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Reflexology is the art of stimulating specific points and areas of your feet to heal and repair almost any location in your body. Reflexology is like the cousin of acupuncture.
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Messages were once not preferred by everyone since the kind of benefits that it offered was known all around. People did not move forward to accept such treatment, let alone call it essential. But through time, things have changed, and a message has a different outlook on our current day and age. With a growing body of medical research also coming to back it up, things have become all the more interesting. In that very manner, we are going to pinpoint towards a specific objective or benefit that comes through messaging your pressure points on feet. So go ahead and read them out.
1. Lower Back Pain
Various studies have been determining the benefits of reflexology over massage of the lower back. With that in mind, individuals tend to be curious to learn more about the same aspect. So here’s how you treat your back to reflexology by focusing the massage on the arches of your feet.
- The first thing that you need to do is to concentrate on pressure points in your arches. One can also make the process smooth by adding a few drops of oil or any other form of a lotion that enriches the aspect of lubrication. After adding the required set of ingredients, you need to massage by moving from your heel to the toes by using thumbs. That’s right. Thumbs are essential to the process of reflexology, and it is quite crucial that you use the same. Performing this task in a series will be beneficial and can help you out immensely.
2. General Pain
The idea about treating general pain through messaging your feet originated from a process known as myofascial release. It is a kind of therapy that targets the thin tissue covering your muscles, organs and bones. So to be more specific, here’s how you do it.
- First, you need to choose a comfortable chair that brings about the right posture. Soon after that, you should either place a golf or tennis ball under your feet and roll the same using your foot until you find a sensitive spot. Press down your foot just so that you can feel the point soften and hold it for over 4 to 5 minutes.
You might not believe that this procedure is applicable for treating anxiety, but it surely does. So go ahead and check out the instructions.
- By curling your toes, you will be able to see a small depression below the ball of your foot. Once you find it, place a pad of your thumb on the spot and hold on to the top of your foot with the other hand. Massage the area through small circles and alternate things firmly by pressing down.
Hand reflexology is a massage technique that focuses on applying different amounts of pressure around reflex points on the hands. Applying pressure and massaging on these areas gently, will bring a sense of relief to your body and mind, and curb any discomfort in your body. There are reflex points on our hands and legs, that corresponds to various other organs in our body. Here are some of the reasons for you to incorporate hand reflexology in your weekly routines.
Coping with the fast-moving world causes our bodies to fall foul of stress. A nurturing therapy like the hand reflexology can improve stress levels, by maintaining imbalances in our body. It targets the central nervous system, which triggers the nerve endings to provide a sense of relief and revive us of stress.
A study has shown that hand reflexology has decreased the level of stress and anxiety in patients who had to undergo coronary angiography- a procedure to diagnose heart conditions. It is also an effective method to treat headaches, especially the ones caused by anxiety and stress.
Reduces Back pain
One of the essential benefits of hand reflexology is decreasing back pain. The areas around the thumb and the back of your wrists are associated with your back muscles. Gently pressing and massaging these points will reduce pain.
Reduces shoulder pain
As the back muscles, the tips of the fingers are also associated with the shoulder muscles. A brief gentle massage on the top joints of each finger in the clockwise direction will alleviate shoulder pain. Sometimes, massaging on the tips each finger will help in reducing neck pains.
Hand reflexology is an excellent treatment in reducing throat allergies. The fleshy front portion of your hand is associated with the circulation of blood to various body parts. Massaging this portion improves blood circulation to certain areas, including the throat, which can reduce allergies.
Joint pain is a universal problem in the elderly. Following the hand reflexology treatment regularly, will improve flexibility and relieve joint pains to an extent. It is a recommended treatment, especially for patients who have rheumatoid arthritis.
Alleviates irritable bowel syndrome
This condition can be caused due to various factors, stress being one of them. Since reflexology is a mantra for stress relief, it can also work as an effective treatment for this condition.
Symptoms of menopause
Menopause causes a lot of discomfort in women, especially when you’re at the peak of it. Common symptoms include mood swings, back pain, and cramps. Regular practising of reflexology can not only suppress these symptoms but also revive your body of further discomfort.
