5 Ways Reflexology Can Relieve Stress
The world today can be quite overwhelming at times. If you turn on your TV you’re bombarded with stories of crime, poverty, political unrest, and climate disasters. If you go online meanwhile you are likely to come across posts on your social media that can make you feel inadequate or self-conscious.
As a result of this more than half a million people have reported an increased level of stress according to a study conducted by Mental Health America. Now, considering you have clicked on this article, it is reasonable to assume that you too consider yourself to be under some form of stress that you feel needs addressing. So, the question is; what can be done about it?
In truth there are no simple answers, from improving your diet to spending more time in nature, to actively practising mindfulness. There are many recommended ways to combat increased stress levels. One way of dealing with stress that does not get enough space in the stress reduction conversation is Reflexology.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a complementary health therapy that can be effective in promoting deep relaxation and wellbeing; reducing stress in people’s lives can be key in optimising good health and building resilience. Or to put it another way, Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet (or the hands). Reflexology is incredibly relaxing and may help alleviate stress. In this article, we will look at 5 ways that Reflexology can relieve stress…
1: Our Feet carry us in more ways than one.
It sounds so obvious to say but our feet carry us throughout our days. However, there is more to this statement than the immediately obvious. While not commonly known, it is a fact that we carry a lot of stress in our feet. When we are stressed, or anxious we can often carry ourselves in different ways. We may slump, or plant our feet more firmly than usual.
The result is restrictions in how the mechanics of our feet perform, especially in the arches, where we carry all of our weight. When the mechanics are not working properly, you put pressure on certain areas of the foot which are not designed to carry the load of your body on their own.
Our bodies are connected, and when one area of us is thrown off, it can have an adverse effect on the rest of us. Putting increased pressure on the arches of our feet can throw off the balance in our knees, which can then throw off our hips, and that can then throw off our shoulders. Which in turn, can impact our neck tension.
Simple reflexology works on the reflex points of the feet and each point is connected to a different part of the body. We rely on our feet to carry our weight, both physical, and mental. So by working on the different parts of our feet, similar to our pre-workout warm-up, it allows them room to breathe and regenerate.
2: The world we carry around with us.
At the start of this article, we referenced the various day-to-day stressors we can encounter. And while everyone is aware of the immediate worry these stressors can cause. It is less commonly known that we can subconsciously carry these with us, long after the point of exposure.
Have you ever been in a foul mood, but couldn’t place why exactly you were? One potential reason is that your subconscious is continuing to process, and carry, the various points of stress that you have been exposed to.
Think of your brain as a computer. It runs smoothly and swiftly without any issues. Until suddenly, it begins to lag, everything is moving slower and things you could have done easily before, are now taking extra time, and putting you under extra strain.
When this happens to our computers, we clear our cache and cookies. But what do we do when this happens to our minds?
Reflexology has a relaxing effect on the body, giving a total ‘time out’ experience and the chance for natural healing to take place. This “time out” experience, effectively is the process of clearing your mind’s “cache and cookies” once your body has time to properly relax it begins to release the stressors it has been holding onto. This can give you the same feeling as waking up from a particularly good nap.
3: Your body needs a reset.
Many people turn to reflexology to help them with issues ranging from sleep disruption to digestive issues. What you may not realize is that these can both be indicators of high stress.
Reflexologists are trained to help balance the mind and body and to maintain this state of homeostasis the body needs to run smoothly. Reflexology helps to maintain a natural balance in every gland, organ, muscle, tissue and cell in the body through stimulation of pressure points, called reflexes on the hands and feet. By targeting specific areas of the body, a reflexologist can alleviate the signs of stress that you may not have realized were stress-related.
Classical Reflexology manipulates various points in your feet and gently releases pressure throughout your entire body. By stimulating the adrenal reflexes this can cause a large release of serotonin, and a wave of relaxes, that can help manage the tension your body builds up as you go about your day.
4: All about that face.
So far we’ve looked at the importance of your feet, and how applying pressure to points on your feet and hands can give an instant boost of stress relief.
But Reflexology comes in many techniques. Lone Sorenson invented a technique known as Facial Reflexology that claims to boost serotonin output via finger pressure. Thus leaving the face feeling softer, more rejuvenated, and more relaxed.
This technique combines the modern science of neurology with the ancient therapies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, South American Zone Therapy, and Vietnamese face maps and points.
In this way, facial reflexology stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage in addition to balancing hormones and levelling emotions.
Another happy bi-product of Facial Reflexology is that it allows your skin to naturally gain a more well-rested, younger appearance. Which can have a massive impact on your confidence.
Currently, here at The Pyramid Holistic Centre, we are developing our own Facial Reflexology services. So be sure to regularly check our website for updates on this! And in the meantime, you can avail of our Classical Reflexology services, Facial Reflexology can often be aided via the familiarity between you and your reflexologist. Thankfully we provide a wide range of services that can have you nicely settled within our network prior to the launch of our Facial Reflexology services.
5: The Natural Approach.
It has become all too common for us to turn to the pharmacist when our stress levels get too high. Be it by getting an over the counter sleep aid, or stress relievers. It should go without saying that any time you are considering using pharmacy products to balance your stress, you should first consult with your doctor, to assess the seriousness of your needs.
For general stress, however, rather than turning to your chemist, turn towards your own body. Reflexology can greatly assist. We have mentioned above that Reflexology can help regulate your sleep. Long term exposure to stress can have a negative impact on your physical wellbeing, you can become more sluggish, feel stiffer, or even develop symptoms of IBS.
But by keeping regular appointments with your Reflexologist, and using some DIY tricks at home, you can restore balance to your body’s harmony. Your reflexologist can show you what areas to work on at home on your hand. For this reason, many refer to reflexology as “nature’s tranquiliser” as it has a tremendous impact on how we sleep. Thus, decreasing the likelihood that you would need to resort to the pharmacy for your wellness.