Once I wanted to take a massage in a well regarded beauty salon in Bali. I wasn’t sure which massage I wanted to take, so I checked the menu. “If I were you, I would take the Chinese foot reflexology”, one of the staff said.
I agreed, because I naively thought it would be a regular foot massage. Once I got the treatment, I regretted it. What followed was an enormous pulling and cracking at my feet. Because it hurt a lot and I couldn’t relax at all, I asked if it could be softened. The masseuse looked at my feet and said: “You have bad organs, that’s why it hurts.”
Then I had had enough and left the treatment early. Since then I have been actively warning people against the treatment: “It’s not as relaxing as it sounds, it hurts a lot!”
Yet there are two groups of people. Those who love the pain of the treatment and those who dislike it. I belong to the last one. But this post is for those who love it or who are curious about it. Because if you go through the pain for a moment, you feel reborn! (they said)
The history of Chinese foot reflexology
Around 1000 BC the Chinese classic The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was written. This book contained the chapter Examining Foot Method. This describes the connection between life force and point and areas on the feet.
In 1300 Marco Polo is said to have translated a Chinese massage book into Italian. With this massages and reflexology were introduced in Europe. In the years since, reflexology has been frequently described and studied by all kinds of European and American medici.
What is Chinese foot reflexology?
So Chinese foot reflexology isn’t a normal foot massage, as I first thought. It’s a method that assumes that the pressure points on your feet are connected to different organs and glands. When you press on these points, it gives a healing response. This allows you to heal from various ailments.
For example: the tips of the toes are connected to the head, the ball of the foot is connected to the chest and heart, the arch of the foot is connected to kidneys, liver and pancreas, and the heel is connected with the lower back and intestines.
There are also more than 7000 nerve endings in your foot. This allows the reflexologist to control the energy in your body.
The treatment often hurts when the congested reflex areas are treated. This is a short-term pain and the reflexologist will adapt the pain to the pain threshold of the patient. After a number of treatments the pain disappears.
The benefits of Chinese Foot Reflexology
If you endure the pain, Chinese foot reflexology has many benefits for the body.
1. Healthier feet
It stimulates the muscles of your feet. This will make your feet less stiff, reduces swelling and make your ankles and feet stronger. This prevents injuries.
2. It improves blood circulation
If you sit a lot, you don’t use your foot muscles properly. This leads to poor blood circulation in your feet. But wearing heels, tight shoes and closed shoes also impairs the blood circulation. Reflexology can improve this.
Reflexology soothes the feet, making you feel very relaxed. This makes you sleep better and gives you a better mood.
4. Pain relief
Reflexology helps to relieve headaches and neck pain. But by stimulating the many pressure points on your food, it relieves a lot more pain in the body.