Format of presentation Introduction Slides Presentation Questions & Answers Demo/Workshop 28 th June 2014
What is Reflexology Reflexology is a holistic healing method which involves applying gentle pressure to the reflex points in order to bring about a state of deep relaxation and stimulate the body’s own healing processes. The reflex points are found on the soles of the feet and palms of hands. Treating the reflexes enables energy pathways to be cleared, restoring the energy flow and healing any damage.
History of Reflexology The origin of reflexology, or Zone Therapy, as it is sometimes called, still remains a mystery. Dr William Fitzgerald has commented that ‘a form of treatment by means of pressure points was known in India and China some 5,000 years ago’. There is some evidence to suggest that Egyptian physicians used this treatment dating back to 2,330 BC. This stems from an Egyptian tomb drawing depicting four people: one person is being treated with foot massage and a second with hand massage.
During the sixteenth century, several books on Zone Therapy were published in Europe. One of this was written by Dr Adamus. Shortly after this, a similar book was published by Dr Ball in Leipzig. The American President, James Abraham Garfield (1831-1881), who was a victim of an assassination attempt, is said to have alleviated the resulting pain by applying pressure to certain points on his feet. Cellini (1500-1571), the great Florentine sculptor, is reported to have used strong pressure on his fingers and toes in order to relieve pain in his body with apparent success. What is certain is that this therapy was being used as far as 1500 AD. History of Reflexology
The credit for initiating Reflexology as it is today, is given to Dr William Fitzgerald. While working in Vienna, he studied the work of Dr H. Bressler, who had researched the link between pressure points on the feet and the internal organs of the body and published a book titled Zone Therapy. History of Reflexology Eunice Ingham, assistant of Dr Joseph Shelby Riles (who had learnt Zone Therapy from Dr Fitzgerald) co-related the anatomical structures of the body with the energy zones located on the feet, and found that the feet provided a mirror image of the entire body. In 1960, one of Eunice Ingham’s students, Doreen Bayly, introduced Reflexology to Great Britain.
Subtle energy system Subtle energy called Prana by Hindus, Chi by Chinese, Ki by the Japanese etc. flows throughout our system via a network of fixed pathways called nadis. These nadis intersect with others at various focal points to form plexuses which are called chakras. Being subtle they are not readily discernable for scientific investigation, and thus are rejected by Western medicine. However, the nadi system is the essence of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Various Upanishads mention the nadis – the Varaha Upanishad, Brahma Vidya Upanishad, Brhadaranyaka Upanishad to name a few. Most of the scriptures mention 72,000 nadis while the Shiva Samhita mentions 350,000 nadis. Whilst we may not be familiar with the concept of nadis, a lot of people are familiar with the three main nadis called Sushumna, Ida and Pingala and most people are also familiar with the seven main chakras – Muladhara, Svadishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vissudha, Ajna and Sahasrara. It is believed that these nadis flow nearer the surface of the body at two points – the soles and the palms. Many Reflexologists (particularly those trained in the East) believe that they manage the flow of subtle energy of various organs in the body by treating the appropriate ‘reflex point’ on the soles or the palms.
Benefits of Reflexology The three major benefits of Reflexology are: reduces stress and induces deep relaxation improves blood circulation helps to achieve homeostasis Other benefits are: Pain relief Improved elimination Improved immune system
Pressure-point techniques There are five basic pressure point techniques Finger-walking This technique is similar to thumb-walking but employs one or more fingers Thumb-walking This technique is used on the majority of reflexes with the exception of very small points. Pivoting This technique is used on small reflex points. The thumb is rotated slowly over the reflex. Sliding This technique is performed by sliding the thumb over an area whilst maintaining a gentle pressure Pinching This technique is used to treat lymph drainage.
Pressure-point techniques Sliding - Spinal Reflex Thumb walking – reflexes for the back of the head Finger walking – face reflex Pivoting – vocal cord reflex Pinching - reflex of lymph node of the right armpit
Massage techniques There are five basic massage techniques Wringing Helps to smooth out the feet by stretching the muscles. Kneading Relaxes the person and stimulates body energy. Finger circling Relaxing a very tense point. Stroking A very soothing movement used for removing tension. Stretching Removes tension by stretching all muscles.