By Paola Bassanese
Reflexology is the branch of complementary and alternative medicine that works on either feet or hands with precise thumb pressure and sequence to provide relief and relaxation.
The technique is based on the theory that hands and feet (and also ears) are a map to the internal organs in the body so applying pressure to specific points can have a beneficial effect to the corresponding organs. It is a popular form of relaxation and treatment as it is performed fully clothed so it is a good alternative to an oil massage for example at events, although one doesn not exclude the other.
Stemming from ancient Egypt and Greece, reflexology was the art of massaging hands and feet to release tension in the head and trunk.
Popularised and taught by physiotherapist Eunice D. Ingham (1889–1974), reflexology became established in the UK and US from the 1930s onwards.
Why choose reflexology?
- You don’t have to undress, so reflexology can be useful if you are feeling a bit body conscious or can be excellent for teenagers
- It makes you more aware of your body, because the therapist will talk you through what he/she finds along the way in terms of tension and blockages
- It is a fantastic rebalancing treatment at times of stress and insomnia
- It may help with digestive issues like constipation as during the treatment you can feel the peristalsis being activated through the reflex action
- It may promote circulation in the extremities as massaging feet and hands works on the lymphatic and circulatory system