Reflexology is a science that deals with the philosophy that in the legs and hands exist reflex areas that correspond to all the glands, organs, and parts of the body. Stimulating these reflex areas properly can aid in many health problems naturally - a type of preventive maintenance. Reflexology is a proficient advance in the field of health and should not be confused with massage.
The idea behind Reflexology is not new-it was put into practice as early as 2330 B.C. by the Egyptian, Indian, Japanese, and Chinese civilizations. Reflexology, as we know it today, was first researched and developed by Eunice Ingham, a pioneer in this field. Her first book on this subject was published in 1938. And as of 1942, Reflexology workshops have been held all year round. The Ingham Method ® of Reflexology is primarily used for tension relaxation.
Experts agree that more than 75% of our health problems can be related to nervous stress and tension. Reflexology improves the supply of nerves and blood and helps normalize the current state. Only the hands are used, rendering it a safe, simple yet efficient method without the use of devices.
One theory is that reflexology is interacting with the central nervous system.
This hypothesis is based on work performed in the 1890s by Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington. They began to demonstrate through eir studies that a neural connection occurs between the skin and the internal organs and that the entire nervous system adapts to the stimulus.
The hypothesis is that the reflexologist's application of pressure to the feet, hands, or ears sends a soothing massage from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn triggers the body to change the level of tension.
This promotes overall health, takes the internal organs and their functions to an optimal state of operation, and increases the blood flow (which provides more oxygen and nutrients to the cells and enhances the elimination of waste). It has a beneficial effect on circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide processes in the body.
Another hypothesis that can also clarify how reflexology might provide pain relief is the hypothesis of gate control or, more recently, the theory of pain neuromatrix.
This theory indicates that pain is a subjective sensation of the brain. The brain does so in response to the subjective perception of pain. Still, it may also operate independently of the sensory feedback and cause pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. So things that affect your brain, such as your mood or external factors such as stress, can also influence your perception of pain.
Based on this theory, reflexology can relieve pain by reducing stress and enhancing disposition. Another hypothesis is that there is "vital energy" in the human body. When tension is not treated, it leads to energy accumulation, which, in effect, creates bodily inefficiencies that can lead to illness. Due to this theory, reflexology helps to keep the energy f wing.
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