Mental and emotional health awareness has increased greatly in recent years, and this can only be a good thing. People suffering from mental health problems are looking for ways to ease their issues, and many are looking for a more natural therapeutic approach. Natural options are safer as opposed to taking medication that may cause severe side effects. One such natural practice is reflexology.
Reflexology is based on traditional Chinese medicine beliefs, whereby our body is full of energy or qi. According to traditional Chinese medicine, whenever we are experiencing illnesses, discomfort, or any type of pain, it is because of an imbalance or blockage of our energy flow.
Reflexology aims to restore the body’s balance and flow of qi by applying varying amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. These specific body parts, called pressure points, are connected to the other parts of the body and function as pathways of energy. Reflexology helps us achieve a natural state of wellness and good health.
There are several benefits of reflexology. The gentle pressure can relieve muscle strain and tightness, it can increase blood circulation, improve digestion, and strengthen the immune system. But aside from these more obvious benefits of a reflexology massage, it can also improve our mental health.
How Can Reflexology Improve Mental Health?
Reflexology can help improve mental health by focusing on areas of physical concern, which can alleviate pain related to mental health problems, such as symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Anxiety, stress and depression can manifest in different areas of the body.
Releasing Muscle Tightness Reduces Stress
Reflexology can reduce stress by releasing tightness in muscles and by regulating the adrenal glands, which are responsible for producing stress hormones. Whenever we are stressed our bodies respond by overproducing epinephrine, which can cause us to be in a heightened state of alertness. Reflexology can help calm our nerves and muscles, which will help destress us emotionally.
Releasing Muscle Tightness Promotes Better Sleep
Another way in which reflexology can help improve mental health is through aiding patients to achieve better, and deeper, sleep. As the muscles are no longer tense, the patient can feel a sense of relief from any stress or anxiety. It can also help to improve the function of the pineal gland, which controls the sleep cycle.
Improving Blood Circulation Elevates Mood
Reflexology can also improve blood circulation and remove toxins from the body, which can elevate mood. People who suffer from depression often have an irregular heart rate, and through reflexology, their blood circulation can be improved, which results in regulating their heart rate.
Boost Digestive Health and Reduce Stress
Anxiety and stress can also manifest in having poor digestion. Chronic stress can cause indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Reflexology can provide relief and help in clearing out the colon and the digestive tract.
The Interaction Between Patient and Therapist
The physical touch and being in the presence of a caring and compassionate health provider may also offer some sense of relief to patients who are suffering from depression. The calming ambiance created by the therapist can offer a safe space for people who need to destress.
Trying Reflexology for Your Own Emotional Wellness
A reflexology treatment can be part of your self-care program, which promotes a positive sense of self and increases self-awareness. Through consistent self-care practices, you can better recognize emotional patterns that may trigger depression or anxiety.
Patients who are looking at reflexology as a form of alternative treatment to any current traditional treatment should consult with their doctor. In many cases, reflexology can be included in the patient’s treatment plan as support. For those who are simply looking for a way to destress, reflexology can be a great option, as it will help aid in healing, both emotionally and physically.
If you are keen on trying reflexology for mental health issues, it is important that you find a reflexologist with whom you feel comfortable. In order to feel the maximum benefit of reflexology, several weekly sessions may be required.
Natural therapy can be a big help to patients who are looking for alternative ways to help deal with mental health issues. Reflexology can aid patients suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression as it relaxes the mind and the body. By incorporating reflexology therapy into your treatment plan, you will begin to feel renewed and reenergized, helping you to feel better about and within yourself.