About 19 million American adults suffer from depression and most find their current treatment options ineffective along with a slew of unwanted side effects. Many who are prescribed antidepressants find that the medication only masks the problem, and does not cure it. However there are alternative treatments that have been proven effective without harmful side effects.
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is not just beneficial for your body physically, but mentally as well. Massage is a safe technique that has been used for thousands of years that can help calm and relax the mind. By relieving muscle tension and increasing blood flow, the body’s heart rate can lower and promote stress relief. When one is less stressed, depression can be improved. For those suffering with depression, seeing a massage therapist regularly can help increase mood and decrease feelings of sadness and anxiety.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been proven to be extremely beneficial for those dealing with depression. By targeting different points on the body, acupuncture works to release any blockages in the body’s energy flow and return the body and state of mind back to balance. When the body is in balance, we tend to feel physically, as well as mentally, healthy.
Yoga & Meditation: When practiced regularly, yoga and meditation have a profound effect on decreasing stress and boosting mood. Through deep breathing and poses, these practices help focus and clear the head and lower heart rate, which in turn can decrease stress levels and put thoughts and mood in a better place.
Depression is not something that is easy to deal with, nor is it something you have to go through alone. Know your alternative treatment options and begin the road to better health, for the mind and body.
Sources: http://bit.ly/1VQA0mC, http://bit.ly/1KbgLvE
Reflexology is one of my favorite therapies - in fact I use foot reflexology in clinic every day and I know it improves my clinical outcomes. I love it because it is so simple yet so effective - with foot reflexology I can add an entire additional whole body treatment in just 10 minutes through the feet. And when I say whole body I mean it - from head to toe (no pun intended!) the whole body is represented in the feet and every surface of the foot can be utilized for treatment!
A Map to the Body
In foot reflexology each area of the foot represents a different part of the body, both inside and outside. Massage and pressure on these reflex zones, from superficial to deep depending on what you are trying to achieve, can positively influence the corresponding organ or part of the body.
Conversely, excessive (painful) tension or tenderness and crunchy bumps - typically built up uric acid and calcium deposits - can indicate a tendency to sluggishness in the organ represented by that area, or can correspond with pain in the part of the body represented.
Looking at the map at right, you’ll see that foot reflexology zones are divided as follows:
So if you massage your feet and find tenderness in any specific area above, work on it! You might see a positive change in your health or head off various aches, pains and issues in the process.
Foot Reflexology - Try It!
I have had a number of patients over the years who are nervous about needles and I have done reflexology alone for them. I have seen especially good results in treating headaches, constipation and diarrhea with foot reflexology alone! Foot reflexology is also an excellent detoxification treatment - all those little crunchy uric acid and calcium deposits can minorly impede blood flow and hold toxins. If you break them up, your body will flush them out. You may be surprised how much more energy you’ll have after a couple of days pass for your body to clean up and clear out.
So if you massage your own feet to try it out, or especially if get professional foot reflexology treatment, don’t forget to drink extra water for the next 24 hours to help your body detoxify and make the most of treatment! If you want to know more or try a foot reflexology session in office, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Booking is available online 24/7!
Until next time,
#reflexology, foot reflexology, reflexology diagnosis
I love Foot Reflexology. Its simple, effective, it feels great, it treats the entire body through the feet, and it is a powerful modality to support detoxification - an essential function that our bodies are always performing. Everything we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin makes its way into our blood stream and even if you eat the healthiest diet on the planet, you are still encountering your fair share of toxins - even nature makes them!
Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers - mildly toxic to much of the population. Pollens in the air? Allergens that even if they don’t affect you negatively, are still foreign particles your body must deal with and excrete. Hormones? Natural or otherwise, they must be broken down by the body using a similar detox pathway. In short, your body is detoxing all the time and the more we support this essential function, the healthier we will be. When your body isn’t detoxing efficiently you can experience Headaches, Digestive Upset, Bloating, Water Retention, Sluggishness and Fatigue to name a few common symptoms.
The feet have a direct relationship with circulation and detoxification. Through foot reflexology we can support the body and clear the way for detoxification to be even more efficient and successful. This makes foot reflexology an excellent addition to any cleanse or overall health regime. Furthermore, it does not have any negative interactions with medication or treatment. The only time foot reflexology is not indicated is for people with a history of pulmonary embolism or for someone with an active deep vein thrombosis.
Foot Reflexology has many benefits. Some of the most common are:
Many of these are directly related to the improvement in circulation and detoxification Foot Reflexology provides.
Foot Reflexology and Detox
So how are the feet connected to detoxification? Physically speaking, the feet (and the hands alike) represent the end of the circulatory loop, the hairpin curve in the road from the heart out to the lower extremities and back again. Like a hairpin curve on a long beautiful drive, you have to go single file and a little slow to make around the bend safely - it can become a traffic jam - and if the road gets jammed up there due to debris, an accident or slow traffic, everything has to wait and slow down behind it or take an alternate route home. The alternate route (your lymphatic system!) can be hard to find and indirect - not nearly as efficient as the main road - AND you can get stuck or lost.
