How Does Reflexology Work?
Reflexologists understand that reflexology helps release stress, which in turn helps the body heal and regenerate itself.
One theory is that reflexology works with the central nervous system. This theory builds on research done in the 1890s by Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington, who began to show through their research that a neurological relationship exists between the skin and the internal organs, and that the whole nervous system adjusts to a stimulus.
According to the theory, the reflexologist’s application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal). It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.
Another theory that may also explain how reflexology can produce pain relief is the gate control theory, or, more recently, the neuromatrix theory of pain. This theory suggests that pain is a subjective experience created by your brain. The brain does this in response to the sensory experience of pain, but it can also work independently of sensory input and create pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. Thus things that influence the brain, such as your mood or external factors like stress can also affect your experience of pain. According to this theory, reflexology may reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.
Yet another theory holds that there is a “vital energy” in the human body. If stress is not addressed, it leads to congestion of energy, which in turn causes bodily inefficiencies, which can lead to illness. According to this theory, reflexology helps keep the energy flowing.
What about zone theory?
The recognition of reflexology as a specific type of treatment began with Zone Theory, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes all the way up to the top of the head. For example, if you are standing up with your hands on your thighs (palms facing down) the thumbs and great toe would be zone 1. On either side of the body, the index finger and second toe would be zone 2, etc.
In reflexology theory, every organ, valve, muscle, etc. that lies within a zone can be accessed via a point or area on the feet or hands. For example, working between toes 2 and 3, or fingers 2 and 3, the eye point is found. These pathways between pressure points and other parts of the body are thought to be connected via the nervous system, as described above.
The zones are similar to, but not the same as meridians found in Chinese medicine. However, there are some correlations with some meridians and the location of organs on the feet and ankles.
What are the guiding principles in reflexology?
There are several principles that guide reflexology practice.
Reflexologists do not heal clients; the body repairs itself. The reflexologist acknowledges that he or she is a participant in the session, rather than “the healer.” As with all healing arts, it is important for the practitioner to center and ground themselves and then “get out of the way.” This is an acknowledgement that reflexology is offered to help bring the person back into balance so that the body can nurture and repair itself. A reflexologist knows that the purpose of this work is to help the client’s body come into alignment with its own energy and ability to heal.
Humans consist of a physical and emotional body, with a mind and spirit. These are interdependent. The reflexologist takes into account all aspects of the client’s being: body, emotion, mind, and spirit. A relaxed body induces calm emotions, a serene mind, and an integrated spirit.
The body responds to touch which allows healing on all levels. Frequently, clients will think they have to “focus” or “concentrate” to feel the benefits. While being quiet will frequently induce a deeper feeling in the novice, the client needs to have no special skills or habits for reflexology to work. As long as the reflexologist has knowledge, stays centered, and allows the flow of energy to occur, the client will respond positively.
It is possible for practitioners and clients to feel energy move. A reflexologist can sometimes feel the energy move from a point of pressure on feet, hands or ears throughout body. For example, when working on the spleen and gall bladder points, the practitioner can access the points at the same time, and actually feel a flow of energy. Frequently, due to the power of these two points, the client can also feel the flow.
Special thanks to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing for originally posting on this topic.
I became interested in essential oils because of love of good fragrance. Soon I learned that there was more to essential oils than good clean smell.
Article is excerpted from Image Skin Care
Everyone thinks of fine lines and wrinkles as just evidence of aging. In fact, unprotected sun exposure, the weather and lack of skin care can all lead to skin aging. There are three major signs of aging. Learn how to combat their effects for skin that looks well cared for and youthful.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles One of the first signs that women in particular notice is fine lines around the eyes. The thin skin around the eyes is especially vulnerable to lack of moisture and sun damage. Anti aging products such as Image MAX Eye Creme and Ageless Total Eye Lift Creme can help tighten the skin around the eyes. I can help you choose an eye cream that contains moisturizing and natural ingredients to prevent future lines.
