There is a vast majority of people that hate taking prescription medicines. Unfortunately, the magic wand only exists in circuses and movies. There are times when we want to acquire a magic wand, scream abracadabra, and witness our pains and stress go away. Alas! That is not possible. The closest we can get to is getting help from reflexology massage.
What Is Reflexology Massage?
A massage therapist is a person sent by God to rid people of pain, anxiety, and stress. One of the many magical spells cast by a professional therapist is the reflexology massage.
It is based on applying pressure to certain points on your hands, ears, and feet that are believed to affect the rest of the body. The points are believed to correspond with other parts of the body. A masseuse that has specialized in reflexology is known as a reflexologist.
The Theory Behind Reflexology
Reflexology is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In TCM it is believed that the human body works by the flow of vital energy known as qi (chee). A blockage of the flow of qi leads to imbalances throughout the body that manifest as diseases.
Therefore, the main aim of the treatment is to restore this flow to cure the patient. One effective way of doing this is reflexology massage. Experts have identified specific points on the hands, ears, and feet that correspond to other organs of the body. When massaged by a professional, these pressure points send energy flowing through the body until it reaches the desired area.
Health Benefits Of Reflexology
The question here arises why do people get reflexology massage?
Well, the advantages of a reflexology massage are instant and long-lasting. Once you get a reflexology massage you will surely crave more. The greatest therapeutic benefits imparted by a reflexologist are discussed below:
Say Goodbye To Stress And Anxiety
The number of suicides and self-infliction have hiked up in the last few years. The only cause of this alarming increase in the rapidly mounting mental pressure. The youth of today is surrounded by unescapable swarms of anxiety and stress that constantly pull them down.
Thus, anxiety and stress reduction is the dire need of the hour. Prescription medicines can resolve the issue but they take a toll on your liver and kidneys. Therefore, an effective way to ease out your head is reflexology massage.
Benson relaxation and foot reflexology are effective in treating generalized anxiety and for women undergoing an abdominal surgical operation.
A reflexologist can tune down the anxiety and stress levels in patients undergoing coronary angiography by using foot reflexology.
Another study revealed that hand reflexology can also be beneficial for decreasing anxiety in angiography patients.
It was found in a randomized controlled trial that reflexology massage leads to a reduction in the Visual Analog Scale-Anxiety. It was concluded that a 20-minute massage for 4 days can significantly reduce anxiety in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients.
Cancer patients are at the greatest risk of falling prey to anxiety and depression. The risk multiplies if the patients are admitted to a hospital. Thus, it is now being recommended that hospitalized receive massage therapy for anxiety control. And not just any massage, reflexology massage is the way to go. It is proved that reflexology allows patients to cope better with the disease while reducing stress/anxiety.
Women undergoing childbirth are also prone to depression and anxiety. Research reveals that foot reflexology massage is an effective nursing intervention to reduce stress, fatigue, and depression in women undergoing vaginal delivery.
Post-Partum depression and “baby blues” are very common. These symptoms of gloom, despair and anxiety negatively affect the health of the mother and the baby too. Data suggest that the anxiolytic effect of reflexology can be utilized in post-partum women.
A 2016 study suggests that reflexology massage is an effective method to reduce fatigue in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Foot reflexology was found superior to back massage and also allowed the patients to sleep better.
A meta-analysis concluded that foot reflexology improves sleep and decreases fatigue.
Flush Out Inflammation And Pain From The Body
Another aspect where reflexology boasts of its superiority is pain management. The enhancement in the flow of qi kicks out pain and chronic inflammation from the body. There are different types of pain for which reflexology is pretty effective.
Be it a coronary angiography or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), patients have to go through a hectic ordeal of pain. Surgeons report that chest tube removal post-heart surgery is a painful procedure. The pain from this particular procedure can be effectively reduced using foot reflexology.
Foot reflexology is considered an efficacious, and cost-effective intervention in the management of CABG pain.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where the nerve conduction from the spinal cord to the rest of the body is compromised. This leads to a number of symptoms including burning, tingling, and neuropathic pain. Treating this type of condition is an uphill task. However, a randomized controlled trial found that foot reflexology massage reduces neuropathic pain, improves mobility and walking ability.
A 2019 clinical study has revealed that foot reflexology can be a cost-effective and safe way of alleviating neuropathic pain in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Another study carried out in the same year (2019) concluded that foot reflexology can cut down a lot of pain caused by Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).
Foot reflexology can be introduced as an analgesic strategy in the management of chronic pain. As per a study, foot reflexology sessions can reduce chronic pain in children.
Chronic low back pain is a problem encountered frequently by people from all walks of life. It is the leading cause of work holidays. Fixing your hurting back is a slow process that requires you to go to the moon and back. However, with the magic reflexology, you can run like a cheetah again!
According to a study, foot reflexology appreciably reduces the physiological parameters and brings instant relief to patients.
