Many people think that the only answer to pain is to take pain pills. Prescription pain pills, like opioids, however, put you at risk for a very serious addiction. Along with that danger is the risk of serious side effects that can alter the rest of your life. Finding ways to overcome the pain without the use of drugs is preferential for many people. One way that works well for many people is reflexology.
The practice of reflexology involves providing pressure to specific areas on the body. The pressure can be applied with the practitioner’s hands alone or with the assistance of certain items including rubber bands or balls to change the amount of the pressure applied. The pressure is applied to the hands, feet, and ears as these are the parts of the body that have the reflexes that control all areas of the body. Practitioners use a foot reflexology map to correlate the area of the feet, hands, or ears to the area that has pain in order for the right amount of pressure in the right area to be provided.
Who Should Perform Reflexology?
Reflexology should be performed by a licensed reflexologist only. Because there is a very specific technique required for this therapy, you want someone that is well educated on the topic. Make sure to ask about the practitioner’s experience and knowledge on the topic, especially since reflexology is not widely recognized as a form of pain management in Western medicine. It is best to talk to friends and family that have used this method of therapy to find a referral for a practitioner in your area rather than using just anyone that claims to have knowledge on the topic.
What to Expect?
Before you begin any reflexology appointments, the practitioner will need to conduct a quick health history to ensure that you are healthy enough to receive this type of therapy. Once you are deemed healthy enough to undergo reflexology, the practitioner will determine the part of your body that will receive the treatment and prepare it accordingly. If the treatment will take place on your feet, the practitioner might have you soak your feet in warm water preceding treatment in order to get the blood flowing in that area, allowing treatment to be more successful
Once the practitioner is ready to start, you will lie down with your feet at his chest level. He will then start the reflexology process, which can take between 30 and 60 minutes and will feel similar to a massage. You will likely get exceptionally relaxed during the process as the pressure points are found and massaged. Some patients fall asleep during the treatment, which is perfectly acceptable.
How Will You Feel?
Many people are nervous about how they will feel during reflexology, but it is a purely natural practice that has been in existence for thousands of years and in the United States since 1913. During the session, you might feel a sense of relaxation, but are still able to carry on a conversation or you may be completely relaxed and in an altered state of consciousness.
Some people claim that they feel a little “different” during the process. It is often explained as a sense of tingling throughout the entire body, or a rush of energy in the specific area that is being treated. Overall, most patients feel really good and energized during and after the procedure. Like any other procedure, there might be a few other feelings, some good and some bad, which include:
How You Can Benefit
Pain medication strictly masks the pain you are in – it does not provide any other benefits, including the fact that it does not treat the underlying problem. Reflexology provides not only treatment of the specific problem you have, but also provides you with a variety of other benefits including:
It might seem strange to think that the pressure on your feet or hands could help to alleviate pain that is severe enough to warrant you to take prescription pain pills, but it works for thousands of people a year. In fact, a study conducted by the American Cancer Society in 1998 on cancer patients that used reflexology showed that 33 percent of patients used this natural therapy for treatment.
This treatment is deemed safe and non-addictive as long as you are in generally good health and do not have any conditions that could alter the results. This natural therapy can help you alleviate your pain and feel better all over, giving you so many more benefits than any pain pill could ever provide.
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