Constant stress can really do a number on your body. Most of us are exposed to a number to stressors during our daily grind, whether it be heavy traffic, emotional negativity or a taxing workload. Stress can come in many forms and this can lead to a decline in our physical health and energy. Fortunately, reflexology can help alleviate your daily stress and improve your overall health and well-being.
A good massage can help you relax but a good reflexology session can take you a step further. Often known as acupressure, reflexology works by applying pressure on certain body parts that correlate to vital organs via energy channels. This stimulates the flow of healing energy throughout the body. When a person is affected by health conditions or is stressed, these energy passages are blocked and the body cannot function properly. Reflexology opens up these channels to provide a number of restorative health benefits. Proper reflexology application can make you feel rejuvenated and energized to help you better face whatever challenges the daily grind has in store. (Related: Cure your nausea with acupressure.)
How reflexology improves your health
Reflexology is not a cure-all but it can help you feel refreshed and alleviate pain. Here are some of the health benefits reflexology can bring you and how to achieve them:
Happy hormones. One of the best secrets to maintaining a happy and energized life is the regular flow of hormones throughout the body. These hormones include endorphins, melatonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Endorphins are your body's natural painkillers. Melatonin helps us feel happy and content. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone and it is activated when we want to reach a goal. Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone," which is released when we experience physical contact with other people. It's the reason why getting a hug makes you feel better. The body produces these hormones naturally but reflexology can give your body that extra boost to enhance hormone production. It does this by activating the reflex zones of the hypothalamus, and pineal and pituitary glands, all of which play a role in your emotions, including depression. To active your own reflex zones, simply massage the tops of your toes for a few minutes, three times a day.
Restful sleep. If you have trouble sleeping even after a long tiring day, why not ditch the sleeping pills and opt for a healthier alternative? Reflexology has been known to help sufferers of insomnia fall asleep quickly while also experiencing a more restful sleep. It can also put you in a more relaxed state of mind and reduce your stress levels. One useful reflexology pressure point is the Neiguan or Inner Gate, which can be found near the natural depression point located between the tendons in your hand. Apply a steady pressure on this point to help feel relaxed.
Improved blood circulation. Reflexology can be used to improve the flow of your blood, which distributes oxygen throughout your body more efficiently. Simply stroke your fingers, hands and feet in a gentle manner to boost circulation to your vital organs. It also helps increase your metabolism for the faster regrowth of damaged tissue. You can also massage your feet before going to bed to enhance circulation in your lower extremities.
Lowered blood pressure. Not only can reflexology improve your blood circulation, it can help reduce your blood pressure as well. As an added bonus, it may even help lower your triglyceride levels. You can do this by activating the solar plexus reflex point, which is located on each side of your feet where a visible hallow forms. Squeeze this area for a few seconds using your thumb. Repeat this process twice a week for reduced blood pressure. It may additionally help prevent anxiety and enhance your mood.