With so many reflexology techniques at your disposal, it may seem daunting to choose one that is best for you. Self-reflexology is a therapy that has grown in popularity during the last several years. You may wonder, what is reflexology? Reflexology techniques involve the massage of your own hands and feet. Numerous studies have been performed to research the benefits of reflexology and while the actual number of benefits from reflexology treatments is still contested, it is clear that self-reflexology can improve your overall health.
What is Reflexology?
As a healing art, reflexology therapy is a practice that falls under the alternative medicine category and sometimes gets referred to as zone therapy.
Reflexology targets specific points on your hands, feet and ears and applies massage or pressure to those points. In the practice of self-reflexology, each of these areas works like a mini-map of your entire body, including all of your organs and functions.
Just as its name would suggest, self-reflexology takes the idea behind reflexology and applies it to your own self. It is a practice that you perform on your own hands, feet or ears depending on the area of your body you're attempting to stimulate or heal.
Reported Benefits of Self-Reflexology
Some experts in the field of reflexology point to origins as old as the ancient Egyptians, a theory sparked by the physician Ankhmahor's paintings at the tomb in Saqqara, dating back to 233 B.C. Others attribute the discovery of the healing practice to William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat specialist, who rediscovered the connection between applying pressure and relieving pain in 1902. While the larger scientific field remains skeptical about both the origins of reflexology and its benefits in general, more people are telling the world about the great healing therapy.
Some benefits are less contested than others. Self-reflexology is used as a way to relax and to ease headaches, backaches, fatigue and panic attacks. In this way, reflexology is akin to massage therapy.
Reportedly, self-reflexology can also help you develop personal strength, improve your confidence, increase vitality, enhance your sexual life, detox your body, boost metabolism, ease menstruation pains and cure the average hangover. Supporters also claim that self-reflexology can boost your energy and ease sinus problems.
There has not been enough controlled research done on the therapy practice to determine the truthfulness to these self-reflexology benefits. However, there aren't any dangerous side effects associated with the practice either.
In order to help with a specific illness or problem, you will want to carefully consult a reflexology chart or visit a certified reflexologist. Specific illnesses and problems are aided by targeting specific points, which need to be located on the feet, hands or ears.
Even without treating something specific, you can test the benefits of self-reflexology quickly and easily. Start the exercise with the left foot and then repeat on the right foot.
Step 1: Rest in a comfortable chair or in a comfortable position on the floor or exercise mat. Bring your foot up and rest it over the opposite knee. Lace your fingers with your toes and rotate your foot at the ankle in a clockwise motion for a ten second count. Rotate at the ankle in a counter-clockwise motion for the same count.
Step 2: Gently stretch your Achilles tendon by pulling your foot upwards and backwards. Keep your fingers interlaced with your toes as you do this. Move slowly and stop pulling if you feel pain. Hold for a count of five, and slowly release your foot.
Step 3: Place the ball of your foot, or your heel, between both your hands, grasping it from both sides. Move your foot backwards and forwards.
Step 4: Beginning at your toes, place one hand on top of your foot and the other beneath. Then, use your thumb on the underside of your foot to slowly caress and apply steady pressure to each of your toes, the line of your foot beneath your toes and the inner edge of your heel.
Step 5: Keeping your hands on top and bottom, knead your foot between your hands.
Step 6: Make a fist with the hand beneath your foot. Press the fist against your foot, lining your knuckles up with the base of your toes. Push your hands together, sandwiching your foot between them. Hold for a count of ten. Rotate your fist so that it rests on the inner curve, or arch, of your foot. Press, and hold for a count of ten. Repeat on the outer edge of your foot and then again on your heel, holding the back of your ankle from the top for pressure.
Step 7: Finish your session by massaging lotion onto your feet. The action will cause heat to warm and release any stress in your feet, and the massage will help you pinpoint areas that may have been missed.
Try experimenting with this exercise by using a golf ball instead of your hands. Even when you're at work, you can slip your shoes off and treat stress by performing the exercise with one of these tools.
When many people are in some type of physical pain, he/she often pays a visit to the doctor's office or even a trip to the hospital. But what if this pain is taking place in the feet? Are there any procedures for feet problems?
The answer is yes.
A regular massage session is known to benefit the body and mind in revitalizing the energy flow of our bodies. From time to time, you may find certain parts and functions of your body requiring specific attention that may not necessary be related to muscles and joints and in this case, you may want to consider a reflexology massage to target that particular area.