By Nancy Bartlett NBCR
Eunice D. Ingham, a physiotherapist, developed their knowledge into a broader therapy, calling it Foot Reflexology and took it to the public in the late 1930's. Devoting her life to researching, practicing and then educating people about reflexology, she lectured throughout the U.S. & started a school. She created a “map of the body” on the feet, showing the various reflex points.
Supporting both conventional and holistic approaches, reflexology is primarily a relaxation technique, negating the effects of stress while it helps the body relax.Reflexology therapeutically reduces stress and tension throughout the body’s systems improving blood and lymph circulation, increasing stimulation to nerve pathways and releasing toxins from the body’s tissues. It is believed to encourage the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, well documented in their ability to relieve stress. We’ve talked about the feet, however, reflexology can also be done on hands and ears.
Research studies have been conducted around the world, including the U.S., which validate the effectiveness of Reflexology on a wide variety of conditions. Chronic conditions seem to respond especially well to Reflexology. Reflexology is one of several therapies offered as part of Integrative Care in some R.I. hospitals. Research has shown that patients receiving these therapies have less pain, take less medication and go home earlier.
Reflexology does not currently require state licensing in R.I.. However, independent, non profit testing bureaus, such as the ARCB (American Reflexology Certification Board) have set criteria for state and national certification, requiring 200+ hours of a certified school, as well as a national certification test. Membership in the Reflexology Association of R.I. will also mean that you are seeing a certified practitioner.
Don’t “scrunch” your feet in shoes, do some towel “scrunches” instead. Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place a medium-size towel on the floor in front of your feet. By scrunching your toes, pull the towel, inch by inch, into the arch of your feet. Do one to three times daily. This is good for foot flexibility and strengthening the whole foot.
Give your feet a treat with a warm Footbath. For relaxation, add some Lavender or other pleasing essential oil. For a cold, add 2T of dried mustard powder (or a little Eucalyptus oil) to relieve nasal and chest congestion.
Nancy Bartlett NBCR
This article was posted by Nancy Bartlett