Facial reflexology has been around for quite some time, but lately it's been receiving a great deal of attention as a pain and symptom management therapy. Apparently, people with the gastrointestinal disorder irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) find it especially beneficial. However, it's not clear whether this is the case because the massage that accompanies the pressure point touching is an excellent stress reliever, or because of some other as-yet-undetermined cause. Would you consider trying facial reflexology to manage a medical condition, or would you rather take a pill?
Shoulder pain and muscle stiffness are very prevalent and I find that most of my clients complain of holding some degree of muscle tension in their shoulders. The shoulder reflexes are found on the proximal phalanx of the 5th toe. This is the area under the "baby" toe and it can be found on the sole (plantar), top (dorsal) and side (lateral) aspect of the foot (see photo).
You’ll notice in the photo that this area is often marked by calluses or skin texture changes in many people. In this case, the client had a history of shoulder stiffness. To work this area you may need the help of a partner or a good foot roller. I recommend using a Foot Rubz Massager for working hard to reach areas. Rub, knead and massage this area firmly but gently including the side of the foot too. Don’t be surprised if you feel some crunchiness under the skin. This reflex is rife with deposits even in those who don’t have many shoulder complaints.
More key areas:
When there is shoulder immobility, the fifth toe is usually very stiff as well and seems stuck to the 4th toe or curved under, stuck to the sole of the foot. It may be difficult for it to stretch out. Massage it, gently stretching it to release tension.
The webbing between the fourth and fifth toes and down between the fourth and fifth metatarsal bones on the top of the foot is also important. You may find that the webbing is exquisitely tender. Try to massage gently until some of the pain subsides.
Reflexology is a natural, alternative treatment that involves applying pressure and massage techniques to parts of the body (most often the feet and sometimes the hands). Not only does this type of therapy relieve stress, it also helps to boost circulation and improve body functions. (Psst: SJP is a fan.)
In reflexology, specific parts of the feet or hands are massaged to correspond with different glands, body parts, or organs. The idea is that by manipulating these precise points, which are mapped out in reflexology charts, the body will come back into balance. While reflexology shouldn't be considered a replacement for medical treatment, a relaxing massage is always good for the soul. To learn more, try Reflexology Massage DVD With Socks Set ($33), Total Reflexology: Everything You Need to Unlock the Healing Power of Your Body ($15), or Sexy Love Sox ($20).
I'm a big fan of foot massages, but some experts think touching your tootsies isn't just about feeling good. They believe there are pressure points on your feet that correspond to specific glands, organs, and other parts of your body. Stimulating them in the practice of Reflexology, either by hand, or by walking barefoot on a cobblestone path, is believed to not only relieve stress, but may help heal certain diseases and ailments.
I don't necessarily buy the fact that this therapy can cure your woes, because there's not much scientific evidence backing up the benefits of Reflexology. Although a study conducted at the Oregon Research Institute discovered that adults who walked on a cobblestone mat for four consecutive months had reduced blood pressure and improved physical function as compared to those who did regular walking. If this sounds like something you'd want to test out for yourself, you can purchase your own indoor Foot Chi Cobblestone Footpath in Forest Green ($49.50) or Pebble Beach ($59.90). You're supposed to start off walking on the path for 5 to10 minutes, and work your way up to 40 minutes a week.
Tell me, would any of you give cobblestone walking a try?
If you're jetting out of town for the Fourth of July, but don't have time to schedule in a manicure or pedicure before you leave, you might actually be happy if your flight is delayed. :10 Minute Manicure is a chain of nail salons, most of which are located in airport terminals throughout the United States and Canada. The salons offer quick services such as express pedicures ($35 for 20 minutes), reflexology and massage—all offered in time increments as short as 10 minutes, so you can squeeze in some pampering before your flight. For a list of the airport locations, just read more
The other day my friend said "My chiropractor used applied kinesiology to discover that I had too much mercury in my body. They did some tests on my muscles to find out." Huh? This was news to me and I was intrigued, so I went home and hopped on the beloved internet to find out more about it.
