SHA Magazine Natural therapies
How to Relieve Pain Through Foot Reflexology
Working the acupressure points located on the feet is a natural therapy that promotes relaxation and improves stress levels.
You get home after a long day at work, take off your shoes and, almost instinctively, massage the soles of your feet in search of instant relief. You immediately notice a great feeling of relaxation and how much of the stress and fatigue accumulated throughout the day melts away. This gesture, as simple as it is common, is the perfect example that shows that working certain areas of the feet quickly provides many benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health. These points, called reflex zones, correspond to each of the organs, glands, and structures of the body to which they are connected by nerves or energy channels.
As José Luis Tabueña, physiotherapist at SHA Wellness Clinic, tells us, ‘Foot reflexology, also known as reflex zone therapy, is an ancient, natural, and non-invasive discipline based on the reflex, analgesic and regulating effect produced when we perform certain manual and digital manoeuvres on the feet. In this way, we treat different reflex zones by means of pressure to achieve a remote effect on the whole body. These points are linked to the different structures of the body that are innervated or related to each other by the same spinal nerve and allow the vegetative nervous system to participate in the reflex pathways through the nerve fibres’.
Although anatomists suggest that there is no direct connection between the soles of the feet and the body’s organs and structures, foot reflexology is recommended by the World Health Organisation as complementary to conventional medicine and recognised as a useful therapy for pain. ‘Foot reflexology is included in the CAM (Complementary Alternative Medicine) group and is part of the new concept of integrative medicine, which has been promoted by the WHO for several years now and which incorporates a more holistic type of health care. Furthermore, more and more scientific studies being carried out with state-of-the-art technology show that reflexology stimulation can minimise stress, promote relaxation, regulate emotions, increase the feeling of well-being, modulate the autonomic nervous system, and reduce blood pressure and pain,’ concludes José Luis.