Skin Tone and Texture Another sign of skin that is aging prematurely is dull skin tone and rough skin texture. As we age, our cell turnover rate declines. This can lead to uneven coloration and dry spots. Choose anti aging products such as a daily face cleanser and face cremes that can resurface your skin. Ageless Total Facial Cleanser gently exfoliates to remove dull skin. Ageless Total Retinol A Creme works to rejuvenate skin texture by restoring collagen and moisture. Sagging Skin Sagging skin is often associated with aging, but it can occur earlier due to sun damage or weight loss. Preventing and repairing this damage is accomplished by using anti aging products that contain glycolic and retinol compounds to restore elasticity. Retinol (Vitamin A) is essential for aging skin as it helps to stimulate the fibroblasts which produce collagen. It is a key ingredient of the Ageless Total Repair Creme, which works to firm skin by combining both hydrating hyaluronic acid and Shea butter.
Overall Care The best defense against preventing the signs of aging is to begin a daily skin care regimen. Daily exposure to the elements and loss of collagen are unavoidable, but using the right cleansing and moisturizing products can maintain your skin’s radiance. Schedule a consultation so I can help you choose a cleanser, anti-aging and repair cremes that work in combination to provide rejuvenation, resurfacing and repair.
Without proper care, lips can age faster than other areas of our skin. Think of your lips as a sponge. “When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up. When dehydrated, they dry out and shrink,” explains Bruce Bart, M.D., a dermatologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Because our lips are always exposed, they’re prone to dehydration, particularly during the cold, dry, winter months.
A major culprit of premature aging around the mouth is smoking. Besides the damage caused by the toxins in the smoke itself, smokers are more likely to develop lines around the mouth because of the repeated use of the perioral muscles to hold the cigarette. Smoking increases the hits of aging free radicals by about a million per inhalation. Generally, heavy smokers age 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts.
If that’s not enough, smoking decreases the secretion of oestrogen from the ovaries, and it also is thought to make the liver destroy oestrogen supplies (nicotine activates enzymes in the liver that metabolize sex hormones, speeding up the rate at which they are removed from the body), causing possible, early onset of menopause.
Our lips need more moisture and conditioning as we age. The cumulative damage to the lips and the skin resulting from years of overexposure to the sun, cold air and harsh weather pay their toll. The negative effects of the environment frequently result in the drying, chapping, and cracking of the mouth, and there’s increased risk of inflammation, infection and burning sensations. Greater care of your lips can reverse the signs of aging and trauma.
In the consultation with first time clients I emphasize that we are in this together. Their monthly visit with me will enhance and improve their skin on a professional level. However, for this process to be completely successful they have daily work to do at home with the quality products that I recommend. The initial purchase of the basics which would include a cleanser, toner, daytime moisturizer with SPF, a night cream, and a serum can run over $200 a big investment on top of the cost of a facial.
Here’s how to get the most out of your products – wear nitrile or vinyl gloves. These gloves can be purchased inexpensively at most drug stores.
By wearing nitrile or vinyl gloves your products go on your face and neck where you want them and not on your hands. This technique can extend the life of your products by several weeks.
If you would like to receive Reiki you will need to find a trained practitioner. There are no uniform standards for Reiki training, it’s not possible to know a practitioner’s skill by the level of certification.
Traditionally, there are three levels of Reiki practitioner.
- First degree training is usually 8 – 12 hours. The student learns history, standards, protocol, self-treatment and treatment of others.
- Second degree training is usually 4-hours. The student learns distance healing and specific symbols as well as more hands-on training.
- Reiki Master is usually a long and intense training and a Reiki Master is the only level that can teach and initiate students into Reiki.
Most Reiki practitioner professionals are well trained, experienced and practice with integrity. Find someone who suits you and your needs.
Briefly interview the practitioner on the phone before you make your appointment. Here are the questions you need to ask:
- When did you complete each level of training and how many hours were involved?