Hand reflexology is very complicated, yet a powerful technique that encourages your well being. By massaging and working various parts of your hand, you can stimulate the spine, stomach, back, neck, and so on. If you want to perform it by yourself, then there is a lot to learn before you get started, but at the end of the day, it is all worth it! You will have access to your health, through your own hands.
William H. Fitzgerald and Edwin F. Bowers introduced reflexology in the United States in 1913.
According to William H. Fitzgerald, putting pressure on particular spots had some anesthesis effect on the body. Later on, this theory was changed by Eunice D. Ingham. She was a physiotherapist. She was the one who pointed out that there were sensitive points in palm and feet, which had an effect on the whole body. These vulnerable points relax one’s muscles and reduce stress. Modern reflexology follows Ingham’s theory of treatment. Reflexology is also known as zone therapy. It is used to provide relaxation to both mind and body. It is designed to reduce stress levels and diseases. And one of the best ways fact with Reflexology therapy is that it is a natural way to deal with some severe illness.
Reflexology is based on Chinese medicine having borrowed many aspects from the ancient medicine. A good summary of acupuncture and its benefits are from this article’s co-author at Acupuncture Moonee Ponds.
Stress and Anxiety
Recently, stress and anxiety have been an issue for almost everyone. Everyone has one or the other mental health issue. Mostly stress and anxiety are treated with medication and therapy. But people prefer to opt for treatment as it is a natural method to deal with it. Points on ears, palm, and feet are highly useful to reduce stress and anxiety. Also, reflexology activates brainpower which can help in handling the brain strategy better. It helps in having a better memory. According to a study, reflexology massage helped to relax the people having stress and anxiety.
Pain and Fatigue
As reflexology therapy activates many vital nerves, it helps for better blood circulation throughout the body. This therapy helps in dealing with pain and fatigue. This also helps in increasing metabolism and energy level. This helps to deal with fatigue in the body. It enhances sleep quality too. Many people with insomnia are advised to take up reflexology massage. Better energy level helps in better working mentality. According to a study in 2015, reflexology has a significant impact on pain.
Reflexology is emerging as a great way to deal with mental and physical health naturally. Nowadays, the damage done to the body due to work pressure is unavoidable. People are opting for this therapy because it is a no harm way to deal with some of the significant health issues like severe migraine, headache, stress, and many more illness. There is no doubt that people are finding the reflexology massage as a useful therapy to deal with various issues. The reflexology divides the whole body into parts, and the treatment is done accordingly. Every pressure point is directly linked to an organ which is the cause of a disease. If the massage therapy is taken seriously and done correctly, then cure to disease is assured.
For most women, pregnancy is the time of joy and celebration, but there are times when women need some additional support, apart from the medications. Reflexology is one such method that is beneficial for women both during and post-pregnancy. It is a complementary therapy which involves applying different amounts of pressure on parts like the hands, feet, ear and face.
Reflexology is an effective way to relax the muscles and reduce swelling of legs in a pregnant woman. Reflexologists believe that the nerve endings are connected to the internal organs and applying pressure and massaging them gently can be beneficial for the entire well-being of your body. Here are some of the benefits of considering reflexology for a mom-to-be:
Pregnancy is the time when your energy levels are slacking off, especially during the early days and the onset of the second trimester. Performing reflexology during this time can relieve you from all the stress and anxiety and energise you.
Pregnancy is the time when there are various hormonal changes and imbalances in your body, causing emotional rollercoasters which also causes anxiety. Performing reflexology during this time will ease out these symptoms and also help in coping with physical changes like morning sickness, back and leg pain, anaemia, night cramps and discomfort.
Hormonal changes and a growing baby can hamper your digestion power and cause water retention. A good 30-minute session of reflexology relaxes the muscles in your body and ease the process of elimination.
Following the reflexology procedure regularly, increase the possibilities of natural labour. It reduces the need for medical inductions and improves the health condition of the mother, by relieving stress.
Pregnancy symptoms can be severe in some women, causing discomfort and cramps in their body. Oedema is one such condition where the pregnant woman’s face, legs and hands swell up due to the accumulation of fluids and improper blood circulation. Having regular sessions of reflexology can increase blood flow throughout the body and decrease such conditions.
Chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus can cause miscarriage in almost 15-50 per cent of the women around the world. Reflexology can harmonise the mind, inducing a sense of relief and peace to the mind and body. A professional reflexologist will look for symptoms of miscarriage and alert you before it’s too late.
Also known as the Zone Treatment, Reflexology is one of the best methods to support maternity journey. As we saw, it not only relieves the discomfort caused during pregnancy but also gives you an excuse to put your feet up and enjoy a relaxing session. After all, pregnancy is the time to sit back, relax and take care of yourself and your little one.
In a stressful work culture, human being tends to become tired very soon. Especially in big cities, if you have to travel for your work, it can be quite tiring. Mental and physical tiredness can be taken care of very quickly. Recently people are getting inclined towards stress-relieving massages. Massages done by the professionals are quite helpful to remove the stress. Massage therapists are the individuals who professionally trained for it. There are several types of messages varying grom place to place. Have you ever heard of the term “Reflexology”? Reflexology is a massage act in which a therapist puts an adequate amount of pressure on points on palms and feet. It helps in releasing mental stress as well as physical tiredness. Reflexology lasts from half an hour to one hour. Let discuss some importance of the Reflexology massages.
Boost Energy Level
An adequate amount of pressure on palm and feet will increase the blood flow all over the body. It will increase in the functioning of various organs. It also increases the metabolism of an individual. It leads to increasing the energy level in the body. You can feel the boost in the energy level instinctively.
Removal of Toxic element
Reflexology helps in removing the toxic elements from the body. A study has shown that reflexology improves bladder function, which allows reducing urinary issues. It means that it eliminates unwanted or foreign particles from the body, resulting in lowering the risk of different diseases.
Improve Nervous System
The nervous system impacts a lot of other systems in our body. Through reflexology, the therapist activates many nerves which stops working properly due to aging. In a single session, reflexology activates 7000 different nerves. It improves the functioning of all the organs correctly.
As reflexology impacts the nervous system, it is a very relaxing therapy. People can use this particular massage just for leisure. Palm and feet massage relaxes the entire body and makes you feel calm. Reflexology usually used to cure insomnia. It eliminates all the tensions an individual has in its mind.
When reflexology evaluated during 2009 and 2011, there was no such evidence that can support the effectiveness of it. Australian Government Department of Health analyzed around 17 therapies during 2015. Reflexology was one the therapy review published in 2015. Due to the lack of any apparent effectiveness of reflexology, the Australian government did not allow it to considered for insurance. There was no reliable evidence that can act as a proof for reflexology therapy. Australian Government Department of Health states reflexology as “a system of applying pressure, usually to the feet, which practitioners believe stimulates energy and releases ‘blockages’ in specific areas that cause pain or illness.”
Reflexology massage is a therapy that done with a certain amount of pressure applied on specific points of palm and feet which affects organs of a body. The origin of the reflexology is unknown. According to some sources, a similar activity like reflexology existed in China and Egypt. There is an ancient Chinese term called “qi” which means vital energy. When a person goes through stress, the “qi” is blocked. This lead to diseases and illness. Reflexology deals with keeping a balance in the body by allowing the regular flow of “qi”. It works on every individual differently. The general pressure point mapped works uniquely to every individual. Reflexology manipulates the body’s energy and connects to the organs. It divides the entire body into smaller sections so that working on the organ will be easy. Though lots of research and analysis done on how reflexology works, there is no evidence to support its effectiveness.
What is the job of a Reflexologist?
A reflexologist is someone who is professionally trained and educated regarding the reflexology massage. The reflexologist job includes providing proper palm and feet massage to individuals with specific health issues. These issues can be mental or physical health issues. Both problems can be treated naturally by reflexology massage. They use the proper technique to treat an individual differently according to the problems.
How to become a Reflexologist?
An individual needs a postsecondary education in the stream of massage therapy. They can go for either a certificate or an associate’s degree program. To get a license or certificate, an individual must have 500 hours of massage therapy education. Every reflexologist requires a license or certification to work in the United States. For getting a license or certificate, one must complete their training and pass the exam. After getting a permit, they are eligible to work for yoga academic, health spa and fitness centers. Therapy career has a great future.
