How can Reflexology help?
Reflexology is the technique of applying gentle pressure to the reflexes on the feet and hands in order to bring about a deep state of relaxation, stimulate the body’s own healing processes and help a person to return to a state of balance and well-being. These reflexes correspond to various parts, organs and glands of the body, having an effect on their function.
The entire body is linked by capillary and nervous tissue networks and Reflexology stimulates the blood flow and nervous reaction by increasing the body’s circulation, opening up neural pathways and boosting the immune system.
Reflexology can help with stress, relaxation, improving mood, aiding sleep, relieving tension and improving sense of calm and well-being.
How can stress affect you?
Stress can affect your overall health and well-being and cause a variety of symptoms such as depression, anxiety, low immunity, infertility, back pain and insomnia.
Central Nervous and Endocrine Systems
Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. If a person is constantly in this state it can take a toll on the body, leading to chronic stress, irritability, anxiety and depression.
Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems
During the stress response, you breathe faster in an effort to distribute oxygen and blood quickly to your body core. For people with pre-existing respiratory problems like asthma or emphysema, stress can make it harder to breathe. Stress hormones can cause your blood vessels to constrict and raise your blood pressure.
Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. Unused blood sugar is reabsorbed by the body. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge, and you may be at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The rush of hormones, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate can upset your digestive system. You’re more likely to have heartburn or acid reflux.
Stress can affect the way food moves through your body, leading to diarrhea or constipation.
Under stress, your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury. You’ve probably felt your muscles tighten up and release again once you relax. If you’re constantly under stress, your muscles don’t get the chance to relax. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches.
Sexuality and Reproductive System
[See page on Maternity Reflexology.]
Stress is exhausting for the body and for the mind. It’s not unusual to lose your desire for sex when you’re under chronic stress.
For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. You might have irregular or no menstruation, or heavier and more painful periods. The physical symptoms of menopause may be magnified under chronic stress.
If stress continues for a long time, a man’s testosterone levels begin to drop. That can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may make the urethra, prostate, and testes more prone to infection.
Over time stress can compromise your immune system. The hormone cortisol which is produced at times of stress, can inhibit histamine secretion and inflammatory response to foreign invaders. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like influenza and the common cold. It can also increase the time it takes to recover from illness or injury.
Reflexology is an incredibly relaxing, enjoyable, non-invasive treatment which can help in lowering stress levels and improving well-being and consequently help to prevent the effects that stress can have on the body.