Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The New Reflexology: A Theoretical Summary Part 4

We wrote this orginally after our Paralysis Project in 1980. The percepts have really remained the same which is remarkable considering this was written 30 years ago. Editor


© Eraxion. Image from
Reflexology: A Communication Link

Reflexology provides the feet with continuing education and practice in the sensations the feet were meant to experience. Such sensations connect the feet to the rest of the body, as they provide the raw data to carry out its major functions. So it is the stride mechanism and the survival mechanism which serve to link foot reflexology to the body as a whole. There is no magic. Reflexology simply provides the body with practice in the nerve pathways of these mechanisms.

Keep in mind that we are not thinking of some nerve which runs, for example, from what we consider the kidney area on the foot to the kidneys themselves. We are thinking in terms of the body's intricate communication system which is functionally organized. The function of “fight or flight”, for example, requires participation of both the feet and kidneys. It is this functional communication which links the areas of the feet and hands to the body rather than any one single nerve or bit of magic.

Why is reflexology and the practice of sensation of such importance to the body? Its importance lies in the practice it provides to the nerve pathways and, thus practice in other modes of operation for the body. Hans Seyle, stress researcher, refers to this process as the general adaptation syndrome. The body has a finite energy to adapt to the environment. Selye tells us that the three stages of the adaptation syndrome are: (1) the alarm reaction, (2) the stage of resistance, (3) the stage of exhaustion. Inefficiency in the stride mechanism drains from the finite energy available and lessens the energy available for other functions. 

Reflexology breaks this cycle by creating a set of demands on the body apart from the everyday, mundane sensory input. Repeated exercise improves muscles and general circulation. Why shouldn't a structured system of repeated demands on our nervous system have a similar beneficial effect?


Barbara and Kevin 

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