Applied Kinesiology is a newcomer to the field of healing, but its roots can be traced back through centuries of ancient Chinese medicine. It involves studying a person's movements as a way to examine how his or her body is functioning (or not functioning).
Using muscle testing, they assess your posture, your gait (the pattern of how a person walks), and test your body's range of motion. If they find a muscle that is unbalanced, they'll work to figure out why it's not functioning properly.
This information is analyzed along with standard methods of diagnosis such as your clinical history and laboratory tests. The hope is that by studying the WHOLE person, the doctor can then determine the best form of treatment for you.
Treatments include joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies (this involves gentle sustained pressure to injured or inflamed muscle tissues), cranial techniques, meridian therapy (like acupuncture and reflexology), evaluation of environmental factors, and nutrition.
This is definitely considered an alternative approach to healing. Only people trained in applied kinesiology are allowed to perform it. Many chiropractors, naturopaths, medical doctors, dentists, nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and nurse practitioners are becoming trained to complement their current practices, so if you are interested in having a session, ask around to find out who is the most qualified.
I'd like to think that since your muscles are part of your body, there has got to be some truth to studying them in order to encourage healing. Of course, many people think applied kinesiology is just a bunch of pseudoscience garbage, but it's worth a shot, right?
If you're not getting enough sleep at night, you'll end up tired and run-down. If you've tried other ways to get a good night's sleep, but nothing really works, then here's a new idea to test out - Body purifying herbal foot pads from Gaiam.
These foot pads can boost circulation and help remove toxins from your body such as nickel, arsenic, and mercury (which might be the reason you can't sleep in the first place).
You place them on the arches of your feet and wear them while sleeping 8-10 hours. According to the principals of the alternative practice of reflexology, trigger points in the feet affect the rest of your body. When the reflexology points on the arches of your feet are stimulated, it can help you sleep.
Whether you believe this sort of thing works or not is up to you, but they could help you catch up on your zzzz's. The footpads come in a 10-pack and can be purchased from Gaim directly for $24.
Our physical and emotional health depend a great deal on the experience and quality of touching in our lives. Intimacy can be conveyed verbally, sexually or through many kinds of physical touching, like hugging, kissing, or holding hands. Long, lingering touch, the kind you experience during massage, takes time and attention, but it can create real feelings of connectedness and closeness.
It can be gratifying to give. A slow and thoughtful foot massage communicates a willingness to help calm, soothe and please a partner. Because it takes time and attention, it also communicates that your partner is a priority and a pleasure. It's also a way of being close that communicates an understanding that your partner works hard, has his own burdens, and deserves to be nurtured. Besides, our sensual lives too often take a backseat to our work lives, domestic lives, and our sexual lives.
Because feet are often neglected, paying special attention to them creates a sensual experience for both the mind and the body. We forget that the foot has many thousands of nerve endings and contains 28 small bones and long tendons running down from the leg muscles to the toes. If you're interested in a few quick tips for a relaxing and effective foot massage, read more
Everybody loves a good foot massage now and then, but did you know that some people believe it can heal certain diseases?
Reflexology, an alternative healing practice, looks a lot like massage from the outside, but the practice involves stimulating areas on the feet and hands that correspond to glands, organs, and other body parts. Stimulating these reflexes properly can have therapeutic effects. Check out this video.
Some western doctors feel that Reflexology is nothing more than stress-relieving massage and that there is no no scientific proof that Reflexology actually cures anything.
But in parts of Asia, Reflexology is a widespread practice. Cobblestone Special reflexology paths have been built in in parks, spas, condominium complexes and country clubs for people to walk barefoot on several times a day. The practice is known as stone stepping or cobblestone-mat walking and is supposed to provide health benefits.
While it is true that stress can lead to many health problems, a foot rub or hand massage that relieves tension also has got to do the body good. I am still not convinced it will heal all that ails you.