Category Archives for "Healing Arts"
Reflexology is linked to many potential benefits, but only a few of them have been evaluated in scientific studies.
So far, there’s limited evidence that reflexology may help to:
In addition, people have reported that reflexology helped them:
Reflexology is a therapy, which can be received by anyone at any age, from newborn babies to those receiving end of life care, and everyone in between.
Well-trained reflexologists do not claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe. Reflexology is a very individual treatment which is tailored to you as a whole person, taking into account both physical and non-physical factors that might be affecting your wellbeing. Some people find it works for them – some don’t. The best way to find out is to try it!The theory is that reflexology helps the body to restore its balance naturally. Usually, after a treatment your tension may be reduced and you might feel relaxed
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You might also notice yourself sleeping better and find your mood and sense of wellbeing improving. You may also find that other aspects improve too; however, this happens on an individual basis.
With ever increasing levels of stress in everyday life, it is important for people to take more responsibility for their own healthcare needs. Reflexology may be one of the ways to mitigate the stresses of modern life.
It is useful to give feedback to the reflexologist as this may show the response of your body to treatment. This in turn might help the reflexologist to tailor a treatment plan specific to your needs. After one or two treatments your body may respond in a very noticeable way. Most people note a sense of well-being and relaxation; however, sometimes people report feeling lethargic, nauseous or tearful, but this is usually transitory and reflexologists believe that it is part of the healing process.
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.
Have you ever walked passed a litte shop and seen some Reflexology advertising on a board or the window and wondered to yourself what is reflexology?
Well, Reflexology is a type of massage where a therapist would apply different amounts of pressure to a person’s feet, hands, and ears. It is well known in eastern medicine that these body parts are connected to certain organs and bodily systems, thus the purpose behind reflexology is based on the idea that by massaging and applying certain pressures to these body parts, will help to alleviate any stresses and/or blockages to the organs or bodily systems which may have experienced these stresses at any given time.
In short, Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary health therapy that can be effective in promoting deep healing, relaxation and wellbeing. It is a touch therapy that is based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body and reflexologists work these points and areas to promote a range of health and benefits
Whilst the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, this therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr. William Fitzgerald developed ‘Zone therapy’ in the early 1900’s. Dr. William Fitzgerald came to believe through extensive study that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
Back in the 1920’s investigative studies regarding this concept allowed the first Western reflexology foot map to be produced. Since that time the other anatomical areas have been mapped allowing this model to be applied to the hands, ears and face.
In the 1930’s, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone therapy into what is known today as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body.
Thus, if the reflexologist simply works those reflected areas with their sensitive fingers, aiming to bring those areas back to balance and therefore aiding the body to work to release the tension as well as it can.
Working with Dr. Riley at St Petersburg as a physiotherapist, Eunice Ingham (1889 – 1974). Extended the work of Dr. Fitzgerald and painstakingly mapped the feet with all the corresponding organs and glands of the body. She was a real pioneer who was determined to help people to help themselves.
In the early years, she worked with doctors to prove her findings and to demonstrate to them that reflexology was a useful diagnostic tool. She lectured at a medical clinic headed by Dr. Charles Epstein in May 1939. In his report, he acknowledged that reflexology worked. However, while they knew it worked, doctors were not interested in using it, because reflexology was too time consuming and they could not make as much money.
Throughout her forty years of experience treating many thousands of people, Eunice Ingham devised a system of techniques, which enable the practitioner to contact the reflexes in the most effective and economic way. This system is known as the “Original Ingham Method” and though this method has been refined still further through research by Dwight Byers and staff at the Institute, her legacy is still thoroughly entwined in the practical techniques that we teach.
The years of World War II interrupted Eunice Ingham’s travelling for a time, but in 1947 her nephew joined her on her lecture tour. Each of Eunice Ingham’s seminars was unique. Her method of instruction was to demonstrate and lecture as she worked on the health problems of those who attended. Over the years, Dwight Byers has contributed to his aunt’s work by organizing the seminars into training workshops. These have been further developed to produce the Diploma course that we teach in the UK.
Eunice Ingham died in 1974, having devoted forty years of her life to reflexology. Today, her legacy continues and she would be proud to see how reflexology has been developed into a profession. So those of us associated with the International Institute of Reflexology are indeed fortunate that we have the opportunity to get so close to the originator of the techniques.
It is easy to be confused about the many different schools and methods of reflexology. It is worth remembering that the International Institute of Reflexology is the only organization legally entitled to teach the Original Ingham Method®. It forms the foundation of the entire therapy.
A reflexologist’s is a person that works with touch and may help to calm a person’s central nervous system, promoting relaxation and other benefits just like any form of massage.
A reflexologist uses a body map designed and catered to give the reflexologist an inside view of the persons bodily organs and systems. This allows the reflexologist to target the correct areas for whatever therapy is required at the time. It is known in reflexology that the body contains 10 vertical zones. Each zone contains different body parts and corresponds to specific fingers and toes.
By touching and massaging the fingers and toes, allows the reflexologist to access every body part in a particular zone.
An animal’s body is made up of tiny atoms vibrating at specific frequencies. The body has an innate knowledge of the frequency of theses vibrations for the maintenance of its health.
Injury and disease
When an animal is injured or diseased, the effects of domestication and environmental stress often prevent animals from utilizing their own natural healing processes.
When this happens, the ‘trauma’ from the illness or injury becomes stored within the body as an energetic blockage, and the healthy frequencies become disrupted, preventing the animal from returning to a balanced healthy status, called ‘homeostasis’.
In some cases, repeated trauma can lead to chronic disease and a lack of well-being.
When healing energy is offered to the animal, it enables the body to raise and rebalance its frequencies, and increase its natural energy resources. Healing allows the trauma to disperse, and can assist in speeding up the recovery from illness, wounds and operation sites, saving time and money, and reducing further stress on the animal. It is particularly useful for animals that have to be confined, for example, on box rest, kennels, or within a cage.
During the healing, the animal may go into a deep state of relaxation, and afterwards it may sleep more than usual, as its body lets go of trauma.
Jack the Terrier after a healing session.
Behavioral and emotional problems
Healing also provides the support for animals to process and release emotional trauma that can be caused by fear, anxiety, stress or separation.
Despite the adaptability of many of our domesticated breeds, they are often unable to exhibit the natural behaviors inherent to their species. These natural behaviors have evolved to allow them to release the emotions caused by a stressful event.
For example, in a wild situation, if the flight or fight response is triggered by an attack from another animal, once the threat has subsided, the animal can retreat into the safety of its herd or pack where it can safely disperse the adrenalin and cortisone from its bloodstream.
In domestication, animals cannot behave in their natural way, and so they have to adapt and often compensate by absorbing stress within their bodies.
Over time, unresolved stress can lead to behavioral difficulties, such as defensiveness, nervousness, aggression, over-excitability, and withdrawal.
In the same way as it works for injury and illness, healing allows the animal to let go of unresolved stress, and return to a balanced state. It is even more effective if used in conjunction with re-training, so that the animal can learn new responses to help it cope.
It is also very beneficial for bereavement and also brings peace for animals about to pass on.