Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A look at Reflexology

Last week when I was discussing a person who provides certain questionable medical services near where I live, I mentioned that she was also a reflexologist. I only vaguely knew what reflexology was so I thought I'd take a look at it.

The first thing I noticed was that there is no shortage of reflexologists in my local area!  The first several entries from my initial Google search listed at least seven or eight locations near me. The going rate seems to be about  $30 to $45 per hour long session. (and one of my local establishments is "Now excepting Credit Cards" which made me cringe. If you want to be taken seriously, people, have someone check your site over for possible errors. But I digress...)

Reflexology is based on the idea that there are energy zones in a person's body. A person's feet can be mapped out into different zones that correspond to the different energy zones of the body.  Massaging those areas on the foot would help to cure problems with the corresponding body part.  For example, if the big toe is supposed to correspond to the head then, if I had a headache, a reflexologist might concentrate on my big toes on my feet. I believe reflexologists also map the hands similarly but this doesn't seem as popular.

Some reflexologists claim to cure diseases or to help to ease pain while others simply claim to help balance the energy in your body or ease your stress. It seems rather closely related to acupressure but simply concentrates on the feet.

Scientists have done studies that appear to indicate that reflexology is no more effective than fake reflexology. They also tell us that there is no evidence of such energy zones in the body nor are particular areas of the feet connected to particular body parts by energy pathways.

I've no proof but I suspect that some people who claim to benefit from reflexology think that it is helping them simply because they are relaxing and enjoying the massages.  I don't blame them, a foot massage - or any massage - can be pleasant and taking time to relax and unwind can help one feel less stressed.

Neurologists tell us that the area of the brain that connects to the foot is adjacent to the area that connects to the genitals.  There is speculation that there might be a bit of overlapping sometimes and that this is why we find foot massages so pleasurable.  It also might explain foot fetishes.  At the very least, it is something to think about.

In conclusion, I think we can say that paying $40 for an ineffective therapy is silly.  On the other hand, if you really enjoy foot massages I suppose it might be worth something to you.  It's not going to cure you of diseases or make you healthier, though.

Information for this post was found on the following sites:
Skeptics Dictionary

Image obtained here

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