Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reading the feet - reflexology reveals all

As part of the conversion of my UK massage qualifications to a recognisable Australian qualification, I have to do 30 hours of reflexology studies. I'll be doing this in 10 x 3-hour lectures over the next 4 weeks, and I started the course today at Massage Schools of Queensland.

Our teacher is a veteran in reflexology, having been one of the first people to be licenced to practice and teach reflexology into Australia. She's been doing it since 1984 and clearly knows her stuff. I was hooked after the first 10 minutes of discussion about reflexology.

According to the Reflexology Association of Australia, this modality's governing association in Australia, reflexology is:

"A gentle, holistic therapy based on the principle that certain parts of the body reflect the whole. Reflex points, which relate to all parts of the body, can be found in the feet, hands and ears. A reflexology treatment is a systematic working of these points, stimulating the body's own natural healing process, resulting in better health."

The reflex points are typically depicted in a map like the one below. The highlighted area below shows the area on the foot that represents the liver, for example. Theoretically, if this area is a bit tender or numb while a reflexologist is doing a sequence across your foot, it could indicate a problem with the liver or surrounds.

I had this experience first hand in the class today, as the teacher demonstrated the sequence on me. After a couple of months worth of farewells and reunions (and the associated drinking that seems to have gone with that), this area of my foot was really sensitive! She pointed out this sensitivity before I could even start justifying the cause...! So, lotsa of fruit, vegies and healthy eating for me in the next few weeks.

In any case, it was an eye-opener, and I can't wait to learn more about the various reflex points, and see this stuff in action for myself.

Reflexology has actually been used for thousands of years. Like massage, our forebears recognised the benefits of touch and have been practicing various forms of reflexology for years.

Reflexology is good for you because it:
- reduces stress and tension
- improves circulation
- balances the nervous system
- boosts lymphatic function thereby reducing oedema, reducing toxicity and improving immunity
- stimulates sluggish, congested systems
- reduces pain
- enhances the body's natural healing process, improves sleep, increases energy and vitality

And, just as you can read the feet, you can read the hands in a similar way. Cool huh!

If you are interested in finding a qualified reflexologist in your area, the Reflexology Association has a state-based search. Or ask your massage therapist - they may be able to help out

* The foot map image is the copyright of dorling kindersley books, who seem to have some cool resources for reflexology students or anyone else interested in their feet!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty