Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood.
From the moment we awaken, there are all kinds of pressures and stresses and it is how we manage them that makes the difference in our lives. Some of us are not as robust at managing stress levels and need support.
Reflexology is a very powerful and proven treatment to reduce stress levels, in particular, lower cortisol levels have been measured after treatment. Stress threatens our body’s status quo and a body that is chronically stressed can soon become very sick. It is estimated that up to 70% of all illnesses are caused by stress.
‘A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker than a germ’.
In Reflexology, the body and soul are divided into the four elements of water, earth, fire and air, whereby each element is related to a specific part of the foot. The ball of the foot is associated with fire and controls emotions such as fear and anger. I pay particular attention to this area when attempting to alleviate stress.
Long-term stress can be very damaging to the body’s endocrine system, which includes the pancreas, pineal gland and adrenal gland. The adrenal gland, which is triggered during the ‘fight or flight’ response to danger, is associated with the area beneath the ball of the foot. If you are under a great deal of stress, you may find that manipulation of this area can initially be quite painful.
Many of my clients comment that even after one session of reflexology for stress relief, they feel much calmer and able to cope with the daily pressures that life throws at them. In fact, reflexology is often referred to as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’, as it helps to alleviate many stress-related disorders; such as, anger, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, IBS and irritability. Overall harmony and well-being are achieved and stress responses are more under control.
Reflexology is particularly effective in instances of more acute mental health problems; such as, panic attacks, anxiety, depression and recovery following psychosis.
Research on the benefits of reflexology on stress
Research has repeatedly shown that reflexology has a positive effect on quality of life, stress, anxiety and pain.
In a study undertaken at Worcester Hospital, 28 members of staff received 40 minutes of reflexology per week for 6 weeks. Their response was measured in terms of pain, mobility, energy levels and psychological stress. The key results were as follows:
74% Had a significant reduction in pain.
62.5% Had a significant improvement in mobility.
55% Had a reduction in psychological stress.
Stress management, pain and emotional problems are the key issues that most clients are seeking to address with reflexology treatments.