Reflexology applies pressure to the feet, hands and head with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques. It is a natural healing art, utilizing zones and reflex points. It can improve circulation, promote relaxation, and provide relief from migraines, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, sinus problems, stress, and other disorders.
Chinese reflexology is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which utilizes energy zones on the hands and feet to energize the body system and provide relief for a variety of illnesses. Chinese reflexology is commonly referred as foot massage by most of the Chinese people.
Chinese reflexology works on the principle that vital energy is channeled along various lines throughout the body, called zones. It was discovered that Chi, or life energy, circulates in the body along the zones. There are 12 bi-lateral zones and each one of is connected and related to a specific organ.
Due to the connection and relation of these zones with a specific organ, they have a partner organ that consists of a yin and yang. The body is regulated by yin organs, which are dense, blood filled types of tissue. Yang organs are the hollow organs that are involved in absorption and discharge from the body. There is a constant interaction between these two forces. But if the balance between the organs is interrupted, the flow of Chi throughout the body will be affected, resulting in illness.
Due to the illness, chi or vital energy pathways in the body are blocked, thereby preventing the body from functioning normally. Chinese reflexology helps to unblock these pathways by eliminating the toxins from the body and improving circulation. This restores the balance between yin and yang forces, which in turn encourages healing and strengthens the body.
Since each spot on the sole of the foot corresponds to an internal organ, Chinese reflexology will concentrates mainly on the foot. The theory of Chinese reflexology assumes that an ailment of an internal organ is associated with the nerve ending on the sole of the foot.
Chinese Reflexology involves applying firm pressure in sweeping movements on the various points of the feet with stimulating foot cream. Before the massage, the patient's feet are kept warm by soaking them for about ten minutes in a footbath, which is a solution of hot water and Chinese herbs. The patient is also given warm fluids such as green tea throughout the massage session. This is done to improve circulation. The reflexologist then moisturizes the foot by using cream or medicated ointment. The cream also helps to provide lubrication.
The therapist usually uses the knuckles on his hand since it provides a hard and smooth implement for the massage. As soon as the pressure is applied to the sole, if the patient doesn't feel any strong pain then he is perfectly healthy as per the theory of Chinese reflexology. The reflexologists believe that the painful spots reflect illnesses of other parts of the body. So they rub and massage the painful spots to break down rough spots and accumulated crystals and increase circulation. The illnesses are cured when the sore spots of the sole are treated and removed by massage.