As a driver on the circulatory system highway, is in your best interest, therefore, to stay on the road. This means that the more the road at these hairpin turns is clear and smooth, the more successful your trip will be.
This is part of what Foot Reflexology does to improve your detoxification pathway. Heavier particulates such as calcium and uric acid can actually settle out of the blood stream and deposit in the feet making little crunchy bumps. You may not feel them when you walk, but if you get a foot massage or pedicure, you will feel these little crunchy things in various parts of the foot - especially around the arch. Foot reflexology actually breaks up these deposits, which then get picked up by the lymphatic system (part of the circulatory highway) and then removed by the Liver and Kidneys as part of natural detoxification. Debris in the road, cleared!
Furthermore, Foot Reflexology manually squeezes the muscles in the feet providing myofascial release which relaxes them improving circulation, and causes expansion and contraction of the tissues assisting the muscles in moving blood and lymph along further encouraging smooth blood flow. Clear path and flowing traffic? You betcha!
Lastly, Foot Reflexology works energetically to improve your overall Qi circulation. In Chinese Medicine pain in particular is considered to be a blockage in the local area coupled with underlying constitutional factors. Foot Reflexology is a powerful Qi and Blood moving treatment to reduce pain because the channels in the feet include the Liver, the Kidneys, the Spleen, Stomach, Bladder and Gall Bladder - all essential organs in digestion, Qi generation and detoxification. Combine that with the power of the Reflex Zones on the feet to energetically treat the whole body and you have an extremely strong method for supporting overall health and vitality.
In Short - Everyone Needs a Little Love for their Feet
I truly believe that foot reflexology is one of the best simple non-needle methods for improving overall health. That’s why I include it in almost all my Acupuncture sessions because it is such a powerful tool. If you haven’t considered adding some foot reflexology into your regular health regime I highly recommend it - we’re all encountering toxins all the time and the better you body can handle them, the better you will feel.
Until next time,
Keywords: Foot Reflexology, Benefits of Foot Reflexology, Foot Reflexology and Detox, #Detox, #FootReflexology, #Reflexology
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Foot Reflexology has actually been documented in the west since 1890, when Sir Henry Head promoted foot reflexology in London, and made it to the United States with Dr. William Fitzgerald in the 1920’s under the guise of something called “zone therapy.” In India and China however, it is widely believed that foot reflexology has been practiced for over 5,000 years as a form of improving and maintaining health through massaging specific reflex zones on the feet. But why does foot reflexology work? What is foot reflexology really?
Why Does Foot Reflexology Work?
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, Foot Reflexology works on 4 different principles. These are Blood Circulation, Nerve and Humoral Regulation, Channels and Collaterals (i.e. energetic Meridian theory), and the Microcosm or map of the body on the feet. The theory behind these principles is as follows:
• Blood Circulation - foot reflexology increases blood circulation by breaking up deposits of toxins, such as uric acid, that accumulate due to gravity in the feet. Removing toxins and obstructions improves blood circulation.
• Nerve and Humoral Regulation - small bubbles, granules and nodules often appear in the feet over reflex zones where organs are not functioning optimally. Stimulating these areas of the feet creates a corresponding nerve and humoral response which regulates Qi and Blood in the affected organ.
• Channels and Collaterals - foot reflexology opens the 6 Leg Channels (Spleen, Liver, Kidney, Stomach, Bladder, Gallbladder) to improve Qi flow and improve health.
• Microcosm - the foot is a microcosm of the body where the reflex foot map corresponds to different body areas. By treating the different areas on the feet, you affect the body as a whole.
What Is Foot Reflexology Like?
Everyone’s experience of foot reflexology is different, but most people find it very relaxing. Regardless of what principle you are focusing on above, the reality is that foot reflexology involves foot massage on specific areas of the foot and at different depths and levels towards creating systemic change.
Yes - foot massage. The difference between basic foot massage and foot reflexology from an experiential point of view, is the focus on specific areas instead of a general foot massage covering the entire foot equally.
Certainly foot reflexology will still cover the whole foot, but there will be specific emphasis and depth changes in different areas based on your chief complaint. In some areas foot reflexology might feel light and gentle while in other areas it can feel deep and sensitive.
It is very important to be able to relax for the body energetically to receive treatment, however, so if you ever feel like the pressure is too deep during treatment you should always tell your practitioner. Curious why some areas feel more tender than others? Ask! The answer might be quite interesting.
Questions? Ask Rebecca!
