“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
A certain Dr. William H. Fitzgerald introduced in 1915 a concept known as ‘zone therapy.’ This therapy focused on massaging and working the feet in order to improve one’s health. In the 1930s, American physiotherapist Eunice Ingram developed this theory further into what we call today ‘reflexology.’ Russian neurologist and psychiatrist Vladimir Bekterev, who studied the effect of external stimulation on the nervous system and internal organs, was actually first to use the term reflexology.
Here’s the underlying theory in reflexology…There are nerve endings—‘reflex areas’—in the feet which are directly related to various organs, glands and other body parts. For this reason, foot reflexology sometimes earns the name ‘acupressure for feet.’ Not a new concept by any means, reflexology may have been practiced as far back as 2330 BC by the Egyptians. Traditional Chinese medicine has for centuries used foot acupressure as a means of relieving pain and healing certain diseases. The Chinese believe that the vital energy runs through ‘meridians’ which become blocked and cause imbalances.
Applying pressure and massage to reflex areas, reflexology theory tells us, will stimulate and health in the corresponding body part. Practitioners believe the pressure sends signals throughout the nervous system and activates brain chemicals, such as pain-relieving endorphins. The massaging action also, practitioners believe, unblocks energy ‘meridians’ and breaks up toxic deposits which collect in the nerve endings of the feet, causing congestion in the corresponding body part.
The popularity of foot reflexology, or foot acupressure, is rising. At the very least, visiting a reflexology therapist is likely be a very relaxing, enjoyable experience. After a brief consultation, the therapist works on stimulating several points on your feet to get an idea of where you might be experiencing congestion or pain. The therapist will then massage and stimulate various areas on the feet, according to your personal comfort level.
You can get the same benefit yourself at home using the Rolling Bed of Pins. This remarkable restorative device reaches and stimulates reflex areas on the feet with a comfortable rolling action, improving circulation and relieving pain. The sense of relaxation one feels afterward is profound. Just gently roll it back and forth across your feet as comfort allows. Try it on a loved one. If you are in the last trimester of pregnancy or have a serious illness, you may want to consult a reflexology therapist for advice, however.
Not surprisingly, reflexology has received credit for alleviating a plethora of ailments such as stress-related conditions, sports injuries, arthritis, headaches and intestinal disorders. Some even use reflexology techniques after surgeries and in rehabilitation. Many cancer patients use it in conjunction with other healing methods such as the raw food diet.
Elderly people benefit enormously from regular reflexology treatments. All brain systems deteriorate as we age. We often notice older folks with poor posture, hesitant gait, or poor balance. There’s nothing, it seems, that a little reflexology can’t improve!
Our feet have touch receptors that send signals to the brain whenever we stand and put pressure on the ground. These receptors also lose their effectiveness as we age. Research has shown that elderly people who walk barefoot on cobblestones have much better balance than those who do not. The Chinese have always known this, and have taken great care to incorporate walkways made of cobblestones in parks and retreat centers. They swear by the invigorating and health enhancing effects.
You may well be looking to achieve further health improvements on the raw foods diet without resorting to unnatural or invasive procedures. Or you may just want a relaxing and invigorating foot massage with the added bonus of an acupressure treatment. Either way, consider finding a reflexology therapist in your area. Even better—certainly more affordably!—try your own brand of treatment at home with the Rolling Bed of Pins.