WHAT IS THAI MASSAGE?
Don’t feel like getting a full body massage but still want to feel as relaxed as if you did? Then Reflexology might just be the thing for you. Reflexology, or Zone Therapy, involves the targeted application of varying amounts of pressure to specific areas of the hands and feet called “reflex zones”. These “reflex zones” are said to be connected by energy channels to certain body parts and even organs of the body. Because of this, working on these “reflex zones” is said to ease pain and discomfort felt on those corresponding organs and body parts and induce healing.
How is a Reflexology treatment different from a foot massage?
While both are relaxing and bear a lot of other similarities, Reflexology is not the same as a foot massage. A foot massage works on the soft tissues of the foot to relieve pain and discomfort, improve circulation, and speed up the healing of injuries. This can be done by professional or amateur massage therapists.
Reflexology targets specific pressure points, or “reflex zones” of the foot to induce healing in other parts of the body that are connected to these pressure points. Aside from healing, it also aims to improve the free flow of body energy. There are also reflex zones in the hands and ears, which is why Reflexology is not only done on the feet, although that is the main focus. If you want to truly reap the benefits of a reflexology treatment, you have to look for a reflexologist who is specially trained for this.
What should I expect from a Reflexology treatment?
Reflexology treatments usually last 30 to 60 minutes. The reflexologist will begin by asking you about your medical history and your lifestyle. The information you share with your reflexologist will help them determine which areas to focus on. Depending on whatever health issues or conditions you may have, your reflexologist may work on just your feet, your hands, your ears, or all of those.
Since this will not include full bodywork, you don’t have to undress for a reflexology treatment. All you need to remove are your footwear. Depending on your reflexologist or where you booked your appointment, you may be asked to sit on a special chair or on a massage table.
Your reflexologist may also use aromatherapy oils or lotion as lubricants as well as tools like balls and brushes.
How does Reflexology work?
As mentioned earlier, the main focus of reflexology is the reflex zones found in the feet, hands, and ears. Here are some examples of the body parts that reflex zones are connected to:
- The tips of the toes and fingers and the ear lobes are connected to the head area
- The ball of the foot is connected to the chest area
- The arch of the foot and the palms of the hand is connected to the abdominal area
- The heel of the foot is connected to the pelvic area
- The upper part of the ear is connected to the arms, hands, legs and feet
This is why it’s important to communicate with your reflexologist. This is so they can target the right pressure points. If you often suffer from headaches, they will target the pressure points in the tips of your toes, fingers, and ear lobes. If you have a heart condition, they will work on the ball of your foot. If you have indigestion or have kidney problems, they will focus on the arch of your foot or the palm of your hand. If you have lower back pain, they will target the heel of your foot. If you experience any discomfort or pain in your legs or arms, the will work on the upper part of your ears. Some of the techniques used on these body parts include kneading, stretching, pulling, and pushing.
What are the benefits of Reflexology?
Aside from improving the flow of energy throughout the body, many studies have shown the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits of a reflexology treatment.
Because it induces healing in certain body parts and organs, the benefits of reflexology include easing pain and discomfort caused by:
- Headaches, migraine and sinusitis
- Neck and shoulder pains
- Chest pains
- Constipation and heartburn
- Kidney, liver and pancreas problems
- Bladder issues
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and hormonal imbalance
- Hip and back pains
- Arm and leg muscle tension
It can also help with easing insomnia, boosting the immune system, improving blood flow, and eliminating the body of harmful toxins.
When should I not get a Reflexology treatment?
While reflexology is a safe healing practice, consult your doctor first if getting a reflexology treatment will not cause complications or aggravate existing health conditions. Other times when it would not be a good idea to get a reflexology treatment include having or being:
- foot ulcers, infections or any open wounds on the foot
- foot fractures or gout
- recent or fresh foot or hand injuries
- major cardiovascular and circulatory conditions
Keep in mind that while reflexology promotes healing in the body, getting a reflexology treatment should not take the place of medical procedures, surgeries, and intake that your doctor has advised you to undergo or take.
Any extra tips before I get a Reflexology treatment?
- Arrive early for your appointment as you might be asked to fill out health forms before that start of the reflexology treatment.
- Wait at least one hour after the massage before eating.
- Drink water after the treatment to aid in the cleansing of toxins from the body.
Looking to get a reflexology massage near you?
Interested in experiencing reflexology? Book an appointment with a registered reflexologist near you! We have hundreds of registered massage therapists in Toronto ready to give you an amazing reflexology treatment.