Reflexology is a type of massage that uses different pressures on the feet, hands, and ears. It is based on the theory that these parts of the body are related to specific organs and body systems. People who use this method are called reflexologists.
Reflexologists believe that applying pressure to these areas has many health benefits.
Read on to learn more about how reflexology works and whether it’s worth trying.
How does reflexology work?
There are several theories about how reflexology works.
In traditional Chinese medicine
Reflexology is based on the ancient Chinese belief in Qi (pronounced “chee”) or “vital energy”. According to this belief, qi flows through everyone. When a person is stressed, the body blocks gas.
It creates an imbalance in the body and causes disease. Reflexology aims to keep Qi flowing in the body, keeping it in balance and free from disease.
In Chinese medicine, different parts of the body correspond to different pressure points in the body. Reflexologists use maps of these points on the feet, hands, and ears to determine where to apply pressure.
They believe that their touch transmits energy until it reaches the part of the human body that needs healing.
In the 1890s, British scientists discovered that nerves connect the skin and internal organs. They also discovered that the body’s entire nervous system tends to adapt to external stimuli, including touch.
A reflexologist’s touch has the same benefits as relaxing and calming the central nervous system and other types of massage.
Others believe that the brain creates pain as a subjective experience. Sometimes the brain reacts to physical pain. But in other cases, it causes pain in response to emotional or mental stress.
Some people believe that reflexology can help reduce pain, improve someone’s mood, and reduce stress through a soothing touch.
The zone theory is another belief used to explain how reflexology works. This theory suggests that the body contains 10 vertical zones. Each zone contains different parts of the body and corresponds to specific fingers and toes.
Practitioners of zone theory believe that touching these fingers and toes provides access to all parts of the body in a specific zone.