The feet never take a day off so it is important that we take care of them. Massage and reflexology are a good way to do that.
Reflexology is a beautiful modality, or treatment, whose aim is not to heal but to bring the body’s energy, or qi, back into balance so that the body may heal itself. The bottoms of the feet, hands, and even the ears are mapped out to correspond with different organs and areas of the body. It is believed that by gently pressing on certain areas, corresponding with the map, one can balance the flow of qi allowing the body to heal itself.
Reflexology is a holistic massage treatment with roots in both ancient and modern traditions. There are records of reflexology-type treatments going back to ancient China and Egypt; but, it is an American treatment. It was first proposed by a nurse named Eunice Ingham in the 1930’s. She was influenced by her employer’s work in Zone Therapy. Eunice originally developed the modern reflexology maps and spent her life lecturing on and promoting it. Her nephew, Dwight Byers, went on to found the International Institute of Reflexology. Today, there are several forms of Reflexology practiced; however, the Ingham Method continues to be the gold standard.
It’s important to note that there isn’t any concrete evidence to support the use of reflexology, but I think that it is an important tool to have in anyone’s massage mojo toolbox if for no other reason than because it is usually deeply relaxing and deep states of relaxation help the body to rebalance.
Because of their similarities, many people confuse Acupressure and Reflexology. They both fall into the category of reflex therapies, but they are very distinct treatments operating on the theory that the body’s vital qi can be stimulated through touch points on the body, unblocking energy and allowing it to flow more naturally. Acupressure, however, deals with 14 long thin lines, called meridians, that run most of the length of the body. There are more than 800 pressure points along these lines all along the body. Reflexology, in contrast, has the entire map of the body and all of its reflex points mapped out on the feet, hands and ears. The body is separated into 10 zones called reflex zones instead of the 14 meridian lines of acupressure.
Generally, reflexology is considered very safe even for people living with serious health conditions. You should talk to your doctor first if you have circulatory problems in the feet or a history of blood clots or inflammation of your leg veins before seeing your reflexologist.
Lenardo DaVinci described the feet as a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. Take care of your feet and your hands, and they will take care of you. If you’d like to know more about Reflexology, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.
I wish my first blog post was under better circumstances. I started putting together my massage business two weeks ago, and the launch has been delayed until the COVID-19 pandemic settles down. It’s sad, but it’s also gotten me thinking about some different things.
Like everyone, I’m worried about what’s happening, worried for friends and family, and worried about how the world as we knew it might change after it’s all over. The current mood of the country has gotten me thinking about self care, and how important it is now to remember to do some little things that can have a big impact on your mental and physical well being during this crisis. We cannot change the future but we can control how we react to it.
1. Listen to your breath
Take a second and drop back into your body. Feel your presence there. Bring your attention to your breathing and allow it to come naturally. Don’t force it, just observe. Continue. This will help center you in the present and help focus your thoughts on the things you need to focus on now. The best part is that you can do this at any time and anywhere.
2. Practice patience and kindness
I’m a fairly patient person but I’m human. I’ve found myself having to count to 10…then 20…then 30. It happens. We’re all in this together. Be patient, be compassionate and be kind. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but in the long run your patience and kindness will be returned to you.
3. Don’t turn too hard to harmful habits
Sometimes we indulge. Sometimes we indulge a bit more during times of crisis. I would never deny someone little vices to help bring them comfort. We need to keep these vices in check though. An extra bowl of ice cream is one thing. Emptying the contents of the fridge into your mouth is completely another. Indulging can be a comfort, but too much is self-destructive and can be dangerous depending on said habit. Moderation and judgement are key.
4. Open yourself up to change
The world is changing fast around us. Literally. Embrace the change and remember that as scary as this is, and as scary as change can be, it can also open new opportunities. Change doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad.
5. Learn to paint
Okay, it doesn’t have to be painting; but, instead of sitting in front of the fear-mongering news, try to use this time to be constructive. Start a blog (ahem). Learn a new game. Try a new recipe. Accentuate the positive.
Worrying about the future is inevitable but don’t be so closed off with worry that you close yourself off to the little joyous things happening around you. There’s humor to be found. There’s friendships to be formed. Let’s work together to keep our collective spirits up and stay strong. I have faith in you.
And remember, when this is all over, you can treat yourself to a massage and support a local business that will help ease your residual tensions away. Stay safe!
Welcome to the Mary Does Massage blog. This is where we will share our thoughts, as well as tips about getting the most our of a massage session. Welcome!