Tips for having a successful career
It is advisable to join a professional organization. Self-marketing is another tip that will help in having a great career. Networking is another tool to get a stable job. Once into the work, always stay connected to the clients so that proper treatment is provided. Remember, word of mouth works the best.
Recent studies show that reflexology is one of the most used therapies in Denmark. Most of the population has used it once in their lifetime. According to a survey in 2005, 21.4% of the Denmark population has opted for reflexology the same year and 6.1% the previous year. According to the 2007 study, 5.6% of Norway’s population has used reflexology in the last 12 months.
Reflexology is in an emerging demand all over the world. It is a therapy in which an adequate amount of pressure put on on palm and feet. Reflexology massage usually is done by a therapist who is professionally trained for it. People who want to regain their energy through natural way prefer reflexology. It is comfortable too. People can be in their known and convenient places to enjoy the relaxing session. The amount of pressure differs from person to person. Reflexology not only takes care of the physical pain but also helps in reducing mental stress. It is also known as zone therapy. It helps in creating stimulation all over the body. There are approximately stimulates 7000 nerves. The time duration varies from half an hour to one hour.
Reducing the pain during Pregnancy and Menstruation
It is a lesser-known fact that reflexology is quite helpful for women. It reduces the pain a woman suffers during menstruation and pregnancy. Not only this, but reflexology massage also helps in increasing the energy after postnatal depression. It helps the body to heal itself and get back to regular metabolism activity.
Dealing with Headaches
Often reflexology is advised to people who have a headache and severe migraine. It reduces the pressure of a person and makes him/her feel relaxed. As the tension in the muscles and mind, it helps the individual feel calm. If this massage is done at a regular time, this can cure the severe migraine and headache to a great extend.
Increase Brain’s Strength
As we know that reflexology massage hugely impacts the nerve system, it increases the strength of the brain. It activates nerves and opens up the neural pathways. It helps in boosting memory as well as it helps in handling information very fast and effectively. It will result in a fast physical reaction. It also helps in strengthening the core of the brain.
Improved Blood Circulation
As the proper amount of pressure applied to the pressure points on palm and feet, the blood circulation increased in the entire body. According to a study, reflexology is one of the best ways to improve blood circulation in the body. It also helps in the proper functioning of vital organs.
In the current situation, both mental health and physical health is essential. Reflexology massage is one of the best methods to stay healthy. The pressure points are connected to particular organs. These organs react to the pressure applied on the palm and feet and respond to it simultaneously. It takes off the stress on muscles and minds as well. Reflexology considered voluntarily in the United Kingdom. Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is the body that handles it.
The foot is one of the most undervalued organs in the human body. It carries our entire body weight, aids in locomotion, bears the brunt of jogging, fit in uncomfortable shoes, and many more. Despite all the work our feet do, it often does not receive the pampering it requires.
Foot massages are the nominal treatment we can give ourselves, favouring the entire body. Here are some of the most unexpected ways in which a regular rubdown on your feet, can benefit you.
- Reduces Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common health condition across the globe. It can adversely affect your heart, kidney and also cause strokes when left unchecked. According to a Korean study, along with a healthy diet and medication, a relaxing foot massage can suppress the effects of high blood pressure.
- Mitigate PMS and cancer symptoms
Regular foot massages can reduce the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome, which includes mood swings, insomnia, and headaches. A study conducted by the Michigan State University states that regular foot massages incorporated with patient’s treatment, aids in curbing the side effects of chemotherapy like nausea, weakness and shortness of breath.
- Improves sex life
A selfless foot massage, to your loved ones, can improve your sex life and is a great way to showcase your love. The sole consists of nerve endings that trigger a sense of relief and mild arousal, making it a great starting point.
- Dwindle Anxiety and Depression
Regular sessions of foot massages can help in curbing anxiety and depression. Specific points on foot, alleviate the symptoms of depression. Massaging the pressure points for at least 5 to 6 times a week can reduce anxiety significantly and provide a sense of relief to the body.
