Reflexology is a therapy based on applying pressure to specific areas of the body. It arouses extreme emotions – some people find it very effective in the fight against many diseases, while others consider it worthless in medical terms
Reflexology: the origins of zonk therapy
Reflexology is otherwise known as zonular therapy. It is based on the belief that individual organs and body parts are connected to larger areas of the human body. It is believed that pressure applied to specific areas (reflexes) of the hands, feet, and face can help identify the patient’s condition and lead to an improvement in health
Scientific opinions on reflexology
Reflexology is considered a pseudoscience in the medical world. Patients who use its methods, on the other hand, consider it one of the options of alternative medicine. Its origins were sought in the ancient world. Discovered paintings showing the process of pressing the feet and hands of patients were to be evidence of the use of zonular therapy already hundreds of years before Christ. The current form of reflexology was popularized at the beginning of the 20th century by Eunice Ingham – an American physiotherapist who is the author of the first book (1938 “Stories of the Feet”) on the subject and the founder of a school educating reflexologists. Importantly, there are no credible studies to prove the effectiveness of zona therapy
Reflexology: principles of action
According to reflexology, the human body is divided into 5 pairs of zones (zonu). They run from the head to the feet and hands. The areas on the feet are connected by nerves. Areas on the feet put together form a map of the human anatomy, in which
- the toes correspond to the head and neck,
- the metatarsals correspond to the lungs, stomach and liver, among others.
By applying pressure to the corresponding areas, the flow of energy is stimulated. This, in turn, causes the activation of self-healing mechanisms affecting the organs located in a specific zone
Zone therapy is considered a holistic therapy. It is based on the belief that the human body is reflected in its individual parts – each organ works together to support the well-being of the whole body. Reflexologists therefore point out that it is particularly troublesome for the body to have an accumulation of toxins in one area of the body, which leads to a strain on the whole system and the need for other parts to work hard to balance the energy
Their task, in such a case, is to cleanse the energy channels by applying pressure to specific areas on the patient’s feet, which allows the body to restore a state of natural balance.
Who should benefit from reflexology?
Reflexology consists in massaging specific areas of the human body. It is not a well-known fact that massage has healing, relaxing and restorative properties. Therefore, with full responsibility a visit to the reflexologist can be recommended to people who are struggling with
- back pain in the cervical section,
- headaches, migraines and sinus diseases,
- disorders of the digestive system.
There are also diseases for which the use of zona therapy is not recommended. These include varicose veins, osteoporosis, infectious diseases, ringworm and diabetes.
When going to a reflexologist, one should first confirm his/her professional qualifications. In our country reflexologist is on the list of professions (it got there in 2005), so in order to conduct activity he should have a professional diploma. It is a guarantee that he has a complete knowledge of human anatomy necessary to perform a therapeutic massage. It is worth remembering that reflexologist is not a doctor – he can tell us what the problem is, but he can not make a reliable diagnosis
Reflexology: criticism from the medical community
As mentioned above, there is no scientific evidence of the effectiveness of reflexology. Medics consider it particularly harmful in the case of patients with serious diseases, on whom reflexology massages act like a placebo – they do not improve their condition, give them a false sense of action, while their condition only worsens due to the lack of adequate treatment
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