Chinese Reflexology has become a world wide favourite for advocates of alternative therapies and is known must commonly as just Reflexology, although can also be referred to more generically as touch therapy or just foot massage.
In ancient China when the therapy was formed, the Chinese found that by applying pressure or massage stimulation at certain points, the patient would gain benefit in corresponding organs that were thought to be linked to the point where pressure was applied.
This was in line with the Chinese system of meridians, or energy channels. In western medicine it is explained as either a connection via a neural network or multitude of interconnecting nerves, or it is simply not explained at all and rather is put down as an invalid science.
Although even among western non alternative therapists there is much debate and varying personal opinions as to the validity of the ancient Chinese Reflexology system. Recently I spoke with a podiatrist who personally believed in the value of Chinese Reflexology, although admitted that he was taught in University that it was “shear quackery”.
None the less, Reflexology is finding itself in increasingly high demand the world over due to its non invasive nature, drug free and holistic approach, together with the ever growing popularity and acceptance of alternative approaches to healing among the worlds populations.
Foot Reflexology is by far the most well known and popular reflexology therapy in operation. This is largely because many practitioners specialise in it, as well as the fact that most people find it a particularly pleasant experience and will often go for a session of foot reflexology simply as an alternative to a massage, for the pleasure of it rather than purely its therapeutic benefit.
But Chinese Reflexology can in fact be applied to many parts of the body. Commonly it is applied on the feet, hands and ears but has also been used on most other parts of the body as well.
The pressure can be applied using static pressure or with a massaging motion. This is done without creams or oils or instruments, although as with many practices, Chinese Reflexology has been blended with so many other techniques by multi discipline therapists that it is not uncommon to find Reflexology therapists who will use instruments to apply the pressure and lotions to enhance the treatment. Other Reflexology systems such as Thai Reflexology also use implements like wooden instruments to apply pressure.
A popular trend today is to learn Chinese Reflexology techniques and to regularly self administer them, or practice them on your partner or children. If you are more a perfectionist or a purist, you can consult a professional to teach you, or you can learn from many excellent books or even YouTube.
Chinese Reflexology is said to unblock energy channels, stimulate the immune system and assist in elimination of toxins bringing the body back into balance and restored energy.
Arthur Bakeright is a qualified but non practicing massage therapist and avid traveller. He now writes extensively on both massage and travel.