- Decreases nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are caused due to various factors like motion sickness, side effects of treatment, upset stomach etc. A 10-minute foot massage every day can not only reduce the effects of vomiting but also provides a better quality of life.
Body imbalance can happen due to defects in the inner ear or the mechanical parts of balance. A reclining foot massage can help you gain control over your mobility, which targets the mechanical parts of balance. It also relieves pain for people suffering from osteoarthritis and other underlying diseases.
Injuries can be attenuating, not only at the moment but also in the long run. Moving your fingers around pressure points on the feet, will relieve you of the pain and also reduce swelling of legs and feet.
- Decrease Joint Pain
Joint pains can be associated with various factors like injury, medical conditions like arthritis etc. It is a common condition in middle and old aged individuals. Regular foot massages can reduce the tension in the muscles and nerve endings, which helps in relieving the pain and help people walk around comfortably.
- Prevents foot problems
A routine of foot massage will prevent you from unpleasant injuries and can keep your health and mood in the right place.
Just like the hands, neck and back of your body, the feet can also greatly benefit from regular massages. Foot massages can also help in ample blood circulation to all parts of your body and keep your mind, stress and tension free. Incorporating foot massages in your daily routines can significantly impact your healthy lifestyle.
Reflexology is a therapy that focuses on massaging by applying pressure on reflex points in the hands and feet. Applying gentle pressure on these reflex points, loosens the muscles, relaxing both the body and mind. Many symptoms and effects are observed during and after the session, which is generally positive and is part of the healing process.
This article will talk about the top 5 signs that indicate that the procedure is having positive impacts on your body.
Itching in the face
The process of reflexology will stimulate static in the brain cells, which usually results in an itchy feeling, especially on the face. When you undergo the treatment, the nerve endings are stimulated, and an internal static is produced in the nervous system. This is the reason for the itchy feeling in the body, especially the face.
Twitching of the muscles
Often people experience a twitching sensation in the muscles, during or immediately after the session. This is a sure shot that the treatment is working. Movement of the fingers around the reflex and pressure points triggers the muscles in that area. The twitching sensation is due to internal blockages in the energy flow, in particular parts of your body.
Change in breathing patterns
More often than not, people undergoing the treatment fall asleep due to the treatment’s soothing and relaxing effects. Most of the patients experience cessation of breath occasionally for 3-5seconds. When it returns to normal, the patients take instant deep breaths. Sometimes, this can be considered as a side effect.
A feeling of relaxation
Usually, reflexologists enquire about your pain points before the session. If you sense a decrease in the tenderness, or if the pain has vanished, at the end of the session, then it is a sign the treatment is working you. Most of the patients feel relaxed after a session, resulting in light headedness, which will usually fade in a couple of minutes.
Movement in the gut
This is considered as one of the most important signs that the treatment is working on your body. It is a robust healing process of the body and an indication for a successful procedure. The gut movement is usually in the form of gurgling in the stomach.
Reflexology is a procedure that intends to bring relief and reconciliation to your mind and body. Reflexologists believe that any abnormalities spotted in your body will heal itself once the stress is released and the body is balanced unless the defects are severe. A reflexology session lasts for 45-60 minutes, and most of the above- mentioned signs are reflected during or immediately after the session. These symptoms last for 24- 48 hours. Generally, most of the effects of reflexology are positive and do not provoke side effects. However, some might be subjected to emotional responses and an increased urge to urinate. If you’re undergoing a reflexology treatment and show any of the above- mentioned signs, then good news, the treatment is working for you!
Reflexology and body massage are two therapies that are widely accepted by people from all around the world. The different systems and methods that these therapies follow are distinctive and unique in their own right. Due to all this, numerous benefits come from these therapies that are impactful to the human body, mind and soul. Apart from these benefits, looking further into their differences also gives a brief idea about what to expect from them. So to paint the right picture of all these aspects, here are top benefits and comparisons between reflexology and body massage.
- Relaxation – when it comes to relaxation, you can expect both these methods to help you out. Reflexology alone can help you relax by improving your circulation and can move ahead to stimulate the entire nervous system. Due to this, your body goes through a wide variety of energy levels, promoting you to be active. On the other hand, body massage helps you to relax since it goes through the entire system. Individuals who provide this massage are trained professionals who reach into your stress points and manage to calm you down.
