What Are the Benefits of Reflexology?
Though modern studies have failed to prove conclusively that reflexology can actually cure ailments, the limited studies available do show reflexology to have many health benefits. According to a report presented in the 1996 China Reflexology Symposium Report of the Chinese Reflexology Association, foot reflexology had provided significant relief in nearly 50% of the case study participants for various ailments ranging from vertigo to constipation.
How Does Reflexology Work?
Reflexology is that branch of alternative medicine that advocates the use of massage techniques which, when applied to the pressure points found on one's feet, hands and ears, stimulates general wellness and, in some cases, stimulates and promotes specific healings. By applying the techniques innate to reflexology, it is believed that healing can be promoted in such bodily systems as blood circulation and supply, and the central nervous system. Another benefit of undergoing a reflexology foot massage is the increase in relaxation that patients feel after a massage session. If they are in pain, a reflex massage will also result in a reduction of the pain, if only temporarily.
What Are the Specific Benefits of Reflexology?
Though most reports of the benefits of reflexology are anecdotal, there are many. Reflexology has been known to relax an expectant mother to such an extent that she has a better time coping with labor pains than mothers who have not undergone the therapy.
Reflexology has also been known to be effective in relieving the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, especially when combined with therapeutic massage and Rolfing into what is known as the 'body work touch therapies.' In this instance, the pressure point massages would work towards reducing the muscle stiffness that is characteristic of the disease. For similar reasons, reflexology massage therapy is also beneficial for conditions like arthritis, digestive disorders as well as sleep disorders.
Studies in applying reflexology to cancer patients have shown that most patients do experience a reduction in both pain and feelings of anxiety during the 3 hour period immediately following a massage but this result is neither long-lasting nor guaranteed.
Pressure point massage does, however, seem to work extremely well for the sufferers of migraine and tension headaches with a significant number of test subjects either being helped or cured by the massages. Some were even able to stop their prescribed medication after six months of massage therapy treatment.
Reflex massages have also shown to be of assistance in curing amenorrhoea (the absence of a menstrual period in reproductive age women), in increasing growth rates in children suffering from cerebral palsy (the younger the child the better the result) and in effectively controlling symptoms of type II diabetes mellitus.
Further diseases and disorders that recent research has shown may be affected positively by reflexology include multiple sclerosis, neurodermatitus, toothache and infantile pneumonia.