Go on, bare your sole

ALTERNATIVE

Go on, bare your sole

Do you remember the joy of walking barefoot as a child? How wonderful it was to feel the grass, the puddle of water, to play in squishy mud and to feel it dry up between your toes!

According to Martin Zucker, the author of Earthing, when you walk barefoot, you connect to the earth’s energy, which promotes healing and creates a sense of overall wellbeing. We gradually lost the benefits of grounding, or earthing, as we grew accustomed to wearing shoes.

Studies confirm the numerous benefits of direct connection to the earth through the stimulation of reflex points that are present at the bottom of your feet. Your feet are, therefore, not just the foundation for every step that you take, but also a barometer of your overall health.

Your feet send out crucial clues about your health, which you may disregard as foot pain due to tight or inappropriate shoes or something to that effect. Truth is, your humble feet are actually windows that offer a peek at your health.

Reflexology is a process, which artificially stimulates the bottom of your feet, to nourish your immune system, reduce pain, and promote other healing processes in the body. The pressure point and massage techniques used in this method help a person feel better.

Reflexology believes that your health is affected when your body’s Chi (the life force that unites the body, mind and spirit) is clogged.

“Reflexology detects the imbalances in the reflex points, in your feet and working on them helps to release blockages, which restore free-flowing energy in the whole body,” says Anurag Asan, a reflexology therapist.

Reflexology releases the tension and restores balance and harmony in the body. According to experts, the blocks in the energy pathways cause stress, strain and pain. These blocks should be cleared for the healthy functioning of the body; free flow of energy is restored through strategic pressure and massage. It creates a sense of wellbeing through deep relaxation. Over 7,000 nerves in the feet are activated during the process, which frees up the energy pathways from blockages and alleviates stress and returns the balance (homeostasis) back in the body.
Reflexology can work wonders in providing relief from physical discomfort of many kinds. It is known to work on conditions such as respiratory disorders, sleeplessness, muscle tension, bowel and intestinal disorders, stress-related disorders, joint problems, headaches, hormonal problems, PMS and other gynaecological disorders. It is also known to aid in post-operative recovery, maintain mental health, and
complement cancer care.

South African reflexologist, Jurgen Jora has aptly described foot reflexology as ‘an artificial way of going barefoot’. The concept of reflexology is said to be around five thousand years old and can be traced back to the histories from Egypt, China and India.

Dr William H Fitzgerald, an American doctor, rediscovered it, and Eunice Ingham further developed the idea of Zone Therapy and introduced the concept of reflex points.

Most people are attracted to this therapy as it is a drug-free, non-invasive, safe and effective treatment option for a number of health problems. It’s not
surprising then that reflexology is now a growing health trend around the world, as it assists people in self-healing.

A good analogy to understand the basics of reflexology is to picture a puppet
connected to strings. The puppeteer controls it to move every part of the
puppet’s body. In reflexology, the control mechanisms run from each part of the body to the feet. By manipulating specific points of the feet, you can treat the
condition of a body part to which the reflex point is connected. For example, a
particular point in the arch of the foot represents the bladder point; when a
reflexology therapist applies pressure on this area, it affects the functioning of the bladder.

“Reflexology is often confused with massage. While reflexology works through stimulation of predefined reflex points, massage is the manipulation of tissues and muscles. Reflexology is a complementary therapy, which means it can help you, in combination with conventional medical treatment, to heal better,” maintains Anurag.
A reflexologist will ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, diet and general health. S/he will give you a footbath for relaxation and foot assessment. S/he uses the thumb, knuckle or a blunt instrument to apply gentle pressure on the sore reflex points. The pressure is gradually increased with slow circular motion to relax the deeper muscles and ligaments. Massaging breaks up the crystal deposits that develop on the feet, thereby reducing pain andimproving blood circulation. Each session usually takes about 45-60 minutes.

So, go ahead and give foot reflexology a shot; it could well be your gateway to
natural healing.

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