REFLEXOLOGY AS ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE Reflexology Foot Charts: Reflexology is the ancient art and science of massaging the feet and / or hands using a technique designed to address a system of pressure points. The idea is that specific areas of the foot or hand correspond to each part of the body, which are “mapped out” onto the hand or foot as in the charts. The theory is that by massaging the part of the hand or foot in the right way, you can provide healing benefits to the part of the body that it “represents”. Reflexology has been practiced in the Orient for centuries and is now popular in the West – although orthodox medicine considers it to be pseudoscience and gives it no credit. Despite this, reflexology remains a very popular and enjoyable treatment for many… and one is tempted to suggest: “Why would people continue to spend their hard earned cash on it if it were giving them no benefits whatsoever?” Although modern medicine steadfastly refuses to accept reflexology, we can also say one thing for certain: There appears to be no documentation suggesting any negative effects for reflexology – in other words, what’s the harm in trying it? Massage of all kinds is widely agreed to be highly beneficial and many will attest to its positive health effects.
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Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. Reflexology is generally relaxing and may be an effective way to alleviate stress.
The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Proponents believe that pressure applied to these areas affects the organs and benefits the person's health.
Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Sometimes these practitioners use items, such as rubber balls, rubber bands and sticks of wood, to assist in their work. Practitioners of reflexology include chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists, among others.
Several studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Studies also show that reflexology may have benefits in palliative care of people with cancer.
Reflexologists claim that reflexology also can treat a wide variety of medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and cancer. However, scientific evidence is lacking to support these claims.
Reflexology is generally considered safe, although very vigorous pressure may cause discomfort for some people. more