Reflexology is a specialized form of foot massage, and involves applying pressure to the soft tissues of soles and top of the foot.
Foot massage can take many forms, but the most widely renowned is an ancient Chinese practice that is performed according to what are called Chi Energy points. Also known as Reflexology, this foot massage technique teaches that various spots on the soles of each foot correspond to various internal organs, and the ending nerve points that correspond to each of these spots on the feet. As anyone who has had a good foot massage knows, it can change more than just your foot. Reflexology can influence your whole body and change your entire energy level.
As human beings, we are much more than the mere sum of our parts. Every part of your body is in some way connected to another. And applying just the right amount of pressure – in just the right way – on any given point will have an effect elsewhere. This is the basis of reflexology, where ancient art form meets science to map the key trigger points or “energy zones” in your body – all through the soles of your feet. By pressing or kneading these areas, you will be affected in your organs, glands, and elsewhere. In this holistic arena, reflexology truly sets itself apart from traditional massage.
But just because one goal of reflexology is to instigate therapy throughout the body via the feet, this doesn’t mean that modern reflexologists aren’t concerned with the feet themselves. Healthy feet promote good posture and overall well-being, and reflexology makes sure your feet are well taken care of.
Reflexology stimulates specific zones in the feet that allow blood to circulate more freely. In doing so the technique mildly improves your lymphatic and nervous systems, increasing your alertness, and opening your pores to release toxins stored in the skin. The ultimate benefit of this is not just alertness, concentration, and relaxation: It helps purify your blood and skin by improving the flow of oxygen in your blood cells to rid the body of impurities.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is not invasive. Rather, it is persuasive: It prompts your lymphatic, nervous, and circulatory systems into total efficiency to deliver better health and sense of well-being.
Your peripheral nervous system is not a full circuit; every nerve begins in the spine and brain stem and ends in the hands or feet. The nerves carry messages from the brain to the body. By stimulating and improving the function of your nerves, you will in effect be improving your reaction times, awareness, and focus. Massaging your hands or feet is the best way to instigate a full nerve re-invigoration.
Your circulatory system is a fascinating and functional system. Primarily it transports nutrients and oxygen to all parts of your body. Your blood is on a consistent loop, moving from your heart to your arteries to your veins, then back up to the heart. And where does the blood transition from the arteries to the veins? That’s right, the hands and feet!
For this reason it is important that your feet are flexible, to improve the circulation of blood. Too much stress acts as a sort of internal tourniquet, tightening your muscles and cramping your circulation. This slows down the flow of blood throughout your body, and diminishes the efficiency of your circulatory system. The Maya clinic now uses the same circulatory enhancement techniques found in our massage chairs to promote enhanced blood flow and to prevent blood clots in post-operative patients.
The lymphatic system cleanses your body and keeps muscles limber and fluid. It also helps maintain your balance. If your body is overly congested or improperly balanced, you will feel a little sluggish. A healthy lymphatic system is a clean lymphatic system. Lymph only flows in one direction: from the hands and feet, to the heart. Reflexology, especially when combined with compression massage, improves your lymphatic functionality, ensuring that your body operates at peak efficiency.
Reflexology and foot massage in massage chairs varies considerably from simple compression to rolling, scraping and pushing. Most chairs will provide compression but only a few the latter. Inada massage chairs provide compression. The Panasonic MA-J10 and Positive Posture Brio will provide compression, rolling, scraping and pushing with the MA-J7 being the strongest.