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It is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, (or hands or ears), with the use of specific hand, thumb and finger techniques. Areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to the foot brings relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body. For more information, see the section 'Evolution of Reflexololgy'
Ordinarily deep relaxation is attained and it's at this point when the function of the nervous system shifts into its optimal state for healing. When the body re-establishes internal balance, it is an opportunity to experience homeostasis, the state of stability amongst all systems in the body.
It's best for clients if their body is well hydrated, therefore, it is advised that you drink more water than usual on the day of your session. Wear loose or relaxed clothing. Only shoes and socks are removed.
There's a neurological relationship between skin and the internal organs. When pressure and technique are applied, a message of calm is sent via the central nervous system and tension is released.
When using specific massage techniques on all sides of the feet, reflexologists are breaking up the uric and lactic acid which can form as crystal type deposits in the feet. This build up of uric acid is released into the bloodstream. The easist form of elimination is through the urinary system.
In the days following the treatment, the systems of the body have an opportunity to communicate, network and operate better.
Occasionally clients report that they feel tired following a treatment on the day of the session. The body is busy releasing while also setting a new pattern, so there can be a lot to process. A deep sleep that night usually follows.
When stress is alleviated, the body is given space to heal. One treatment alone affects better sleep and enhances relaxation. Studies show that treatments often reduce pain and psychological symptoms (such as stress, anxiety and depression).