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  • Writer's pictureHaberfield Health

The Healing Touch: Reflexology's Impact on Chronic Pain

Introduction Chronic pain is a pervasive and debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the main reasons most of our clients come to see us. Whether the chronic pain is from regular hormonal migraines, sports-related shoulder injuries, stress related muscular tension or pain from endometriosis or PCOS, our services have consistently worked to alleviate pain naturally and, where possible, without drugs.

While traditional medicine offers various treatment options, we have seen a significant increase over the last 25 years of individuals seeking our natural and complementary therapies to alleviate chronic pain, drug-free or with minimal medications.

Reflexology, an ancient practice rooted in the belief that specific points on the hands, feet, and ears correspond to different parts of the body, has gained popularity as a complementary approach to managing chronic pain. I have been practicing reflexology for well over 20 years now and I am always amazed at how this gentle, non-intrusive and deeply-relaxing therapy can positively impact chronic pain, provide stress relief and improve overall well-being.

Understanding Reflexology Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is based on the principle that the body is interconnected through a system of reflex points. These points, found on the hands, feet and ears, are believed to mirror different systems within the body, different organs, glands, and other body parts. Reflexology stimulates energy flow in the body and facilitates homeostasis. By applying pressure to specific reflex points, a reflexologist can stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote balance within the body.

Reflexology and Chronic Pain Here is what I know about reflexology and it's impact on chronic pain:

  1. Pain Reduction: Reflexology has shown promise in reducing chronic pain levels. By focusing on reflex points related to the affected areas of pain, a Reflexologist can help alleviate discomfort. For example, if you suffer from chronic lower back pain, a reflexologist may concentrate on points corresponding to the scalp, neck, spinal and lumbar regions, as well as points related to the pituitary and pineal glands to promote deep relaxation.

  2. Improved Circulation: Reflexology encourages better blood circulation, which is essential for pain relief and overall health. Improved blood flow is critical to good health as it helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to injured or inflamed tissues, promoting healing and reducing pain.

  3. Stress Reduction: Chronic pain often leads to stress and anxiety, exacerbating the pain and discomfort. Reflexology induces deep relaxation and reduces stress, releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. In most cases, my clients fall asleep quickly and report feeling relaxed and deeply nurtured. This can result in significant pain relief and improved mood.

  4. Enhancing the Body's Self-Healing Mechanisms: Reflexology works by stimulating the body's self-healing mechanisms. This holistic approach supports the immune system and encourages the release of toxins, which can contribute to chronic pain.

  5. Complementary to Other Therapies: Reflexology can be used in conjunction with other pain management techniques, such as remedial massage, to enhance their effectiveness and provide a well-rounded approach to pain relief.

Case Studies and Research While more research is required on reflexology's impact on chronic pain, some existing

studies have shown promising results. A study published in the "European Journal of Integrative Medicine" in 2021 found that reflexology significantly reduced the pain level and increased the β- Endorphin and comfort levels of individuals recovering from liver transplantation. Additionally, a 2014 study in the "Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research" reported that reflexology reduced pain in individuals with chronic low back pain. Conclusion Reflexology, with its focus on the inter-connectedness of the human body's systems and natural healing mechanisms, offers relief to those living with chronic pain. Reflexology can be a very effective and valuable addition to a comprehensive pain management plan. By reducing pain, improving circulation, reducing stress, and enhancing the body's self-healing abilities, reflexology can contribute to a better quality of life for those living with chronic pain.

Rosa Ghidella is a qualified reflexologist with almost 25 years experience. For further information, call us to learn more about how reflexology can assist with alleviating chronic pain.


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