What Is Reflexology And How Does It Work?

Reflexology is an aspect of alternative medicine that is considered a healing art. Reflexology practitioners utilize pressure using the thumbs, finger...

 

Reflexology is an aspect of alternative medicine that is considered a healing art. Reflexology practitioners utilize pressure using the thumbs, fingers or hands on the patients hands, feet or ears. The theory is that the hands, feet and ears have reflex points that correspond to organs, glands and other parts of the human body. By applying pressure to specific points in these areas a practitioner can relieve stress and tension as well as increase circulation. It may also promote a more natural function of the body.

Reflexology focuses upon Qi, or the flow of energy through the body. Sometimes this flow can become interrupted or disturbed. By utilizing pressure at certain points on the body, for example the feet, proper Qi or energy flow can be restored. There is also the contention that pressure points on the feet and hands when manipulated properly can cause the body to release chemicals such as endorphins which can result in the reduction of pain, tension or stress.

Reflexology in its various forms has been practiced for thousands of years. The Japanese, who call it Zoku Shin Do, have been practicing the art for nearly 5000 years. The Chinese use acupressure and acupuncture which have great similarities to reflexology and probably evolved from it. In the U.S. It was originally termed Zone Therapy. It was around the 1930’s when Eunice D. Ingham made the claims that the hands and feet were the focal points of energy in the body and mapped the human body to what she called reflex points on the feet. From then on the art was considered Reflexology.

What Is Reiki?

 

What is Reiki?

If you’ve heard of Reiki, chances are you only heard of it for the first time in the past several years. But Reiki has been around since 1922, when it was invented by Mikao Usui. Usui was on a Buddhist retreat on Mount Kurama, when he had a revelation. In the revelation, he claims to have realized the natural ability people have to heal others through Reiki, which can be translated as “supernatural influence.” Usui believed that energy flowed into his body through chakra, which are vortices that allow universal energy to pass through the body. After the retreat, Usui began treating people with Reiki. He believed Reiki could bring happiness into one’s life as well as cure all diseases. Usui passed down the teachings to over 2,000 disciples before his death in 1926.

The practice of Reiki involves placing one’s hands in specific positions on the individual being treated. The positions correspond to the chakras of the body, where the universal energy is thought to course through a person’s physical being. In addition to touch, other techniques like light blowing, tapping, or even looking may be used. Breathing also has an important role in traditional Reiki, and proper inhalation is thought to cleanse and prepare the body for the transmission of Reiki energy. Usui believed that the overall practice would connect the body to the universal energy and attract it to the person being treated. This energy can have a variety of positive effects, as indicated above.

The type of Reiki created by Usui, however, is very different than Western Reiki. Western Reiki is the form commonly practiced today. While Usui relied on intuition for where to place his hands, Western Reiki entails a number of predetermined hand placements. Usui created Reiki as a way to connect with universal energy, and it was a promoter of overall well-being. Western Reiki tends to be concentrated more on the curing of specific illnesses.

The practice of Reiki has become somewhat controversial in Western societies. There are conflicts among the practitioners of Reiki over the correct method of Reiki that should be utilized. Also, many scientists suggest that the benefits of Reiki are unproven. Indeed, there have been studies that have indicated Reiki may not offer any benefit over a placebo. There are questions about these studies, however, and the true benefits of Reiki remain unclear. Many who practice Reiki argue that, even if Reiki doesn’t benefit people due to the increased energy flowing through their bodies, there are other benefits to its use. Reiki, for example, puts an emphasis on proper breathing and relaxation techniques, which are beneficial even if Reiki doesn’t act through one’s chakra and life force. Opponents argue that false claims about Reiki may cause those who are sick to neglect proper treatment in the hopes that Reiki may be a cure-all.

Despite these concerns, Reiki is an alternative medicine that is growing in popularity. It has a rich historical tradition, and, while its true effects are uncertain, it is a potentially beneficial practice due to its ability to create a state of relaxation.

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