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For those that regularly have a spa treatment, reflexology is no new vocabulary. It is a regular on a spa treatment menu; one that deals with pressure-focused foot massage treatment. A board-certified reflexologist in Austin, Texas, Amy Kreydin differentiates reflexology from the traditional massage of working from the musculoskeletal system inward that you are used to for relaxation. In her words, “reflexology means working from the internal organs and glands and going outward”.
With the chart drawn in the office of a reflexologist, you will discover that it has much more depth than opening up your arches or being a relaxing foot rub experience. Most practitioners, however, believe that applying pressure on some specific areas of the body (not only restricted to the feet) can trigger a positive response in particular organs. Surprisingly, reflexologists can get clues from the feet, hands, and ears to discover conditions that you never knew existed before.
Reflexology is a practice that provides benefits not only to the feet but to other parts of the body because sensors on the feet, hands, and ears are targeted by its massage techniques. Kreydin further pointed out that the key factor that makes the difference is the size of the nerve endings being worked on and not necessarily the amount of pressure applied to the areas.
Almost like acupuncture and acupressure, reflexology is a practice that makes use of massage techniques like kneading, pressing, holding and rubbing which go a long way to stimulate nerves with connections throughout the entire body. Far beyond the self-care and relaxing experience which reflexology gives, it has been hypothesized to also deliver some health benefits. However, there is no definite conclusion as to its effectiveness.
Regardless of that, it is a practice that offers relief from physical and mental stress, faster than some other relaxation methods because of the connection of the brain to the feet. The relief of stress can help in the reduction of stress-induced diseases and health conditions.
It is important to find a quality reflexologist with knowledge and experience in its administration. According to Amy, the Reflexology Association of America has a listing of all their reflexologists. Also, there is an online directory of reflexologists that have taken the voluntary board certification exam. All these can help you find a legitimate one that has completed the necessary training especially in states where licenses are not offered to reflexologists.
The pay is dependent on the area you are resident in and definitely higher in the cities because of increasing rent. A reflexology session usually begins with the regular form filling with regards your healthy history; after which you go to the massage chair or table to get comfortable. The range of an appointment may take between 45 to 90 minutes in total, with you guiding the reflexologist on the amount of pressure.
The consistency of reflexology appointments (at least once a month) can help bring longer health benefits and clear results. With the exception of people with blood clot or deep vein thrombosis, reflexology is pretty safe for everyone (including pregnant women).
Finally, the answer to the question of whether to kick off your shoes and try it or not is yours alone!