Rampant exhaustion and fatigue in modern society are driving the search for effective treatments.
However, the answer may lie in the past with Reflexology – a treatment used for thousands of years as a proven method for many issues, including alleviating adrenal exhaustion and improving energy levels.
The last week in September is World Reflexology Week , so how does it work?
Reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive holistic touch treatment with benefits for all ages, from newborn babies right through to the very elderly. Reflexology works to calm or stimulate any hyper-activity or sluggishness within the body’s systems and organs, bringing balance to the body as a whole. The main methods are a range of hand techniques to the reflex areas on the feet and lower leg, as well as the hands, head, ears, and body.
How Can Reflexology Alleviate Exhaustion?
Adrenal exhaustion is fatigue that comes from chronic stress, without sufficient recovery. Your body can move between two main states of being – the sympathetic state and the parasympathetic state. The sympathetic state is our fight-or-flight mode. Most of us are on some level of sympathetic state just dealing with day-to-day stress. Reflexology has shown to help the body shift into a parasympathetic state, which conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
A Chinese study on Reflexology and Nervous Exhaustion showed that 75% of the clients with a history of neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion) that were treated daily over seven days greatly improved their symptoms, with 40% being fully recovered.*
The 7,200 nerve endings in each foot connect through the nervous system to the various parts and organs in the body. With some skill and experience, the neural pathways are cleared and relaxed during a treatment. Stroking or holding the feet has a deep effect on the nervous system, and touch itself is considered highly therapeutic. The pressure is in tune with the client’s needs, yet deep enough to cause the right effect. As neural pathways are stimulated and crystallisations of tissue are loosened, brain-to-body communication is improved. Circulation of blood and nutrients are also boosted throughout the whole body. People often remark that they feel lighter, more alive and energised after a Reflexology treatment.
The reflexes for the adrenal glands can be palpated on the feet. When they are tight and tender, the adrenals are depleted. The pituitary reflex is also given special attention as are the thyroid and pancreas reflexes.
My personal experience with Reflexology comes not only as a practitioner but as a client seeking treatment for adrenal fatigue. The success of my treatment ignited a passion to help others and study many forms of Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and holistic health. Through the years I have refined a deeply restorative treatment of Reflexology, including focusing on the sensitivity and care it takes to bring about a positive change, with the main aim of helping the clients’ body to help itself.
I have incorporated these learnings into creating my own practice, Saga2Wellness. Hot towels, soothing music, warm stones, and essential oils all contribute to the deep rest and relaxation that is essential to recovery. Using a warm, oiled mini copper bowl (Ayur Vedic tool) in a circular motion on the soles of the feet further enhances this soothing and holistic treatment, and lifestyle advice can make the positive effects of reflexology from Saga2Wellness last longer.
How Many Treatments Does It Take To Work?
Clients can feel the healing effects during and after their first Reflexology session, however deciding how often to return for treatment is a very individual thing. Like most things in health and fitness, the more consistency there is, the greater the outcome. I usually suggest an initial treatment plan of three weekly treatments.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal glands are walnut-sized, sit on top of the kidneys and are made up of two parts.
Firstly, the adrenal medulla secretes epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenalin) hormones. These make your heart pound, raise your blood pressure, help make your muscles tense, and put your brain on high alert.
Secondly, the adrenal cortex secretes cortisol and other hormones. Cortisol is a natural steroid that raises your blood sugar level (so muscles have plenty of fuel) and suppresses inflammation, but it also suppresses the immune system. The adrenal hormones are catabolic, meaning they foster biological processes that burn energy and break down cellular structures. Adrenal fatigue happens when you activate the adrenals over and over again without sufficient recovery in between. Your body becomes depleted and exhausted, leaving you more susceptible to illness.
Our emotions and thoughts can be a reflection of our low physical energy, for example when we are sleep-deprived the body struggles to restore itself. The body is like a battery that needs regular re-charging, otherwise, it struggles and eventually stops working.
Why Should I Try Reflexology?
There is a reason people have been using Reflexology for thousands of years. In this modern age, a simple, non-invasive treatment that does not put any more chemicals or stress on the body is a positive step in the right direction to healing yourself.
* (Don Shuang-Feng. Foot Reflexology in Neurasthenia: Clinical observation of 20 cases and presented at the China Reflexology Symposium in Beijing, July 1993.)
by Saga Gibbs, Reflexologist, Saga2Wellness, Christchurch, New Zealand.