First understand the concept of Qi
To understand if and how foot reflexology really works, we need to first understand the concept of Qi (vital energy) – the bedrock of Chinese healing techniques.
In Taoist belief, the universe exists as a unified whole, comprising two opposite yet complementary forces called yin and yang. Yin and yang are further refined into the theory of five elements – earth, fire, metal, water and wood, with each nurturing, supporting, and – where appropriate – controlling one another to keep the body in balance, health and harmony. The ancients believed that getting vital energy or qi (pronounced chi) to the tissues and cells through a continuously circulating blood supply would govern the vitality and longevity of life.
How does Qi flow through the body?
Qi flows along a network of channels or meridians to empower each and every organ in the body. The meridian network, much like a cobweb of crawling capillaries, comprises a system of twelve main channels ( six ing and six yang channels ) and eight ‘extraordinary’ channels.
When a person is in good health, the movement of qi and blood through the body is harmonious. However, if qi or blood is blocked or slowed, the organs, tissues and cells are deprived of the power needed to function at their best.
Traditional therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, or exercise routines such as qi gong and tai chi, work towards removing blockages and encouraging smoother flow of qi.
How does Foot Reflexology work?
Feet are regarded as the microcosm of the body in traditional Chinese thinking and six major meridians terminate in the feet : that of the spleen, kidneys, liver, stomach, gallbladder and bladder – as do some of the major nerves. Based on this knowledge, a skilled reflexologist, using thumb pressure on tiny reflex zones in the feet, can stimulate the associated organs and glands thereby activating the body’s natural healing mechanism and correcting imbalances.
For instance, the big toe is connected to the head, and stimulating it through massage can help ease headaches.
What are the proven benefits?
– Cleansing out of body impurities and revitalisation of energy
– Improvement of circulation and lymph flow
– Restoration of body to natural, healthy balance
– Soothing stress relief and relaxation to mind and body
Other treatments and therapies based on concept of Qi
Some of the other treatments based on the concept of Qi are Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Acupressure, Cupping and Five Element Shiatsu. Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong are the exercises that manipulate the flow of qi and have been practiced for thousands of years.