By Patricia Danflous
“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
When Abraham Lincoln spoke those words more than a century ago, he wasn’t thinking about reflexology.Though his reference to feet was metaphorical, he was acknowledging the importance of attaining life’s spiritual, mental and physical balance. And long before Lincoln, the Egyptians and ancient Chinese healers were using feet as road maps to align, adjust and heal body and soul.
According to Licensed Massage Therapist Celia Doss, reflexology originated over 5000 years ago and can be traced back to many countries including, India, China, Egypt and Japan.
“Over centuries, knowledge of this art form spread, and reflexology was used around the world to ease aches and pains,” she says. “One of the earliest depictions of reflexology is an Egyptian tomb dating back to 2500 B.C. It features a physician performing foot reflexology for pain relief.”
Today, in parts of Europe and China, reflexology is an accepted form of medical treatment that offers health benefits ranging from relief from headaches to diabetes mellitus. “In the United States, however, reflexologists can only legally provide clients with stress reduction through relaxation and improved circulation,” Doss emphasizes.
An experienced massage therapist who utilizes foot reflexology for appropriate patients, Doss notes that the process is based on the theory that the body has reflex points located on the feet and, through applied pressure, energy blocks can be released in corresponding zones to rebalance
the entire body.
“Sensitivity in a specific zone or reflex point indicates something manifesting in a corresponding organ
or body part,” she adds. “Direct pressure will affect the entire zone by directing life force along its natural pathways, untangling energy knots caused by physical or emotional stress. Another theory suggests that by pressing on the feet, toxins and impurities are released
by increasing local circulation.”
The feet are the most distal region of the body. Venous and lymphatic circulation may not be adequate to push these wastes back to the heart. Reflexology can act to release and
return these wastes back into circulation.
Reflexology is safe for most people, but it is always important to utilize services provided by a licensed reflexologist and/or massage therapist.