Reflexology rests on the ancient Chinese belief and practice in Qi (pronounced “chee”), also known as our “vital energy.
”Qi flows through each and every person. You could almost say that Qi is the life force energy that keeps our bodies charged and healthy. When a person feels stressed or anxious, a person’s body will block the Qi flowing through it.
This can cause an imbalance in the body that leads to all kinds of different illness.
The art of Reflexology, which is to massage and apply certain pressures for relaxation, aims to keep the Qi flowing through the body, keeping the body balanced and disease free.
Reflexology works with the central nervous system. A neurological relationship exists between the skin and the internal organs, and that the whole nervous system adjusts to a stimulus. A reflexologist's application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust its tension levels.
It is then almost obvious to say that when a person is calm and relaxed that our internal organs and their systems are in a state of optimum functioning, with increases blood supply, thus reflexology enhances overall relaxation, which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal.
The recognition of reflexology as a specific type of treatment began with Zone Theory, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes all the way up to the top of the head. For example, if you were standing up with your hands on your thighs (palms facing down) the thumbs and great toe would be zone 1. On either side of the body, the index finger and second toe would be zone 2, etc.
In reflexology theory, every organ, valve, muscle, etc. that lies within a zone can be accessed via a point or area on the feet or hands. For example, working between toes 2 and 3, or fingers 2 and 3, the eye point is found. These pathways between pressure points and other parts of the body are connected via the nervous system,
A full reflexology treatment puts the body and mind of a person into a state of deep relaxation. This switches us from the sympathetic nervous system (the stimulating, activity driving and, when extreme, fight or flight mode) to our parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and repair mode). When we are in this rest and repair mode our body focuses its energy on tissue repair, immunity, digestion and it promotes hormonal balance and better sleep. So in addition to focusing on specific problem areas, there is a whole body effect which promotes healing. It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.