- Pain Relief – the kind of relief that you get from pain is extraordinary, and this goes out, especially for body massage. Since it deals with the entire system, you can expect aspects to get better by the end of the session. Reflexation also provides relief by calming down the tension in your muscles as they tend to disappear.
- Method and technique – the method and technique followed by both these therapies tend to differ in so many ways. With body massage, you can expect professionals to use heated stones, different oils, compression, heat therapy, and so on. These aspects will be utilised based on the kind of treatment that you prefer. The method for relaxation, on the other hand, is simple and plain. Since reflexologists understand your pressure points, they go directly for the chase and method does not require you to take your clothes off. Oil and other aspects will not be utilised for the process.
Level of Impact – while it is not right to say that one technique is more impactful than the other, an individual’s experience differs. Due to the use of thumbs and fingers, reflexology affects your central points, and you feel the layoff of pressure on specific points. But when it comes to body massage, things are way different. As the treatment covers your entire body, you will be relaxed with improving levels of mental health. Towards the end, you will be healed of pain and other aspects that have been troubling you for a while.
Reflexology and body massage has always been quoted as the same. On the basis of specific points, numerous individuals have gone ahead and categorized these distinctive methods in the same list. But in reality, one must know that they are not the same. Both these techniques follow a different path and thus, a different routine. When you opt for either one of them, the result tends to differ on certain levels, making it hard to believe that they’re the same. So to further clarify the difference, here’s a basic introduction about these techniques and also the main aspects of difference.
1. What is Reflexology?
The process of reflexology involves squeezing particular parts of the body as a move to improve health. This is done to relieve certain pressure points and make you feel comfortable. As a result, the process continues when life force flows through your body and heals injuries, illnesses and strain. The pressure points of your body can be understood by reflexologists since they have spent years studying about the same. Apart from that, the different methods of training that they go through, also imbibe the right knowledge catered to target blockages and squeeze them out from your system.
2. Defining Body Massage
Body massage is a process that we are all familiar with. Either through one source or the other, we have come across this phenomenon called body massage. But to be more elaborate, one must know that the process involves the manipulation of tissues in the body in order to relieve pressure and promote relaxation. This is achieved through rubbing, beating the muscles, skin, joints, lymphatic vessels, and so on. For this very purpose, professionals utilize different ingredients and techniques such as herbal oils, rolling movements, leans and stretches, heated stones, compression, yoga, heat therapy, hydrotherapy, and so on.
3. The Difference
The only part of similarity between these methods is the application of hands. Their techniques cannot be processed if individuals do not use their hands. Apart from that, one can rightly point out the differences, like the ones mentioned below.
- Clothes – reflexology does not require you to remove clothes since only your feet, hands and ears are covered through the process. On the other hand, massage therapy requires you to wear nothing but an undergarment.
b. Point of Focus – from the above introduction, it is quite clear that reflexology focuses on one specific point on your body rather than the entire body. By utilizing fingers, they move ahead to certain points. But message therapy is not the same as it goes through your whole body. Due to that, reflexology can improve the functions of human organs, whereas massage can relieve tension, stress and other aspects.
Reflexology is a type of bodywork which involves applying pressure on hands and feet which can improve the overall health of the body by relieving stress and reducing body pain. It is considered a type of massage but does not have any similarities with other types of massages.
Reflexology works on the theory that certain points on our feet and hands are linked to internal organs of our body through the energy channels (In Chinese medicine, it is known as Qi or Chi). By applying pressure on these areas, the reflexes will remove any blockages in the body, which is disturbing the energy flow. It helps in building a better immune system, protects the body from illnesses, and lifts up the mood.
Comparing reflexology with massage
Reflexology can be a short chapter in the syllabus of those who are studying massage and physiotherapy. But it is not a base part of massage therapy and works in a completely different manner. While is also involves applying pressure on the body parts, the reflexologists use a body map to apply pressure at certain points to ease health problems.
