The stresses of everyday life can have a toll on the body, but there are different fields of medicine that have helped make the busy life more peaceful and relaxing, one of those is reflexology.
The credibility of reflexology in the medical field, however, is hotly debated.
According to the Center of Spirituality and Healing and the Life Foundation, reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to precise points on the feet, hands or ears.
Although not officially accepted by the medical community, use of reflexology has been growing, according to Dr. Juliann Perdue, assistant professor of nursing.
“I do believe reflexology is a credible source, but I believe there are studies that still need to be done,” Perdue said.
Reflexology allows those who suffer from various diseases and ailments to relax and recover.
Reflexologists believe that specific reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems.
Many medicine practitioners believe that reflexology is not a valid medical treatment because it cannot be used to diagnose or cure illnesses.
According to Dr. William T. Jarvis, founding president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, many tests have been inconsistent with the claims issued bu the reflexology community.
Jarvis also said that reflexology has had too few trials and controlled experiments to produce sufficient amounts of evidence to the practice of reflexology to be officially inducted into the medical field.
However, although agreeing that reflexology still needs more evidence-based research, Perdue still said she believes reflexology is a valid field in medicine.
“After I was hospitalized,” Perdue said, “a friend who was a massage therapist who also practiced reflexol- ogy came to the hospital and massaged my feet. He used both massage and reflexology. It helped me with relaxation, and gave me energy.”
The study of reflexology is often combined with massage therapy.
When reflexology is performed on the feet, many areas can be focused on simultaneously.
Those who suffer from heart conditions or spinal conditions can have strenuous knots relieved and help the individual relax and maintain a healthier sleep pattern, according to massage therapist Miguel Sotoviye.
The massage therapist community involves many reflexology methods in their practice.
Many techniques, such as the upper sandal technique, use reflexology by focusing on the lower part of the arch in the foot.
Though the study of reflexology is still relatively new, with the advent of sufficient evidence, it may one day be accepted and implemented as another field of medicine.