Reflexology: Bloor West Village
If you're interested in holistic therapies, you may want to experience a reflexology treatment. Reflexology is a type of massage therapy that centres on the feet.
The technique uses focused pressure on the foot (or hand or ear) to promote health in various parts of the body. Reflexology is based on the premise that there are zones and reflexes on the extremities that correspond to glands and organs elsewhere on the body.Endorphins are released, and increased blood and lymphatic circulation results in increases in oxygen and immune levels, all of which enhances one's health.
How Does Reflexology Work?
Zone therapy is very simple. According to it, there are ten meridians for qi that course through the body from the head to the feet and hands. The specific area falling under each life force current is called a zone. There are five longitudinal zones on the right side of the body and five longitudinal zones on the left side of the body in equal proportions. The ten zones are parallel over the entire body covering head, face, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, abdomen, reproductive organs, legs and feet.
When the reflex points on the foot are stimulated, the body sends a natural electrical energy along the meridian to help clear any blockages in the corresponding body zones. Manipulating specific reflexes removes stress, activating a parasympathetic response in the body. The aim is to improve circulation and return the body to a state of balance.
Studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health concluded that reflexology may reduce pain, and help to alleviate anxiety. It can also improve relaxation and sleep. Reflexology may also have benefits in palliative care settings.
There is evidence to suggest that forms of reflexology were practiced by the ancients. Reliefs on an Egyptian wall that date from 2450 BC depict men receiving foot massages. And the writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus describes the practice amongst ancient Greeks. There is also evidence of foot and hand massage from China and India.
Dr. William Fitzgerald, who was a nose and throat specialist, pioneered "Zone Therapy” in the USA, and is considered to be the father of modern reflexology.In the 1930s and 40s, reflexology experienced a revival. Nurse and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham mapped the reflexes, charting which areas on the foot correspond to other body parts. Her system is still widely used today.
Virtually anyone is a candidate for reflexology, although the elderly seem to benefit particularly from it. Age doesn't matter, nor does health condition, although pressure may be adjusted depending on the client. It generally takes between five and seven sessions before clients begin to feel the results of the treatment. Reflexology is a relatively inexpensive therapy; most practitioners charge between $40 and $100 per session. (In some cases, this may be covered by insurance.) Sessions usually last between 40 and 60 minutes, although shorter ones are available for the very young or the very ill. Many clients benefit from an integrated approach that uses reflexology as well as conventional massage, acupuncture
or other therapies.
There are several reputable reflexology practitioners in Bloor West Village. If you need help finding one, the Reflexology Association of Canada has a searchable database on their website.
Try reflexology today, and discover the health benefits of foot massage!