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Vitae Vi's Wim Hof Method Workshop Set-Up at the WOW Clinic in Westbourne

An introduction to Foot Reflexology

Welcome to my short blog that will hopefully give you the beginnings of an understanding of Reflexology treatment. I will be posting more about reflexology, so keep checking in! 



Karyn in Vitae Vi's Treatment Room during a Reflexology treatment session based in Emsworth, West Sussex.
Karyn in Vitae Vi's Treatment Room during a Reflexology treatment


The History of Reflexology 


Many people believe the roots of reflexology originated in China some 5000 years ago, although no absolute proof of this has been found.  Egyptian and Babylonian cultures, developed way before Chinese culture, have unearthed documentation showing the practice of reflexology. A pictograph dated around 2500-2330 BC was found in the tomb of Ankmahor and according to evidence, Ankmahor was a very influential person, second only to the King. 


Another theory claims that a form of reflexology was passed down to the American Indians from the Incas, although, again, no absolute proof has been found. Native American Indians have used reflex pressure on the feet for generations and for centuries the Cherokee Indians of North Carolina have acknowledged the importance of feet in maintaining physical, mental and spiritual balance. 


"Our feet are our contact with the earth and the energies that flow through it..." - Jenny Wallace, Cherokee Tribe

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So, what is Foot Reflexology?

 

Reflexology is a therapeutic practice that involves applying pressure techniques that stimulate points on feet and ankles to bring about a response in other parts of the body. These points, known as reflex points on the feet, correspond with organs, glands, systems and other and parts of the body and are ‘mapped out’ across the whole foot and ankle. 


It is a holistic therapy which treats the body as a whole, with an aim to reach homeostasis through balancing the body and all its systems, of which there are many. In simple terms, homeostasis is the ability of the body to maintain a stable internal environment despite changes in external conditions. An example of homeostasis is the adaptation that occurs when living at high altitude. 


Homeostasis is a dynamic process which can change internal conditions as required. 

By working over the 7000+ nerve endings in the feet in a systematic way reflexology aims to release any blocked energy pathways allowing that energy to flow freely, aiming to restore balance back to the body.  


What are the main benefits of reflexology? 


  • Reflexology induces a state of deep relaxation, which as treatments continue over time becomes deeper and more established. Many people find they experience a better quality of sleep after reflexology. 

  • By encouraging relaxation, the body is better able to achieve mental clarity and an improved level of focus

  • Reduces anxiety and encourages a longer lasting sense of calm. Reflexology can have a calming effect on the nervous system, triggering our parasympathetic response which encourages our body into a state of rest and digest.  

  • Reflexology, stimulates blood and lymphatic fluid supply to nourish cells and eliminate waste. I like to call this the ‘nourish & cleanse’ effect 

  • Increased oxygen levels within the blood stream and delivery to tissues and organs as the circulation is stimulated and improved  

  • Reflexology, stimulates the nerve supply and the flow of nerve energy in the body by reducing blockages, enhancing energy and the vitality or Life Force within us 

  • Aids the body to heal itself by balancing all the bodies natural systems and processes 


While reflexology is often used as a form of relaxation and stress/anxiety relief, it can also help with various health conditions, such as headaches, digestive issues, long-covid, menopause and hormonal imbalances, to name a few.  


Emotional issues such as grief often respond really well to reflexology and studies have shown that human to human touch is necessary to health and wellbeing. 


Many people choose regular reflexology as a balancing and relaxation  treatment, without having any specific underlying conditions and find it a truly beautiful experience.


Although there is not a great deal of scientific evidence around reflexology, it is the chosen treatment of choice for millions of people around the world over thousands of years and is well regarded within a large proportion of the medical profession. The NHS are in the main very supportive of reflexology in the UK and although there isn’t much funding available, it is offered in a few hospitals and hospices across the country. 


Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you are interested in having a treatment or would like any further information, or want to understand whether reflexology might be able to help you, I would love to hear from you.

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Vitae Vi's Wim Hof Method class at the WOW Clinic in Westbourne

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