Understanding Reflexology Origins and Benefits

There are many types of massage offered at today’s modern spa, so how do you know which one is right for you?

One of the more misunderstood systems of massage is reflexology, which is why we would like to share the basics with you about its origins, techniques, and benefits.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a type of alternative massage that is based on a theory that reflex points exist on the hands, feet, and hands. These reflex points are linked to different points on your body, which you can trigger and relieve by massaging key areas.

The most commonly used pressure points are the hands, feet, and ears, and reflexology is an common way to relieve stress. Certain pressure points are connected to your internal organs and glands, and applying pressure stimulates those areas of the body. A variety of health practitioners, including massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists, use reflexology techniques in their work.

The Origins of Reflexology

Although some people are under the misconception that reflexology is an early-stage, new age therapy treatment, it has actually been around for thousands of years.

According to historical records, health practitioners were using hand and foot pressure points in ancient Egypt and China around 4,000 years ago. Reflexology gained popularity in the United States in the early 20th century and was first referred to here as “zonal therapy.”

Benefits of Reflexology

The benefits of reflexology vary from one patient to the next; however, medical studies have shown tremendous benefits in the health of patients who undergo this type of massage treatment on a regular basis. Some of the benefits of reflexology include the following:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce depression
  • Enhance relaxation
  • Promote better sleep
  • Palliative care of cancer patients
  • Rid the body of toxins
  • Prevent headaches and migraines
  • Boost energy
  • Increase blood flow to the kidneys and intestines

Different Reflexology Techniques

Some reflexologists use tools, such as wooden sticks, rubber balls, and rubber bands, to assist them with their massage work. In addition to finger pressure, therapists often use techniques of kneading, holds, rubbing, and rotation. Some reflexology techniques are based on the Rwo Shur Method and the Ingham Method, but new approaches have also emerged that involve magnets, oils, crystals, and Ayurvedic treatments.

Reflexology Charts

When you visit a massage therapy spa, you may see a reflexology chart on the wall. These charts guide reflexologists to specific points on the body based on where a person’s pain or stress exists. For example, the outer edge of where your big toe meets your foot is connected to your spine, the little toe is connected to the bladder, and the ring toe is connected to the gall bladder.

Reflexology is a safe and affordable treatment for a range of health concerns, and Aura Wellness Spa offers reflexology massage in a relaxing and professional spa setting. Located in Midtown Manhattan, reflexology gift certificates also make a wonderful surprise for someone special who could use some rejuvenation and pampering.