Charlotte Amarjit Gunning - Mobile Practitioner in Complimentary Therapies
I never used to like people touching my feet until I received a reflexology treatment and felt the benefits it had.  This then made me change my whole perception of what we do to our feet and that we should really look after them, as they can look after us. 
 
The principle of reflexology is to use the feet to treat the whole person, body, mind and spirit.  By massaging and applying pressure to reflex areas of the feet, connected areas of the body will feel the benefit. 
 
The benefits of reflexology are;
reducing stress levels,
inducing deep relaxation,
improves blood circulation,
cleanses the body of toxins and impurities,
revitalises energy,
unblocks nerve channels and
balances the whole body. 
 
History
 
Reflexology is thought to originate back to China at least five thousand years ago, where the Chinese practiced pressure therapy on the feet.  But evidence shows that the roots date back to 2330BC and the tomb of physician Ankmahor in South Cairo.  Various forms of reflexology have been found over the years to be practised and developed in America, Africa and the Far East.
 
Reflexology is based on the theory that the organs, nerves, glands and other parts of the body are connected to reflex areas of the feet and hands.  Reflexology is a system of healing based on balancing energy by stimulating these reflex areas or points to create a direct response in a related body area.
 
Reflexology is closely related to acupressure in that both believe that the parts of the body are connected through energy lines and that if pressure is applied to reflex areas or points along these lines helps restore balance and energy within the body.
 
In the early 1930s Eunice D Ingham pioneered and developed the Ingham method.  Eunice Ingham is considered to have contributed the most to modern reflexology because she developed maps of the body based on the feet when reflexology is performed to treat conditions in other parts of the body.  She also developed a ‘compression technique’ where pressure is applied by ‘thumb walking’, this is where the thumb or finger bends and straightens keeping constant pressure in the area of the foot that is being treated. 
 
Eunice Ingham found that the feet have an intense sensitivity to them, making them the most important areas of the body to use in treatment of many conditions when using pressure therapy.
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