Reflexology is a treatment usually done on the feet. It relieves tired, sore feet and induces overall relaxation. The theory behind reflexology is that the foot represents the whole body, and each spot on the foot relates to something on the body. By applying pressure to the feet, the reflexologist can interrupt patterns of stress in the body.
How did the reflexology theory come about?
Reflexology is believed to be born from the ancients and developed over centuries. Reflexology as we know it today is based on zone therapy, that is, parts of the body correspond to other parts within their own zones. An alternative to working on the feet would be either the hands or ears. Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist for Dr. Joseph Shelby Riley, a student and advocate of the theory, mapped the whole body onto the feet, also onto the hands and ears. In addition, she discovered the reflex technique used today.
How is reflexology applied?
It applies a combination of general massage and “finger-walking” techniques to the feet, or hands, or ears.
Why is reflexology done primarily on the feet?
Not only are they more accessible being a larger surface area than the ears, for example, they are very sensitive to touch, which makes the treatment more effective, (there are 7200 nerves in each foot) The feet and legs are wired such with our nervous system to be in a constant state of readiness receiving information from the body, gravity and movement. Feet and legs work closely with the fight or flight, rest and digest mechanism of our nervous system, and literally take us out of danger. When the legs and feet are massaged and sore points are pressed, they release tension built up in the muscles and nerves which in turn reflect this relaxation response to the whole body.
Shiatsu is an Asian massage method to balance the energy flowing through the body.
How is shiatsu done?
Pressure is applied to meridians (the vessels of energy that flow through the body) and acupuncture points (the relay stations on the course of energy flow). There are 14 meridians and numerous acupuncture points to work on. Traditionally, Shiatsu is done with the client dressed in loose clothing, on a mat on the floor, but it can also be done on a table, especially when combining it with other massage techniques.
How does the practitioner come up with a treatment plan for a shiatsu session?
Treatment plan for a shiatsu session is based on the five-element theory like Chinese medicine, Feng Shui or Tai Chi.
What’s the main benefit of a shiatsu treatment?
Shiatsu is deeply relaxing. It helps rejuvenate muscles, nervous and visceral systems. It also facilitates balance within these systems. And can enhance the body-mind connection.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point therapy applies about seven seconds of pressure to a tender point on the body. This is followed by lengthening the tissue through stretching or exercising the muscle group affected. This procedure helps to alleviate pain and dysfunction stemming from these tender points, which are areas where muscles have been damaged. This disturbance in the tissue can come about through falls, disease, non-optimal posture, repetitive injuries, even from being born, and other life stressors. According to Bonnie Prudden, anything that insults the tissue can cause trigger points in the body.