Reflexology advocates believe that this approach can increase energy flow to the organs that correspond to the reflex points, and increase the vitality of those organs. By increasing the vitality of the internal organs, practitioners believe they can improve patients' health. They claim that reflexology can reduce stress and tension, improve circulation, eliminate toxins, and bring the body into a state of balance conducive to good health. These beliefs echo the vital-force concept that dominated the earliest ideas about health, illness, and physiological function.
There are two linked beliefs on which reflexology is based. One is that reflex points exist on the foot, and that these reflex points can influence health in distant organ systems and parts of the body to which they are linked. The second is that the body contains an invisible life force, or subtle energy, similar to the concept of qi (chi) in Chinese medicine and acupuncture (Chapters 6 and 1), or prana in Ayurvedic or Indian medicine (Chapter 2). Reflexologists believe that, by stimulating reflex points on the foot, they can unblock and increase the flow of this energy throughout the body.
Research on reflexology in the medical literature is scant. The best research evidence available does not demonstrate that reflexology is an effective treatment for any medical condition. None of the beliefs and concepts on which reflexology is based, such as the idea of subtle energy, has been proven. The major underlying hypothesis — that pressure applied to the foot improves health — is not documented.
Was this article helpful?
Spiritual healing is the ability of your mind and soul to repair your ailments. These ailments are not limited mere physical wounds, but can also relate to mental illness and self esteem issues. Many modern day physicians invoke the idea of spiritual healing along with western medicine as a means to promote the health of their patients.