Reflexology,also known as zone therapy, is a type of massage which is aimed at relievingtension in the body, and is closely focused on the hands and feet. It functionsby massaging certain points on the hands and feet, supposedly inducingrelaxation to other parts of the body. As there is no unified theory ofreflexology massage, it is practiced in different ways, but certaincommonalities exist. It is generally agreed that the massage targets specificpoints and the hands and feet. Once the points are stimulated, they connect toother vital organs helping them to relax. While not validated, there is noproof of invalidity for these methods.
The practiceof reflexology can be traced as far back as 2330 B.C., when The Egyptians havenoticed the links between relaxing and certain body parts. Reflexology was introduced in the U.S in 1938. with Eunice Ingham and Dwight Byers introducing the Ingham method ofreflexology, a method is for relaxing and releasing tension in the body. EuniceIngham is one of the more acclaimed researches, with her first reflexologyworks published between 1938 and 1942 throughout the world.
Reflexologyfeatures applying particular massage movements to stimulate major organsthroughout the body. Reflexology massage has no known side effects, and is notmandated by any laws. While many practices of reflexology exist, they allrelate to the connection between the hands and feet and the rest of the body.
The Reflexology Association of America has certificationprograms and boards, and students have to meet the minimum criteria to receivea certificate in this program, including book study and hands-on practice. TheAssociation uses reflexology as a standalone profession, and the certificationprocess requires knowledge of the proper reflexology points and methods ofstimulation. Although there is a maincertification board, many operate outside of this particular board.
Theorganization does publish reflexology related research, mostly regarding eitherpain control or lack thereof and examining the connections in the body withpain. Certain experts believe reflexology may also increase blood circulation and could assist in weight loss.
Reflexologyis often used as a part of other treatments, being very effective in reducingstiffness and body tension. Reflexology may reduce the presence of toxins,other research suggests. Many naturaltreatments, including reflexology, have yet to be validated by medical science.
TheReflexology Association of America can provide additional information onreflexology massage, including information that has been published regardingreflexology and pain control.