Massage Therapy — What Is Reflexology?

There are a range of massage therapy schools in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Most offer a wide range of training and courses to meet all requirements of the massage therapist. Many of these offer Reflexology as part of a standard training program. What exactly is Reflexology? It is an alternative therapy approach that focuses on energy flow to help relieve the tension and stress found in the body.

It’s not surprising that the prevalence of Reflexology has spread rapidly across the country. The techniques for reflexology are extremely different from traditional massage, yet include it as part of an optional course for any of the accredited massage and shiatsu degree programs in Minneapolis massage therapy school. Since it is such a popular modality, many massage therapists have chosen to include Reflexology as one of their massage specialties. As a result, massage therapists can benefit by incorporating Reflexology as another modality to their clinic. Moreover, students pursuing a professional massage therapy degree or continuing their education can learn Reflexology in their school and then add it to their program.

The benefits of Reflexology come from the specific regions of the body where reflex points are located. When applied correctly, it is going to target these reflex areas in the hands and feet to help promote healing through increased blood flow and decreased tension. This same targeted application will also improve muscle strength in the shoulders and back. However, as with massage, there are not specific areas of the body that are targeted for reflexology. Instead, it is believed that the hands and feet are the ideal place for applying pressure for maximum benefits.

Perhaps the most popular area where Reflexology is practiced is over the shoulders and neck. Massage techniques concentrate mainly on those regions since they are believed to harbor a great deal of energy that can be exploited for therapeutic benefits. As a result of this, applying pressure points like those in the neck and shoulders is a good way to both relax the body and create extra energy for healing. While massage therapy focuses primarily on stress points on the body, Reflexology applies its treatment methods to the specific areas where pressure points are located.

Another area where Reflexology may be applied is over the ears. This is not surprising given the proximity to the neck and head. The ear is also connected to the brain which gives the ears their sensory organ, thus providing a possible source of sensory input. Because the ear contains sensitive nerve endings, the application of massage to the ears provides a calming effect in addition to the potential benefits of stimulating the nervous system that aids in the healing process. This is the reason why ear reflexology has been viewed as an effective modality in the treatment of chronic conditions like depression, stress and pain.

One of the crucial ways in which Reflexology might be used is through the use of pressure points on the whole body. Pressure points refer to targeted areas on the body that allow for greater blood circulation, thus allowing for increased overall wellness. For example, there is a particular pressure point referred to as the acupoints located near the wrist. By applying pressure on these acupoints, the reflex points found in the wrist begin to transfer blood flow to the entire body, including the skin. By increasing blood flow, the entire body can increase its immune system and operate more effectively to fight infection and heal itself.

As previously mentioned, Reflexology uses its own finger pressure points to stimulate the nerves in the body. It is this connection to the nervous system that makes Reflexology therapeutic in many cases. However, as interesting as that may sound, the primary reason that massage therapy is often regarded as capable of relieving pain and the treatment of an assortment of conditions is because of its ability to change the state of one’s energy system. According to traditional reflexology, the body is made from the five basic meridians that run parallel to one another. By working each meridian with unique methods, the energy system of the person can be changed.

Massage allows for the easy transfer of energy across the meridians and to the various parts of the body. If done properly, it can stimulate the appropriate circulation in the body, allowing for organs to receive the proper nutrients they need. Besides potential benefits like improved circulation, there are also verified reflexology methods which can help decrease pain and reduce the healing time following an injury or operation. Therefore, whatever you originally had in mind when you chose to go to the spa, it may be worth it to consider Reflexology.

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