Have you ever heard of reflexology? I hadn’t either, until last year when I received a gift card from a dear friend for a reflexology session. I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t used the gift card yet (darn busy schedule!), but I did read up on it as I had no clue what it was, and I have to say, it sounds really interesting.
Basically, reflexology is a type of bodywork that focuses mainly on the feet. The general idea of reflexology is that there are areas on our feet that are connected to parts of our body, including glands and organs. For example, the ball of your foot corresponds to your heart and chest, and your heel connects to your low back and intestines. People who practice reflexology contend that by pressing on these specific reflex areas, you can improve the health of the linked body part. The theory is that this pressure can help release natural body chemicals like endorphins that help reduce stress and/or send out signals that help keep the nervous system balanced.
Back in 1915, an ear, nose and throat doctor named Dr. William H. Fitzgerald came up with the idea of “zone therapy.” Then in the 1930s, physiotherapist Eunice Ingram took the zone therapy idea and developed it a bit more into the concept of reflexology.
In case you are wondering “why would I want this and how would it even work?”, reflexology has been used to treat a huge laundry list of health concerns, ranging from headaches to arthritis, insomnia and stress, and just about everything in between. People who get injured playing sports have used reflexology successfully, as have women dealing with the effects of fluctuating hormones. Digestive issues and menstrual problems may also improve after reflexology.
My gift card is for an hour-long session, and from what I’ve read about reflexology, this seems to be the most common length of time. The person doing the reflexology will first ask you about your health and any symptoms you are having, and also about how you typically go through your days.