While reflexology techniques are primarily used on fingers and thumbs, other massage therapies apply to large muscles of the body. Reflexology only applies to small muscle movements, unlike the utilization of hands, arms, and elbows used in massage therapies.
Reflexology is only applied to hands, feet, and/or ears while massage therapies are meant for the entire body. Massage helps in easing the muscles and removing the tension from the body. The purpose of reflexology is to improve inner organ functions.
Reflexology promotes the response from the tissues which are stimulated through the nervous system and meridians. The massage therapy treats the entire body, and the whole system is partially benefitted from it.
Reflexology helps the body to have a better circulation of blood and energy through the nervous system. It helps in balancing internal and external body systems, while massage offers a more localized muscle relaxation.
Which one should you choose?
Many massage therapists do have the basic knowledge of the reflex zones, and they implement it in their practices, but it is not necessarily an option available with them. The techniques may include hand and feet massage, but they are not related to reflex zones.
The reflexologists specialize in the art of reflexology and have the knowledge of different subjects under it. A session of reflexology lasts for 30 to 60 minutes, and only the hands and feet are operated. They use a special body map which helps them to put pressure on the right points on the body, which will help in easing the body parts connected to them.
The need for a massage or reflexology depends on what your major concern is. While a good massage can be done any day to refresh the body, reflexology can be more helpful in treating body pain and internal stress and anxiety. Both the options are perfectly valid for releasing your tension and relax for the time being.
Our bodies are pretty good informing us when we need a massage – if only they were also as good in letting us know the type of massage that would benefit them the most. There are various kinds of massage, even though the majority of people are only conversant with the Swedish massage, since it’s the most common.
If you’re just starting to explore or are interested in knowing more about other kinds of massage, all you have to do is read on. With information about the various kinds of massage, it will be easier for you to determine the type of massage that will benefit you the most. Let’s get started!
Hot stone massage
A hot stone massage uses heated stones to ease tension, relieve pain, and improve blood flow. The massage therapist will normally place the stones in hot water before using them on your body. Basalt, a type of volcanic rock is widely used for hot stone massage session, since it has high iron content that allows it to retain heat effectively.
This kind of massage is more similar to a Swedish massage, only that the therapist will used heated stones in combination with their hands. During a hot stone massage, the therapist can hold a stone as they massage your body using different Swedish massage techniques. They may also use cold stones, depending on the situation and the result they intend to achieve.
A hot stone massage has the following benefits:
- Improves blood flow
- Promotes relaxation
- Relieves stress
- Eases muscle tension
- Alleviates pain
This kind of massage has been specially formulated with athletes in mind. It’s more of a variation to the Swedish massage and aims to eliminate aches associated with repetitive motion. It’s mainly used to help active people recover from stress and injury quickly and easily.
A sports massage is not only used to relieve anxiety, pain, and muscle tension; it can also be applied where one wants to achieve better flexibility and performance. This kind of massage can either be done as a full-body massage or the therapist may choose to focus on the body parts that require the most attention.
For sports massage, deep pressure can be combined with soothing strokes depending on the results you want to achieve. There has been enough evidence to show that sports massage can help patients to recover from repetitive muscly injury. There has also been some evidence linked with suggesting that sports massage can help to improve muscle performance, even though the results are not conclusive.
This is a kind of gentle, full-body massage that is perfect for people who:
- Have a lot of tension
- Are new to massage
- Are sensitive to touch
This type of massage is highly effective in releasing muscle knots and is perfect for when someone wants to relax fully during their massage. A Swedish massage typically lasts 60-90 minutes, with the massage therapist using a combination of the following techniques:
- Deep circular motions
- Vibration and tapping
- Passive joint movement techniques
- Long, flowing strokes in the heart’s direction
Swedish massage can be useful to people who have stress, pain, and muscle problems. However, this kind of massage is not for everyone, taking into consideration that one study proved that Swedish massage did not help people with fibromyalgia compared to other kinds of massage.
Deep tissue massage
This kind of massage makes use of greater pressure compared to a Swedish massage. It’s the go-to massage when you have chronic muscle issues such as imbalance, injury, and soreness. Deep tissue massage is also effective in relieving anxiety, tight muscles, and chronic muscle pain. This type of massage aims to reach the deeper layers of muscles as well as connective tissue.
