Thursday, March 29, 2012

Need an excuse for a massage? Try this!

Have you heard of reflexology?  

It's pretty neat, in nursing school we are taught this to help patients work through pain, when we can't medicate.  Personally, I don't like to take medicine unless I have to, and I some days resort to some pressure points to relieve migraines.   

There are specialists at massage clinics that specialize in reflexology, and some claim they can initiate labor (sometimes we will try anything at the end), so be careful of labor inducing trigger points if you're pregnant.  

    History: The origins of reflexology can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Wall paintings in a physician's tomb, at Saqqara, dating back to 2330 B.C. show patients receiving treatments on their hands and feet.

    In Greece until AD200, in addition to being the home of the oracle, Delphi was an ancient health spa where massage, hydrotherapy and reflexology were used to induce well-being, relaxation and foresight . Practices akin to reflexology appear to have been used in early China, Japan, India and Russia also.

    Modern day reflexology has its origins in Zone Therapy which was pioneered by Dr. William H. Fitzgerald (A). He divided the body into ten longitudinal zones; the theory being that reflexes operate along these zones and that pressure and stimulation of a reflex could relieve pain affecting organs, body parts and glands within a given zone.

    Zone Therapy was adopted by Eunice Ingham (B), a physiotherapist in her treatment of patients in the 1930's. She developed it further,finding that some areas of the body were more effective and accessible than others she worked on the feet. Eventually she mapped the entire body onto the feet. She discovered that a therapeutic effect could be achived by using pressure from her thumbs and fingers on specific tender spots which related to to problems elsewhere in the body.

    What is reflexology?
    It is a science based on the principle that there are reflexes in the hands and feet which correspond to all organs, glands and body parts.
    Reflexology is technique of using the thumbs and fingers on these reflexes.

    What is its aim?
    • To relieve stress.
    • To relieve muscular tension.
    • To improve blood supply and circulation.
    • To encourage the unblocking of energy/nerve pathways.
    • To encourage the body's natural healing processes.
    • To encourage homeostasis. - (homeostasis - balance, equilibrium or the fine tuning of bodily functions)
    • To cleanse the body of toxins.
    • To revitalise energy.
    • To stimulate creativity and productivity.

For the next time you get a foot rub from your sweetie:

Be sure to ask for a hand rub too!  

If anything, it's a good excuse to get a massage from your significant other or go see a masseuse.  Enjoy!

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1 comment:

  1. I love reflexology! I am a Licenced Massage Therapist and it is one of my favorite modalities. I have a friend who was past her due date. I did the pressure points for labor induction in the evening and she went into labor the next morning. Its pretty amazing stuff. Also I do oncology massage for patients getting chemo. I cant massage their backs while the are in the chairs but I do relexology and they love it!