I use to believe that reflexology was kind of voodoo horseshit that didn’t really work, but have now learned that reflexology is backed by science and can be a beneficial tool to help ease symptoms and ailments associated with this disease, as well as many other health conditions as well. My massage therapist, Gayle, incorporates reflexology on me weekly and it seems to have a positive affect. Maybe it will for you too!
Reflexology is a holistic therapy and it is based on the science principle that there are reflexes in the feet hands and face that directly correspond with glands, organs and other parts of the body.
A brief history of reflexology….
Reflexology has been practiced for over 5000 years by different cultures and originated in China and Egypt, but is constantly gaining popularity in the United States, as it is one of the fastest-growing holistic therapies in the health and wellness field.
In the United States, reflexology was first recognized by Dr. William Fitzgerald MD from Connecticut in 1913. He was credited with what was called the “Zone Therapy”. He found that applying zone therapy to the feet had anesthetic results to some parts of the body. He found that spitting the body into 10 symmetrical longitudinal zones, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes corresponded with organs inside the body and applying pressure to these areas proved beneficial.
Researcher Joe Shelby Riley in 1924 introduced the existence of organized horizontal lines going across the body and publish the first detailed drawing of pressure points on the hands-free and outer ears, adding to the longitudinal lines that were discovered in the U.S. in 1913. He would go on to publish a book called “Stories the Feet Have Told” in 1938 while working with Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist.
In 1969, Mildred Carter was credited with many self-help books and articles regarding reflexology and she was the author of “Helping Yourself with Foot Reflexology”, published in 1969. Since then, researchers have validated reflexology and continue to study and practice in many countries including Switzerland, Denmark, the United States, and Australia.
What is the difference between reflexology and a massage? Massage therapy is applied to the whole body for total muscular relaxation, and to help improve circulation and muscle tension. Reflexology is applied to the reflex points in the hands, feet and ears using specific big hand and finger techniques in order to affect the corresponding part of the body.
On another note, you also don’t have to undress for a reflexology session. You will have to take your shoes and socks off however, but if you’re kind of shy about a massage or and undressing, reflexology may be a better option for you to try.
How does reflexology work?
Reflexes on the feet are a mirror image of all the organs and glands in parts of the body. Hands and your head, more specifically your ears have also proven to be beneficial treatments. It is done by alternating pressure with your thumbs and fingers to stimulate reflex areas and has a stimulating effect on the body rather than a numbing effect that is common with regular massage.
If you go to a reflexology session, what they will do is ask questions pertaining to your physical condition, medical history , previous injuries, surgeries etc. and they will correspond with what you tell them. A general reflexology session usually lasts an hour.
When you’re getting a reflexology session, you shouldn’t really feel a lot of pain and if you have any discomfort or pain in an area for the reflexology pressure points, chances are that is one of the area issues that you have.
What are some of the benefits of reflexology?
Reflexology will not cure Lyme disease, but it will help ease your symptoms. From a Lymie standpoint, reflexology is a good tool because it stimulates your circulatory and lymph system, which is awesome for detox. It can also help with anxiety and depression issues which can be very common among Lyme patients.
There are many other benefits, including but not limited to:
Reducing stress and tension
Stimulate congested systems
Improving sleep patterns
Improves skin tone and condition
I should also note that one of the biggest benefits in my mind is that it is 100% all natural, safe, noninvasive, and drug-free !!! 🙂 🙂 And this is all from the pressure points of your body to get your body to work better. It is really an amazing science.
Now I am going to explain some self how to’s! You can also have a friend help you at home as some places an be a little difficult to do on your own, especially motions on your hands and feet, and of course you can see a reflexologist, but sometimes it is nice to be able to save the money and do it yourself!
Try to imagine 5 zones on each side of your body, They are how you correlate the pressure points as they line up directly with your organs and glands. You can use either your knuckles or your thumbs to press and rub this area.
If you’re like me and just sit on the couch most of the day, you can give yourself a treatment watching TV, or talking on the phone.
There is a tool that you can use that is called a “Nubby ball” that you can use on their hands and feet that can be help a helpful tool to stimulate one’s organs and glands to get them back in working order.
Reflexology point illustrations of the feet, hands, ears, and head:
A book that I found that that shows and even has a DVD for “how to’s” that I would really recommend is called “Simple Reflexology” and is written by Claire Wynn. I like it because it shows pictures so it is easy to understand.
If you look online there are many free reflexology charts that you can Google and you can also go to YouTube.com to get some informative videos on how to do this at home.
With Lyme disease, one of the important things to work on is kidney points, as it holds what the Chinese believe to be your life force energy. It would be beneficial to use this point in your routine daily, for 30 to 60 seconds. 30 to 60 seconds? Common, EVERYONE can allot time to do this. It can’t hurt any, right?
Some other good ones, especially being on antibiotics is the liver point, as your liver is a common way the antibiotic toxins are filtered out of your body. The reflex point on the ball of your foot stimulates your circulatory system and can also help the body to remove toxins in your lymphatic and digestive system.
If your symptoms include fogginess, as many of us have brain fog there are reflexology points for the brain that can help with some of these issues.
It is best to do this type of thing a couple times a week you don’t necessarily want to do it too often as sometimes you can release toxins to quickly, which is also not a good thing.
Some recommend using things like olive oil, coconut oil, or drops of lavender to massage your hands and feet as it can be very beneficial and have a calming effect.
There are 26 bones , 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles in the feet and they are meant to move in 150 ways. Feet are also the most neglected part of the body, and taking care of your feet impacts your well-being all around.
During a cancer treatment study in 2000, it showed that reflexology caused a reduction of pain ,nausea, diarrhea and constipation. It has shown to improve the quality of life of these patients. There was a controlled study, although small, with only 87 patients, but those who used reflexology found 100% improvement in the in the categories of appearance, appetite, breathing, concentration, constipation, and diarrhea while the placebo group only received 67.6 and improvement in these categories.
In 1997, a study was conducted in which 78 reflexologists treated 220 patients, in which the majority had moderate to severe headache symptoms. Within three months after completing reflexology sessions, 65% of of the patients reported that reflexology helped with their symptoms. 19% had stopped taking their headache medication, and 16% stated that reflexology was a cure.
As I always give a disclaimer, it is important to contact your doctor before starting any new treatments. Reflexology might not be right for you if you have certain conditions such as extremely poor circulation in the feet, blood clotting, heart failure, broken bones in your hands, foot, or ankles (no shit, but thought I would throw it out there..) athletes foot as your condition condition should spread, or diabetes.
Reflexology is definitely something worth looking into. It can be free, and help ease your symptoms. I know I will never go without!
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