Around the world and throughout history, reflexology has been rediscovered time and time again. Archeological evidence points to ancient reflexology medical practices in Egypt (2330 BCE), China (2704 BCE) and Japan (690 CE).
In the West, the concept of reflexology began to emerge in the 19th century with European and Russian research.
Reflexology or zone therapy is a holistic treatment based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet, hands, and ears that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. The simple explenation is that pressure is applied to these areas and points and stimulates the movement of energy along the nerve channels, and helps to restore homeostasis (balance) in the whole body.
The benefits of zone therapy are many..
Creates relaxation: From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation begins as shown in research using EEG brain activity. All together, 24 studies demonstrate reflexology’s relaxation effects.
Reduces pain: Pain reduction following reflexology work is documented in 27 studies including research showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states
Ameliorates health concerns: Research shows that reflexology work helps indiviuals of all ages with some 78 health concerns ranging from aggressive behavior Êin children to urinary concerns of the elderly.
Improves blood flow: Separate studies show that reflexology work increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines.
Aids post-operative recovery: Reflexology work aids recovery after surgery as shown by several studies, reducing pain and lessening the use of post operative analgesics.
Impact on physiological measures (e. g. blood pressure and cholesterol; measurements by ECG, EEG, and fMRI)
Enhances medical care: Reflexology helps where nothing else can for many: phantom limb pain sufferers, neuropathy patients, and hemodialysis patients to name a few.
Benefits mental health: Research demonstrates that reflexology can reduce depression (11 studies) and anxiety (9 studies).
Complements cancer care: Pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or anxiety eased for chemotherapy patients following reflexology work as shown by16 studies fom 7 countries.
Eases pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects: Women who received reflexology experienced shorter labor times and used less analgesia. In addition, reflexology showed a positive impact on postpartum depression, anxiety, urination and bowel movements.