- Were you physically present with the Reiki master giving the initiations? In person training and initiations are preferred.
- Do you practice daily self-treatment? This is a practice – daily practice is essential.
- How many years experience? Approximately how many people have you treated.
- How do you describe Reiki? A professional should be able to communicate their practice clearly without making claims. This answer will tell you a lot about the practitioner.
- What can I expect during your session?
- What is your fee and how is it to be paid? How long will the session be? Do you have a cancellation policy?
I occasionally come across people who don’t necessarily have a skin condition that needs treatment, but who still want to keep the skin young and glowing. In these instances, daily care products are necessary for maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. In honor of National Healthy Skin Month this November, we wanted to take a look at a well-rounded daily care regimen from which every ones can benefit.
Gentle cleansing is a vital step morning and evening to ensure healthy skin remains healthy. Throughout the day we accumulate dirt, oil, makeup and various environmental pollutants on the surface of the face. Using a gentle cleanser in the evening ensures the skin is free of debris, and able to repair and regenerate as we sleep. Cleansing the skin in the morning prepares the skin for the day and is often followed with treatment serums containing antioxidants.
Corrective serums containing peptides, growth factor and antioxidants can be incorporated into the morning and evening regimen of nearly every one. These ingredients are key components to fighting oxidative damage, and also strengthening the various structures of the dermis and epidermis. Peptides to look for include palmitoyl tripeptide-38, acetyl hexapeptide-8 and palmitoyl tripeptide-5. Incorporate antioxidants such as grape fruit stem cell extract, lilac leaf stem cell extract, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol or glutathione. Nightly use of a vitamin A (Retinol) serum is also important to maintaining healthy skin, encouraging cellular turnover, rapidly bringing healthy cells to the surface, while also encouraging collagen synthesis and minimizing pigmentation.
Proper hydration and daily broad spectrum UV protection are necessary for all skin types and will help maintain the health of the skin. The most important step in any daily care regimen is applying a broad spectrum sunscreen product.
Everyone, no matter the skin type or condition, should use a nighttime moisturizer as well to keep the skin hydrated while it regenerates during sleep.
The Dermis is the layer directly beneath the epidermis and is divided into two layers. Papillary and reticular.
The primary functions of the dermis are to sustain and support the epidermis and anchoring it to the lower most layer of skin (subcutaneous tissue)
The dermis is where blood vessels, connections (papillae), hair shafts, oil and sweat glands, some nerve endings, lymph, collagen and elastin fibers sit.
The top layer of dermis is the papillary layer. This layer connects the dermis to the epidermis through finger like projections or papillae.
- Papillae contain sensory receptors to feel touch.
- Capillaries in the papillae which bring oxygen and nutrients to the epidermis and remove waste.
- Blood vessels in the papillae layer help with thermoregulation of the body.
The bottom layer of the dermis is the reticular layer.
- The reticular layer of the dermis is made up of crisscrossing collagen, elastin and reticular (connective tissue) fiber that helps give the skin strength and elasticity and helps anchor the dermis to the subcutaneous tissue.
- The reticular layer holds the epidermis and dermis together .
- This layer contains sweat glands, lymph vessels, hair follicles and sensory receptors for deep touch.
The dermis contains specialized cells: Fibroblasts, Mast cells, and Ground substances.
- Fibroblasts control the production of connective tissue, repair wounds, and produce scars.
- Mast cells release histamine, which produces inflammation to protect the skin from invasion and infection.
- Ground substance is an integral part of the healing process after an injury because it provides nutrients, removes waste and creates a moister wound that heals more quickly.
Normally this is because of a condition called cosmetic dermatitis, which results when an individual develops sensitivity to certain ingredients (such as dyes in lipsticks or flavoring agents). Allergies are unpredictable; they can attack when using well-manufactured products made by reputable companies, they can occur from an ingredient in a product you have used for years, and everything in between. And blackheads around the lips are typically caused by comedogenic ingredients in lip products such as Red D&C coal tar dyes.