Reflexology is identified as a safe non-pharmacological intervention to help manage pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Delivery And Menstrual Pain
The gift of motherhood is undoubtedly the most precious one. The pain, however, is unbearable. Most of man’s attempts to manage the uterine pain are futile, but not reflexology. Uterus pain can effectively be lowered with reflexology. Foot reflexology can reduce the pain associated with labor.
A 2018 study concluded that massage and reflexology are very useful methods for pain management in labor. In another study, it was found that ear, hand, and foot reflexology is effective in the management of Premenstrual Syndrome.
This unique and technique-specific reflexology massage reduces pain and improves sleep, a meta-analysis suggests.
Elevate Your Mood By The Touch Of A Reflexologist
Our efficiency largely relies on our mood. Having a bad mood is linked to poor work efficiency and self-satisfaction. To improve your work performance you ought to have a pleasant mood.
Ignoring the negativity around you is one way of improving your mood, getting reflexology is another one. Swedish massage and foot reflexology are found to be equally effective in improving mood.
Scientists have found out that your mood is linked to electric waves inside your brain. Depressive thoughts can seriously affect your mood. A study concluded that aroma foot reflexology effectively decreases depressive mood states in elderly women with osteoarthritis.
The reduction in stress and weaning off of a depressive state can mean a great deal in mood improvement. As reflexology culminates in new strength and energy, boosts in mood are expected. Therefore, all those who feel down must go for a reflexology massage.
Boost Your Immune System
It is a proven fact that massage boosts the immune system. The main reason for this type of effect is the improvement in the circulation of blood. The improved blood flow carries with it immune cells that help you fight foreign invaders.
The stimulation of different pressure points can also bring balance to your immune system. Foot reflexology has the potential to relieve you of cold and flu too. It is believed that foot reflexology massage improves the circulation of lymph fluid that carries antibodies to fight bacteria. The enhanced lymphatic flow is the key to boosted immunity. Reflexology for Lymphatic drainage (RLD) is a special technique that focuses on improving lymphatic drainage.
It was found in a study that aromatherapy massage boosts immune function in pregnant women while another study found reflexology massage to be efficient in kickstarting the immune system in middle-aged women.
The Lung reflexology point on your foot is identified as an important point. Massage on this point is believed to be therapeutic for colds. It also fortifies your body’s defense systems against bacteria and germs.
Improve Your Fertility
Complementary and alternative medicine is usually used in improving fertility (along with other medical treatments). Acupuncture and reflexology are frequently advertised as effective fertility-boosting options. Even fertility clinics promote the use of these modalities.
According to a randomized controlled trial, sham reflexology massage can be beneficial in inducing ovulation. This means that foot reflexology can play a part in improving female fertility. Another study claims that self-massage may also boost fertility and increase chances of conception. Foot reflexology is also linked to an increase in breast milk production of premature infant mothers, a study suggests.
Massage therapy can bring about a number of positive changes in the body. Improvement in fertility is expected with reflexology massage but the procedure should be adopted only when it is safe and effective.
Menopause is a state of deranged hormonal levels in the body. The imbalance in hormones manifests itself as depression and anxiety. According to a study, reflexology massage helps menopausal women restore hormone balance and reduces depression.
Is Reflexology Safe?
In general, reflexology is a pretty safe procedure and can be carried out on seriously ill, and hospitalized patients. The non-invasive complementary medicine treatment does not require any special pieces of equipment or environment. The skill of the reflexologist is the main concern here.
It imparts plenty of health benefits. However, you should discuss it with your doctor if suffering from any of the following conditions:
- Deep venous thrombosis or blood clots in the leg veins
- Foot ulcers
- Gouty arthritis
- Open/gaping wounds on hands and feet
In hand/foot issues like cuts and gout, the condition may aggravate by reflexology massage, therefore, it is important to take permission from your doctor.
Many people are concerned about any side effects associated with a reflexology massage. Though rare, some people have reported the following side effects following a reflexology massage:
- Temporary tenderness in hands and feet
- Increased emotional sensitivity
The effects are only short-lived and go away on their own.
The Difference Between Reflexology And Foot Massage
Despite the fact that both massage therapists and reflexologists work on the same region (i.e. the foot) the aim of the procedure is different. A foot massage is aimed at improving the circulation of the massaged area along with the provision of localized pain relief.
On the other hand, reflexology treatment promotes healing responses in corresponding organs.
Reflexology massage is a unique massage technique that aims at restoration of the flow of qi in the body. Traditional Chinese medicine identifies specific points (pressure points) on the ears, hands, and feet. These points correspond to different organs of the body and stimulating these will lead to healing and repair.
The most evident therapeutic effects of reflexology massage include pain relief, stress relief, immunity, fertility, and mood boost. You can feel a new wave of energy after a reflexology massage. The procedure is completely safe, however, individuals with hand/foot abnormalities (DVT, wounds, and gout) should be a little conscious while getting a reflexology massage.,