By: Juliet Cohen

Reflexology, also called zone therapy. Reflexology is the physical act of applying pressure to the feet and hand with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. it is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change to the body. Reflexology is growing increasingly popular as both as a complement to other treatments and as preventive measure across Europe and Asia. Reflexology seems to be a variation of acupressure, with its notion that there are correspondences between special pressure points.

In reflexology, points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to specific organs, bones and body systems. Practitioners access these points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top) and the ear (both inside as far as the finger can reach and outside) to affect organs and systems throughout the entire body. Reflexology and acupressure are both "reflex" therapies in that they work with points on one part of the body to affect other parts of the body. While reflexology uses reflexes that are in an orderly arrangement resembling a shape of the human body on the feet, hands, and outer ears.

Acupressure uses over 800 reflex points that are found along long thin energy lines called meridians that run the length of the entire body. Reflexology is also used for post-operative or palliative care. In general terms the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium. Reflexology is a complement to standard medical care. Reflexology sessions in general last from 30 minutes to an hour. It is a clothed session with only the removal of shoes and socks as a requirement.

It should not be construed as medical advice. It should not be a replacement to medical help. Please use it wisely. We care about your safety. There are many variations of reflexology and many names for these variations, including Zone Therapy, Vacuflex, and Vita Flex. Common criticisms of reflexology are the lack of central regulation, accreditation and licensing, the lack of medical training provided to reflexologists, and the short duration of training programmes.

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