gives you and follow the guidance given, including home exercises if he or she indicates such activities.