Author: raiko

Reflexology Spas

Reflexology Spas

There are a number of Reflexology Spas around these days and the number is growing. If you do a quick search for your area you should be able to find a spa close by.How is a reflexology based spa any different then other spas?  Well, first off they focus on reflexology. While a normal spa may provide a basic massage, steam bath and perhaps a makeover a reflexology based spa is a little different.

First, you will most likely receive a foot bath in warm tea or steaming towels. The reflexologist should ask you if you have any physical complaints so that they can decide which reflex points to focus on when doing your massage. They should also ask you how much pressure is comfortable for you. Too much pressure and it won’t be relaxing. Too little and it won’t be effective. A good reflexologist can read body language to tell if they are causing discomfort with the pressure.

In a typical one hour reflexology spa session they should have time to cover all your foot reflex points and probably work out the tension in your scalp and shoulders with general massage as well. So, not only will you get the benefit of reflex point stimulation but also leave feeling relaxed and tension free.

Many spas will have introductory specials for new customers. This is a great way to try out a new spa to see if you like it. I’ve seen specials as low as $29.99 for a one hour foot reflexology massage. You can also find half hour sessions or full body massages as well.

Try to look for a spa with certified reflexologists as they will be more familiar with the correct application of pressure to the reflex points and which points to emphasize depending upon your physical condition. You can also check out reviews online for many of the available spas and pick one that is well thought of.

Reflexology and Pregnancy

Reflexology and Pregnancy

One of the more interesting applications of Reflexology is to alleviate the many symptoms of pregnancy. As any woman who has been pregnant knows there are a number of uncomfortable symptoms that go along with it. Morning sickness, nausea, and fatigue are just a few of them.
Can reflexology really help eliminate or at least alleviate these ailments? Possibly.

There are numerous studies and a lot of anecdotal evidence pointing to the possibility that reflexology can have a very positive effect on pregnant women. Or, for that matter, women who are seeking to become pregnant or those that have recently given birth. Reflexology has been shown to alleviate the following pregnancy related problems:

  • Lack of energy
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Digestive disorders
  • Heartburn/indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen extremities
  • Sore swollen breasts
  • Backache
  • Cramps
  • Incontinence
  • Inducing labor
  • Aiding in infertility

Some studies have even shown improvements in fertility due to reflexology treatments. It’s is hypothesized that stimulation of the reflex points may balance the endocrine system which plays a large part in fertility.

There has been anecdotal evidence of reflexology helping stimulate milk production in women who have just had a baby. One person stated, undoubtedly stimulated breast milk production”, and another said it “encouraged my breast milk to “come in” after having my daughter. I had a few more sessions after also to increase my milk supply”.

A Chinese study done in 1996 titled Foot Reflexology in the Treatment of Hypogalactia utilized reflexology on a woman with hypogalactia in one breast and galactotasia in the other which resulted in low milk output. After three reflexology sessions the woman produced enough milk to adequately feed her infant. So perhaps reflexology can stimulate breast milk production. It’s worth a try if you’re having difficulty in that respect.

Overall, it’s very hard to find opinions against the benefits of reflexology as it relates to pregnancy and quite easy to find positive comments. While this does not mean that reflexology unequivocally works it is most likely worth a try. It does not really have any negative side effects and results in a relaxed and tension free feeling for the recipient. And, as any pregnant mother to be knows, that is a good feeling to have!

Reflexology And Pain Manangement

Reflexology And Pain Manangement

Can Reflexology work as a pain management alternative? Many people that suffer chronic pain end up investigating different complementary and alternative medical treatments either because traditional medicine is not very effective or because the pills they need to take for their pain cause unwanted and sometimes intolerable side effects. Reflexology is one of those alternative methods – but does it work?

One study titled: Reflexology Reduces the Requirement and Quantity of Pain Killers after General Surgery conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Science looked at 60 patients that were suffering from post-operative pain after undergoing general surgery.  The patients were divided into two groups one of which received pain pills as well as reflexology treatments and the other that received the same pain pills but no reflexology treatments. Patients used a pain score of 1-10. Patients in the reflexology group showed a significant decrease in pain scores and required less pain medication then did the non-reflexology group.

The study’s conclusion was that “The effect of Foot Reflexology causes a significant reduction of requirement and quantity of painkillers and significant reduction of pain score in Group I in comparison with Group II in post-operative patients of general surgery.” This leads one to conclude that reflexology does in fact have some beneficial effect when used for managing or treating pain.

Other studies have shown that reflexology has some benefit for headaches, stomach pain, foot pain, and even labor pains and pain associated with pregnancy. Many of these studies are on a case by case basis with no control group so can not be seen as undeniable proof. Yet, with so many people claiming a benefit it is hard to see why someone suffering from pain would not at least try reflexology as a possible remedy or management technique.

Reflexology Massagers

Reflexology Massagers

While Reflexology can be extremely relaxing and effective for the patient the one doing the massaging can sometimes experience fatigue in the hands and fingers. This is due to the amount of pressure and repetitive movement required to do an extensive massage. Zone therapy, Reflexology and acupressure all utilize similar techniques. So, not surprisingly there are a number of different tools available to help make the application of these techniques easier for the practitioner.Some of these tools are electronic while others are not. Some reflexology massagers are designed for self application of Reflexology.

The non-electronic tools include many types of spiked or nubbed balls or rollers. One example of a roller is the Stirling Reflex Roller.  It is designed to fit between your hands and, when rolled, the rubber spikes will manipulate the reflex points on your hands.

stirling reflex roller

 

Another similar device is the Magic Reflexer which is essentially a rubber ball with large hard rubber nubs or projections on it. When rolled in the hands the nubs with apply pressure to the reflex points in the hands.

magic reflexer

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also hand held probes designed to apply pressure to specific reflex points such as the Reflexocure Probe shown here.

reflexology probe

Clamps can also be purchased to apply pressure automatically such as these.

 

reflexology clamps

 

Here is an example of an electronic reflexology massager. The Silver Star Accu-point Massager.

silver star massagerThe massager has a small electric vibrating massage motor and also can supply a small electrical stimulus to a specific area. This makes massaging the reflex points a lot easier than it would otherwise be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you check around you’ll find there are hundreds of different massagers and related tools to help you with your reflexology practice. If you’re applying reflexology to someone else or even to yourself there is surely a tool or implement that you can find and utilize to your benefit. Just be sure to research them a little before buying to make sure you get a tool that will suit your needs properly.

Zone Therapy

Zone Therapy

You may hear or see the term Zone Therapy occasionally. Zone therapy and Reflexology are very similar and Reflexology really evolved from Zone Therapy. Zone therapy or some form of it has been around for thousands of years. Hieroglyphic representations and ancient paintings exist in both India and Egypt that depict some form of Zone Therapy or foot massage.

The first mention of Zone Therapy techniques came from a nose and throat doctor at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford Connecticut. Dr. William H. FitzGerald created Zone Therapy and is generally known as the father of Reflexology. In the early 1900’s he practiced Zone Therapy techniques and applied them to many different ailments. One of his colleagues said of him:

I have known Dr. FitzGerald for many years. He is able and honest, a skillful and competent surgeon, and a student. No matter how foolish, how ridiculous his methods may seem, they are most decidedly not the vaporings of a dreamer or a charlatan. They are the calmly digested findings of a trained and scientific mind.


Dr. FitzGerald developed the theory that described the various meridians in the human body and how electrical energy flowed through them. A book was later published titled Zone Therapy or Relieving Pain at Home. It was written by Dr. FitzGerald and Dr. Edwin F. Bowers. This book is what gave Zone Therapy its name. The book was published in 1917 and is now in the public domain. You can read it here:

Zone Therapy or Relieving Pain at Home

 

Here is a photo of how pressure is applied to a finger.

Zone Therapy Hand

FitzGerald and Bowers utilized many different types of tools to apply pressure at different points on the body. Here is an electrode that was used apply pressure and current to meridian points.

Zone Therapy Wand

Another tool that was used was this clamp

Zone Therapy Clamp

Yet another method they used was to place clothes pins along the patients finger to apply pressure to different points.

Zone Therapy Clothes Pins

 

You can find quite a bit more information on Dr. William FitzGerald at the Reflexology Institute website.

In the 1930’s a woman named Eunice Ingham studied Zone Therapy under one of Dr. FitzGerald’s students. Ms. Ingham wrote a book on the subject in 1938 called Stories Feet Can Tell Thru Reflexology. She felt she was working with nerve reflexes in the feet and named the practice Reflexology. She also published a book titled Stories Feet Have Told Thru Reflexology.

Another doctor in Norway, Dr. Charles Ersdal, was apparently cured of a partial paralysis through Zone Therapy. Afterward, in the late 60’s and early 70’s, he began diligently researching the practice and documenting case studies and results. He called his practice Foot Zone Therapy and saw it as a “signal system” rather than a reflex system. So, while it is very similar to Reflexology it’s underlying assumptions vary somewhat. The practice was brought to the U.S. In the late 80’s and has become fairly popular.

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