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What is Reflexology, and Does it Work?

It seems like there new types of massage and wellness therapy popping up all the time. Part of the reason for this is that people are much more interested in natural ways of staying healthy. There are so many different types of drugs and surgery out there, and although they often deliver positive results, there is always a price to be paid in terms of health. Natural therapies and medicines, on the other hand, can sometimes offer meaningful and even life-changing results without damaging the body in other ways.

Massage therapy is a great example. It’s something we often think of as a “splurge” or a reward for a job well-done, and these are good reasons to have a massage – but it’s also an incredibly useful tool for maintaining a higher level of health from day to day and week to week. It’s becoming more common for people to include regular visits to the massage therapist in their overall wellness routine.

Another interesting practice that many massage therapists offer is reflexology. This may sound like a hip new trend, but it’s actually been around a long time.

But does it work? Aside from its long history, has reflexology proven itself to be a worthwhile and effective type of treatment?

Reflexology dates back to ancient Egypt and China, and is still widely used today. It’s based on the idea that stimulating pressure points in the hands and feet will cause certain areas of the body to be stimulated – this is why you see those reflexology “maps” out there, showing the different areas of the feet that connect to various bodily systems.

The idea is that illnesses of many different kinds can be addressed – and overall health can be improved – by applying pressure to these pressure points in a specific way. Many massage therapists are also trained in reflexology and offer it is a regular service to many different clients.

Of course, people are often more comfortable with a simplified explanation of how reflexology works – namely that the feet and hands can hold a lot of tension, and that skillfully applied pressure can have a profoundly relaxing and rejuvenating effect on health and wellbeing. Sometimes a skillful foot massage, whether or not principles of reflexology are actively being used, is the perfect thing to release built-up stress and feel better. A professional therapist can help with this.

Seeking a skilled reflexologist

As mentioned earlier, you will often find reflexology on the menu of services at a professional massage therapist’s office; but it’s important not to take the quality of this service for granted. Reflexology requires dedicated practice and strong theoretical underpinnings – in other words, your therapist should have trained extensively in reflexology before providing you with this type of service. It never hurts to ask your therapist about their training in reflexology and their approach to delivering effective treatments. A few simple steps will connect you with a skilled reflexologist in your area, and you’ll be well on your way to receiving the benefits of this time-tested practice.

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