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Clients often seek out reflexology for some of the same reasons they seek out massage because both improve circulation of the blood and lymph and enhance the client’s quality of life by reducing pain.
Western massage techniques are designed to relax tension within the soft tissue, with a goal of restoring health. The intent may be to diminish pain, improve posture or structural function, and produce physical, emotional and mental relaxation.
Although the benefits of reflexology include relaxation of mind and musculature, the primary intent is to improve the health of the body’s physiology, the functioning of the body’s internal operating systems.
Reflexology typically focuses on reflexes corresponding to stressed organs and glands, not the connective-tissue elements of the body part being worked on. As such, it can help with issues including high levels of stress resulting in sleep disorders, anxiety and depression, pain in the feet or hands from overuse, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, excessive text messaging, injuries or gout, back and neck pain, less-than-optimal functioning of a body system, manifesting as respiratory allergies, digestive problems, headaches, diabetes, reproductive issues, dementia, weight gain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or cancer.
Reflexology does this by first increasing circulation to the corresponding organ or area of the body, enhancing nerve connections and modulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which controls involuntary body functions such as heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion, and blood pressure. And, lastly reflexology works by stimulating the release of endorphins, a group of roughly 20 feel-good brain chemicals that reduce pain and diminish the negative effects of stress.