During your massage session, the therapist slowly presses their fingers into your skin, gradually increasing the pressure. They will then use slow, firm strokes with the aim of reaching the deep tissues. The massage session typically lasts for 60-90 minutes, and is, in the majority of cases, used to target muscle knots. Even though deep tissue massage is usually intense, you should not feel any soreness or pain during your session.
This Japanese style of massage is mainly used to eliminate blockages that prevent the body’s Qi or energy force from flowing freely. The therapist uses various kinds of techniques and may use their feet, elbows, and even knees as they work to ease out tension from the joints, back, and limbs.
This kind of massage is typically meant to work for the whole body, even though your massage therapist may focus more on the parts of your body that require extra attention. This type of massage can be used to:
- Relieve headache
- Eliminate stress, anxiety, and depression
- Enhance physical and emotional calm, as well as relaxation
- Relieve muscle tension
Reflexology, also referred to as relaxation massage in some cases, is a type of massage that is best for persons who want to restore their natural energy levels, or simply relax. It’s one of the best options if you’re not comfortable with being touched on the entire body.
Reflexology mainly uses varying pressure on specific pressure points of the ears, feet, and hands, with the aim of benefiting other parts of your body. This kind of massage lasts 30-60 minutes, and is effective in ensuring complete relaxation and alleviating pain.
Getting a massage is, utterly beneficial to your body, mind, and emotions. However, you should not always concentrate on one type of massage. Experimenting with the various types of massage discussed in this book is a good idea. In addition, you should also consider having your massage done by different therapists to determine the type of massage as well as the provider that is most ideal for your body.
Be as open as possible, and never fail to discuss your intentions and expectations with your massage therapist. You should also speak up if you feel that there’s something that you aren’t comfortable with. It’s also advisable to consult your doctor before getting any kind of massage if you have any health conditions or concerns.
Reflexology is a type of massage which applies pressure on different parts of the body that are connected to the internal organs. Its theory explains that applying certain amounts of pressure on the feet, hands, and ears will help in several health benefits. The people who practice reflexology are called reflexologists. There are a few different theories by reflexologists on how reflexology works.
Traditional Chinese medicine
Reflexology follows the principles of the old Chinese belief if Qi or vital energy. Qi flows through our bodies all the time, but when the body feels tensed or stressed, the path of Qi is blocked. This results in the disturbance in the flow and frequency of Qi. Due to the disturbance in the body, the inner organs face several imbalances which can cause more illness.
Difference body parts correspond with pressure points throughout the body. The reflexologists use maps of these points to determine where they should apply pressure. These pressure points help in sending the vital energy to the parts which face the blockages and health them for better energy flow.
According to a theory by the British scientists, the nerves in our body connect the skin and internal organs. In the 1890s, they discovered that our body’s entire nervous system tends to adjust external factors, including touch. The reflexologists can help calm the central nervous system by triggering some pressure on the skin. It helps in relaxing the body, just like any other form of massage.
There are also more theories of reflexology, which points towards the same benefits of applying pressure on the body.
Benefits of reflexology
Reflexology offers several minds and body benefits, many of which have been proven scientifically. It can help in reducing muscle tension and pain while improving general well-being. Most of all, it helps in reducing anxiety and stress and lifts the mood up.
Reflexologists also believe reflexology can help in boosting the immune system, fight cancer, and get over bacterial infections. It can clear up sinus issues, improve back health, and correct hormonal imbalances. Other known benefits include improving digestion, boosting fertility, and easing arthritis pain.
How safe is reflexology?
Reflexology does not have any side-effects, even for people with serious health problems. It is a massage therapy which is comfortable to receive and does not require any substance intake. However, the reflexologists recommend you to visit your doctor if you have any medical conditions. Problems like blood clots or inflammation, foot ulcers, fungal infections, circulatory problems in the feet, open wounds, thyroid problems, and epilepsy are some conditions that you will need consultation for before a reflexology session.
Even though you can still get a reflexology session with the conditions mentioned above, the doctor might recommend you a few precautions to avoid any adverse effects.