A reflexologist is a person who does a type of massage on the feet. It
is believed to relieve tension and even to treat illnesses in other parts
of the body.
This is considered a complementary form of health care because it can be
used in addition to other medical treatments.
The goal of the reflexologist is to help make the client's own body cure
itself. The approach of western medicine is to use therapies like drugs and
surgery to cure illnesses.
Reflexologists use their hands to apply pressure to spots, or "reflex points,"
on the foot. These spots correspond to other parts of the body. For instance,
the toes correspond with head and neck problems.
The theory behind reflexology is similar to that of acupressure, acupuncture
and other ancient Oriental healing methods.
Reflexology is considered one of the holistic approaches to healing the
body and mind. The idea is that our minds and bodies are connected. These
practitioners believe there are energy pathways in our bodies, and stimulation
of the correct reflex points will clear blockages in these pathways and allow
the body to heal itself.
Reflexologists stress that there is a psychological element to their treatments.
It's clear that the body is greatly affected by the mind, since stress and
tension are a factor in many health problems.
Before reflexologists begin treatment, they try to get to know the patient's
history, including such things as current medical problems.
Reflexologists work in clinics along with other holistic health professionals,
like chiropractors, naturopaths and herbologists. Some work out of their homes.
A comfortable environment is important to patients.
You have to have strong, sensitive hands for this job. More importantly,
you have to be mentally strong. Reflexologists say this can be a draining
job when you're working so closely with patients.
"I have been in this industry for over 13 years, and I can tell you that
full-time [work] does take a toll on the body's energy levels," says reflexologist
and certified massage therapist Joanne Marie.
Relieve pain and illness through feet