From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation—and more—begins.
Yes, measuring real-time as reflexology is applied, an EEG shows that the brain immediately goes into a more relaxed state as reflexology work commences.
But there’s more. The creation of brain waves indicating relaxation as measured by EEG is not the only effect of reflexology work on the brain shown by real-time measurements.
Real-time measurement by fMRI shows reflexology technique prompts activation of a particular part of the brain when technique is applied to a specific part of the foot.
• The part of the brain responsible for short-term memory shows more blood flow when reflexology technique is applied to the side of the big toe.
The part of the brain responsible for integrating body, mind and spirit—the insula—shows more blood flow when reflexology technique is applied to the adrenal gland reflex area. The insula integrates actions to balance emotions, homeostasis, and pain center.
The left frontal lobe activated by reflexology technique applied to the eye reflex area of the right foot. This is a part of the brain responsible for writing, movement, as well as personality traits such as problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. The cerebellum was also activated by technique applied to the eye reflex area. The cerebellum is responsible for posture, balance, and coordination of movements.
• Technique applied to the eye, shoulder and small intestine reflex areas of the foot resulted in activation in the brain of areas related to the foot and also to the areas of the brain related to the eye, shoulder and small intestine.
Then there’s improved blood flow to the kidneys and intestines when technique is applied to the kidney and intestine reflex areas respectively as shown in real-time measurements by Doppler sonogram.
In addition there’s the general influence of reflexology work shown by research: pain relief; improved blood flow to the feet; decrease in heart rate and blood pressure; increase in oxygen saturation and lowering of the respiratory rate.
Now you can tell your clients what’s happening with their bodies as you work on their feet. Give a guided tour as you point out the sites of influence: temporal lobe reflex area, improved blood flow for part of the brain responsible for short term memory; kidney reflex area, blood flow to the kidneys improving; same with intestine reflex area; adrenal reflex area, straight to a part of the brain important to integrating body, mind and spirit; eye reflex area, influencing parts of the brain responsible for moving.