You walk on them all day, but did you know your feet do more than carry you from one place to the next? They also have a unique connection to balanced health and well-being. In a form of bodywork known as Reflexology, the feet are said to contain reflex areas that mirror and connect to all parts of the body — and pressure on these points can actually influence your state of health.
The roots of reflexology draw, in part, from the ancient healing art of foot massage, practiced the world over, from Asian and Egyptian civilizations to tribal communities of the Americas. Early archaeological digs have revealed statues of Buddha in China and Japan, and Vishnu (a Hindu god) in India, depicting markings of specific areas on the feet. But it has only been within the last century that this work has established a foothold, so to speak, in Western practice.
As we know it today, reflexology is viewed primarily as a stress reduction or relaxation technique. Using the thumb, finger, and hand, and tools, gentle to deep pressure is applied to reflex areas of the feet in order to decrease stress and bring the body into equilibrium.
Results can be profound. Through activation of nerve receptors in the hands and feet, new messages flood into the body system, changing its tempo and tone. In essence, the foot becomes a conduit for sharing information throughout the body. Function in the connecting area is improved and, at the same time, the body experiences overall relaxation and benefits to the circulation and elimination systems. When the body’s systems are at optimal functioning, self-healing is enhanced.
In this sense, reflexology is not a medical treatment for specific symptoms or diseases, but rather a way to facilitate the body’s inherent healing power. Therefore, it stands to reason that paying attention to your feet can also be a great preventive measure and one easily incorporated into the daily routine. S
Scientific studies have documented its benefit for a variety of ailments, ranging from acute disorders to chronic diseases. The majority of reflexology research has come from China where the technique is commonly used in hospitals and homes for both health maintenance and as adjunct to medical care. Some of the positive findings include reduction of pain, improvement in circulation, release of tension, and improved effectiveness of medication, as well as benefits for diabetes and headaches. ~Adapted from Body Sense Magazine
Cranial Sacral Therapy
Cranial Sacral therapy (CST) a system of gentle touch designed to enhance the functioning of the membranes, tissues, fluids, and bones surrounding or associated with the brain and spinal cord. It is a gentle hands-on treatment that may provide relief from a variety of symptoms including headaches, neck pain and side effects of cancer treatment among many others.
The Therapist uses a light touch to examine membranes and movement of fluids in and around the central nervous system. Relieving tension in the central nervous system promotes a feeling of well-being by eliminating pain and boosting health and immunity.
The focus of CST addresses a rhythmic system at the core of our physiology – the pulse of energy that flows between our head and pelvic area. It’s as essential, measurable, and tangible as our breath and heart rate. The craniosacral system follows a rhythm, and the skull bones accommodate its pulse. Just as a cardiologist seeks to improve the cardiovascular system, a craniosacral practitioner evaluates and optimizes the pulse of the craniosacral rhythm. This is a gentle, often deeply intuitive technique. It’s a form of bodywork consisting of exceedingly light finger and hand pressure upon the cranial bones and the sacrum, and upon the involuntary movements of these bones.
CST is thought to improve efficiency of biological processes through boosting inherent self-regulation, self-correction and self-healing. The therapy can be used successfully with both children and adults.
The use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) in body and skin care treatments is known as aromatherapy. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, ,help the healing of wounds and to promote health and well-being. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health
Specific essential oils are blended by the aromatherapist and added to a carrier oil, such as almond oil, to be used during the massage. Each oil has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Aromatherapy diffusers are utilized to fill the massage room with the scent of the oils.