When most people think of foot reflexology, they think “relaxing foot massage.” This is absolutely true, but foot reflexology goes quite a bit beyond relaxation and can actually affect change throughout the entire body. In particular, I find in practice that Foot Reflexoloy is especially effective for:
While Acupuncture is my primary treatment method of choice, over the years I have had a number of patients who wanted help with their symptoms but were uncomfortable with needles and therefore came for reflexology treatment alone. The disorders listed above are the ones I have found the most success with when using foot reflexology as a solo method of treatment.
My experience has shown me that foot reflexology can heal some of these issues, though when using foot reflexology alone a series of treatments is required for success. I generally recommend for reflexology only treatment, that you should begin with weekly sessions for 6 weeks. To treat PMS with foot reflexology alone can require 8-12 weeks since women only cycle once per month - we have to work regularly through several menstrual cycles to ensure that we are really affecting change through the entire hormonal cascade.
As a Licensed Acupuncturist I incorporate foot reflexology into all of my face-up Acupuncture sessions. It is so effective, I feel like it doubles the efficacy of my acupuncture treatments for the disorders listed above, as it can quickly add a powerful 2nd layer of healing to each Acupuncture session.
Benefits of Foot Reflexology - Tried and Tested
Foot Reflexology is deeply relaxing and has many benefits. A typical session varies from practitioner and practitioner, but at All Ways Well each session includes quiet relaxation on a massage table, a steam towel wrap to relax and warm the feet, focused foot reflexology on all surfaces of the feet - bottom, heel, top, sides, even the toes - as each of these areas have different reflex zones to treat, as well as a lower leg massage both to relax the muscles and fascia which are essential to foot function, and to stimulate the energetic channels that affect the feet.
The benefits of foot reflexology include:
Furthermore, research has shown specific benefits when foot reflexology is used to treat PMS. When treated once a week for 8 weeks, the women who participated in the Oleson and Flocco study in 1993 and received actual reflexology instead of placebo demonstrated significantly greater decrease in PMS symptoms, both somatic (physical) and psychological, and in some cases the results lasted for two months thereafter.
According to Chinese foot reflexology theory, which is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, foot reflexology works on several levels. It increases Blood Circulation, it stimulates Nerve and Humoral (lymph, endocrine) Regulation, it energetically balances Qi through the channels of the feet, and it is a microcosm of the body meaning that different applications of pressure in different organ and tissue zones can affect varying degrees of change in those body organs and tissues.
A trained foot reflexology practitioner will be able to use specific depths and durations of pressure in different reflex zones to affect specific change in the body.
In my ideal world, all of my patients would receive a combination of Acupuncture and Foot Reflexology or focused bodywork to heal most effectively. For those who are not comfortable with Acupuncture (yet?…) Foot Reflexology is an incredibly effective method for healing the body using physical and energetic techniques rooted in the same ancient history as Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Questions? Contact Rebecca via email anytime, or book a free 15 minute consultation anytime! You can also post in the comments section and I’ll do my best to address your concerns.
Until next time,
#foot reflexology #benefits of foot reflexology #what foot reflexology can heal
When most people hear the term “foot reflexology” they think “foot massage” which is certainly accurate, but the term “reflexology” means so much more. Foot Reflexology takes a simple foot massage to the next level by using ancient theory to treat the whole body through the feet.
I incorporate a little foot reflexology into almost all of my Acupuncture sessions because it is so effective and such an easy way to improve overall treatment results. If you want to know more about what happens in a foot reflexology session and how foot reflexology works, read on!
What Is Foot Reflexology Like?
Foot Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are “reflex zones” in the feet which correspond to every part of the body. By applying pressure to these particular foot reflexology zones, you can relax tension, improve circulation and promote the natural function of the related area in the body.
Foot Reflexology is a very relaxing therapeutic experience. After a brief intake to assess symptoms and determine areas of concern, the practitioner will treat you through the feet. They will feel your feet for areas of tension, for small bubbles, granules and blockages, and will massage these noticeably affected areas as well as other specific reflex zones specific to your symptoms, to effect change.
Pressure can be anywhere from mild to deep depending on the area being treated and your comfort. The heels, top and bottom of the feet and toes are all part of a Foot Reflexology treatment. The ankles and lower legs are also massaged to help improve circulation and remove toxins.
Chinese foot reflexology specifically is based on four basic theories:
The exact history of foot reflexology has been lost to antiquity, but it is theorized that foot reflexology goes back over 5,000 years in China, Egypt and India. We do know that researched performed by Sir Henry Head in 1890 promoted foot reflexology in London, and that a U.S. doctor named William Fitzgerald incorporated foot reflexology into something he called “zone therapy” in the 1920’s. “Zone Therapy” involved dividing the body into 5 sections all of which were represented on and treated through the feet.
Want to more? Book a reflexology session online or come in for a free consultation anytime. I promise if you come for a full 60 minute foot reflexology session, you will walk out feeling like you have a new pair of feet!
Until next time,
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.