Tired? Stressed? Need a ‘Tune-Up’? This Ancient Treatment Can Help!

December 2, 2015

By Anna Varriano

Whether you’re looking to address a particular health issue, or maintain your health, part of the answer may be in your feet!

What is Foot Reflexology

reflexology mapFoot reflexology is a holistic, non-invasive hands-on therapy that has been around for thousands of years; in fact, some sources date it back to 2330BC! There is evidence that it was practiced as a healing art in Ancient Egypt, China, India, and in our Native American cultures. In today’s world, there are still many cultures who use foot reflexology as a way of healing the entire body. It’s also great to know foot reflexology is safe and beneficial for all ages – from newborns to 100+ year olds.

Foot Reflexology is based on the premise that there are mapped reflex points in the feet which correspond to every organ, gland and tissue of the body. Nerve pathways and/or meridians connect these reflex points in the feet to various parts of the body. By stimulating these reflex points through touch, a foot reflexology treatment can help promote the natural function of the body.

What Are The Benefits of Foot Reflexology?

Reflexology balances health and normalizes body functions. More specifically, it can:

  • Improve circulation of blood and lymph
  • Release tension and reduce stress
  • Increase energy
  • Boost the immune system

In 2008, a review of over 150 reflexology research studies and abstracts from around the world was conducted. This review found numerous health benefits associated with reflexology treatments, including:

  • Increased blood flow to specific organs (based on fMRI readings)
  • Increased relaxation (based on EEGs measuring alpha and theta waves)
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved pain management

From a personal perspective, based on the numerous reflexology treatments I have given over the years, I have seen clients experience a wide variety of benefits. Some are very specific, such as reduced edema (water retention/swelling) in the legs or improved digestion, and others are more general, such as an increased sense of relaxation.

reflex3The importance of releasing stress and tension/promoting relaxation should not be underestimated when it comes to our overall health. Promoting relaxation stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system. This part of our nervous system is often referred to as the ‘rest & digest’ part of our nervous system. It is responsible for allowing our body to properly digest the food we eat (so that we can get nutrients and energy from it), and to rest (which is necessary for repair, healing, and rejuvenation of all kinds). In other words, when our parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated through foot reflexology, our body’s ability to properly digest, repair, and rejuvenate itself is improved.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our sympathetic nervous system, also known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ part of our nervous system, is usually dominating they body’s function. This leads to a chronic state of stress from both a physiological and psychological stand-point, which leads to numerous health issues including problems sleeping, digestive disorders, weight issues, hormonal issues, and more.

What to Expect During a Foot Reflexology Treatment

A reflexology treatment lasts approximately 45 to 50 minutes. You’ll have varying amounts and types of pressure applied to the numerous reflex areas of your feet. It’s a wonderfully relaxing experience that anyone can enjoy on a regular basis—and a real treat for tired feet; however, to reap the full therapeutic health benefits of reflexology, it is recommended to start with weekly treatments, moving towards monthly treatments to maintain optimal health.

How to Get or Gift a Foot Reflexology Treatment

gift certificate with snowflakes WEBI offer reflexology treatments at the The Marshall Health Clinic (2605 Carling Avenue Ottawa ON) on Wednesdays and Thursdays. To book your treatment, call 613-820-0421 and request a reflexology appointment with Anna. Your feet, body, and mind will thank you! If you’d like to gift a foot reflexology treatment, or any of my other services, you can purchase a gift certificate on-line here. A truly unique gift that will keep on giving through supporting good health and well-being!

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