Can a foot rub help overall health? In this week’s Wellness report, Jill Urban takes a look at reflexology, the ancient treatment designed to soothe the body and soul.
It may look like a simple foot rub, but reflexology is much more. The ancient holistic treatment targets pressure points that can soothe and heal your body and soul.
“There are reflex points in your hands and feet and they correspond to every part of your body, so by applying pressure to these points it sends the message through the body to the corresponding organ or glad or area of the body or system within to relax,” said Chantel C. Lucier, a certified reflexologist and manager of Angel Feet Reflexology in Manhattan.
Lucier says imagine reflexology as an internal massage, while a regular massage deals with the fascia and muscles, reflexology deals with internal structures like organs and glands. It’s all based on a chart or map that associates spots on the hands and feet to specific internal systems
“You can imagine the entire body is just reflected on the hands and feet, so if you were to hold your hands or feet together where the liver is or the spleen or the adrenal glands are exactly in proportion in the hands and feet,” she said.
So by applying pressure using a specific finger walking technique, a technical triggers a reflexology point to send a message to the targeted area. She says this practice increases circulation and blood flow and ultimately reduces stress.
“When you feel a reflexologist applying pressure to your hands or feet they are going towards this kind of gathering of nerve fibers that change in the tissue texture and break it up so it can send that message back to that corresponding area to relax,” Lucier said.
Now the nice thing about reflexology is that while it is available at a salon or spa it’s also the kind of thing that can be done at home.
“You can absolutely do it at home,” Lucier said. “I would say just for example that an easy thing to do for yourself if you’re feeling stressed, is the adrenal gland reflex is right here on both hands and you can just press here with that index finger and hold it.”
For anyone looking to feel good from head to toe, they may want to put their feet in good hands and give reflexology a try.