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Reflexology

Massaging the feet to treat ailments in the body? This is called reflexology. This traditional Chinese medicine's question technique is based on applying pressure to so-called "reflexes" areas of the foot to the connected part of the body of the organizational unit that causes ARCADY to suffer the patient.

What is reflexology?

Reflexology is a therapeutic technique derived from traditional Chinese medicine. Its practice has been around for thousands of years. Reflexology is described as a manual and natural method centered on the self-regulation of the human body. The goal of reflexology is to relieve symptoms by acting on reflex zones.

To know! To this day, we are not familiar with the precise mechanism of action of reflexology. Indeed, there is currently little if any explanation of the topography of the reflex zones or the mode of action of the discipline.

In reflexology, the foot occupies a primordial place, because it is the representation of the body in miniature. Indeed, each body area, organ, or gland has its correspondence on the foot. We speak of "reflex zones". Thus, applying pressure to some of these areas helps to localize the tension, and restore balance to the corresponding body part. Thanks to the stimuli sent via pressure exerted on the skin, the nervous system is stimulated and activates certain physiological responses which can be motor, glandular or visceral.

Although foot reflexology is the most common, there are other forms of reflexology, including palmar (hand) or facial reflexology. Palmar reflexology is mostly used on sensitive people such as the elderly or pregnant women. Facial or cranial reflexology is preferred in the event of a mental disorder, for example, strong anxiety or overwork causing repeated insomnia or migraines.

A reflexology session usually lasts about 1 hour. During the first contact, the first few minutes allow the reflexologist to discuss with his patient and question him about his medical history and his general state of health. So professional goes on to relax his patient and activate his lymphatic and venous system with a gentle and relaxing massage. Stronger pressures are subsequently exerted on the targeted areas. Finally, an energetic massage concludes the session.

Reflexology

The number of sessions required and their frequency depend on the disorder and the patient's receptivity. In a preventive setting, that is to say, to relax and feel fit, 1 session every month or even every season seems to be a good rhythm. In a curative setting, that is to say when the patient comes for a problem to be solved, 2 to 3 sessions every 10 days may be sufficient.

To know! The reflexologist does not make a diagnosis because he is not a doctor, so he is not authorized to do so. The role of the reflexologist is to detect certain disorders and relieve certain pains and tensions as taught during his training.

Where does reflexology come from?

The first traces of the use of reflexology date back to around 2000 BC in Egypt. The first evidence of the use of reflexology was found in the tomb of a physician pharaoh (Ankhmahor). Indeed, one can observe on his sarcophagus the representation of various scenes such as childbirth, embalming, and reflexology. On the representations of plantar and palmar reflexology, one can read inscribed in hieroglyph: "Please soothe the pain". However, Egyptian civilization was not the only one to have used reflexology, traces or allusions to it can be found in many others as well. For example, in Chinese, the ideogram "foot" means "part of the body protecting health". In Asia, the footprint of the Buddha is still illustrated with various small boxes each representing a part of the body. In India, Vishnu's feet are still richly adorned with symbols.

Later, in the 20th century, an American physician, Dr. Fitzgerald, also became interested in reflexology. He then proposes a division of the body into several (ten) longitudinal and vertical zones. This is zonal therapy. He finds that local pressure on a toe or finger has an analgesic effect (pain relief) on one of the ten body areas. He uses this technique in particular in ENT operations. It was not until several years later, in the 1930s, that the doctor's collaborator, Eunice Ingham, refined the identification of areas, and developed a map on which the entire body was represented on the hands or feet. . She wrote the first reflexology book and opened the first school.

What is reflexology used for?

The benefits of reflexology are numerous.

Reflexology is a part of alternative and natural medicine for relaxation. Indeed, stress is a factor known to be at the origin of various physical and mental dysfunctions. Without necessarily realizing it, any individual can be subjected to the stress of everyday life and can develop certain disorders such as difficulty sleeping, headaches, muscle pain in the back, digestive disorders, cramps, premenstrual syndrome for women, fatigue, depression, etc.

reflexology

The most common indications for reflexology are stress, sleep disorders, behavioral disorders (hypermobility, irritability, hyperactivity), digestive disorders, skin disorders (acne), migraines, low back pain, and circulatory disorders.

Despite the benefits of reflexology, it should be kept in mind that this discipline, like all those of alternative medicine, can in no way be a substitute for treatment or medical advice.

Who practices reflexology? 

Reflexology is practiced by a reflexologist who is a professional in relieving tension through pressure techniques. It promotes relaxation, prevents stress, and stimulates self-regulatory functions thanks to a specific touch of so-called reflex zones in the feet or hands. In recent years, some reflexology training organizations have obtained professional certification of the title of reflexologist in the National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP). These training courses are therefore certifying and recognized by the State. On the other hand, the profession is still not regulated, which means that its exercise remains free. 

The reflexologist can practice as a self-employed person or as an employee, both at home and in an office. Most often, reflexology is practiced as a liberal profession. However, some of them also work with companies, hospitals or clinics, hotels, retirement homes, sports associations, or wellness centers. 

 

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