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Posted October 01, 2014 in Advice Column, Ames

Reflexology is a treatment option that can provide many natural benefits to the body. This form of natural healing works with the body’s nervous system by providing stimulation to glands, organs and all parts of the body. Reflexology works with the reflex areas in the hands and feet that correspond with various areas in the body.

How does reflexology work?
Imagine the body split into 10 different vertical zones beginning at each toe and ending at the top of the head. Within each zone there are different parts of the body that can be stimulated by working on a specific area on the foot within that zone. For example, the big toe corresponds with the head, and the bases of the toes correspond with the shoulders.  Reflexologists work to find specific areas in the hands and feet where there may be a blockage. Breaking up these blockages will clear out the body’s neural pathways so the nervous system can send messages back to the areas of the body that lack proper stimulation. Reflexology works to help normalize bodily functions which improve nerve and blood supply as well as increase circulation and reduces stressors within the body. It is important to know that this type of treatment cannot unbalance nature by working on an area too much. Once homeostasis or normal body condition is achieved, it cannot be unbalanced. However, the process of breaking up the blockages that form on the nerve endings may trigger the body’s natural cleansing process. This could lead to minor reactions such as nasal mucus, mild headache, diarrhea and nausea.

Who is reflexology for?
Reflexology can be beneficial for both men and women 18 years of age and older. It is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18 unless there is parental consent. Many people receiving this treatment may never experience any significant effects; however, changes still could be taking place within the body. Also, some changes and reactions may not take place until a few days after the treatment session. Therefore, the frequency between sessions should be weekly or longer depending on the health and wellness goals of the client.

Here are just a few of the many areas that can benefit from reflexology:
•    Digestion
•    Muscle tension
•    Respiratory/lung function
•    Insomnia
•    Headache/migraine pain
•    Menopausal symptoms
•    Plantar Fasciitis
•    Sinus congestion
•    IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
•    Stress/anxiety
•    Hormonal imbalances
•    Organ function

Information provided by Christine Becker, BA Exercise Science LMT, ACE Certified personal trainer,  Ames Racquet & Fitness Center.

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