Archive for the 'Chinese Reflexology' Category

Jun 10 2010

Chinese Reflexology

Published by under Chinese Reflexology,history


Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) has accumulated rich experiences through a history of thousands of years. It has its own philosophy, a series of theories, as well as various branches. Reflexology, or as Chinese ordinary people call it, foot massage, is a sub-division of CTM.

According to a famous historical book “Historical Records” written by Sima Qian during 2nd Centruy BC, in ancient times, there was a well known doctor names Yu Fu (in Chinese, Yu means healing, Fu means foot dorsum, hence Yu Fu implies foot healing). This Dr Foot Healing treated patients with no medicine (herbs) nor acupuncture, but only massage, and “the illness responded to every stroke of his”.

This vivid depiction gives us a clear image of a foot-massage therapist in ancient days. More systematic theory was expounded in the oldest classic of Chinese Traditional Medicine “Huangdi Nei Jing” or, The Internal Classic of the Yellow Emperor”. The author of the book was reputed to be Huang-di (Yellow Emperor, 2698 – 2589 BC), but actually it was the product of unknown authors in the Warring States period (475-221BC).

In this book, 14 important channels within the human body were defined, 6 among which travel to or from the foot. All these channels link internal organs with sensitive points spreading over the skin. out of over 600 points in the whole body, 66 (about 10% ) are located in both feet. While this book mainly deals with acupuncture, there are also several paragraphs referring to massage (but not foot-massage specifically).

There was another interesting book entitled “Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold” written by Sun Simiao (581-682, during the Sui and Tang Dynasty). This book introduced Lao-zi massage and Brahman massage from India. Lao-zi who was a famous philosopher in Spring-Autumn Period (770-476 BC) is regarded as the originator of Daoism. According to the book written by Sun Si-Miao, Lao-zi massage techniques include 49 items, 10 out of which may count as a kind of foot massage; while Brahman massage techniques include 18 items, among them 4 relating to the foot.

In China, there is a well known story of the Monk of Tang Dynasty going to the West (i.e. India) to bring back Buddhist Classics. near Xian, then capital of the Tang Dynasty, a stone carving of the Buddha’s foot print was preserved in a Buddhist temple. It is interesting to note that this foot print is identical to a stone carving in India and another in Japan.

From the above historical materials, we may conclude that while China has its own traditional foot massage techniques (such as the Lao-zi techniques), the Indian foot massage techniques were also introduced to China along with Buddhism. Later Buddhism and foot massage further spread to Japan through China.

According to the book “Reflexology Art, Science and History” written by Christine Issel, the earliest evidence of the practice of reflexology was found in Egypt.

There is an ancient Egyptian Papyrus scene depicting medical practitioners treating the hands and feet of their patients in 2500 BC..

It is possible that over the centuries the practice of reflexology migrated slowly from Egypt to Greece, Arabia and then on to Europe through the Roman Empire.

In Europe, a form of reflexology called zone therapy was practiced. Pressure therapy was well known in the middle countries of Europe during the Middle Age or Dark Ages (400-1400 AD).

German physiologist Johann August Unzer was the first to use the term “reflex” with reference to motor reactions in 1771. In 1833 the concept and term “reflex action” were introduced by Marshall Hall, an English physiologist.

The scientific basis of reflexology has its roots in early neurological studies conducted in the 1890’s by Sir Henry Head of England. He established “Head zones” and conclusively proved the neurological relationship existing between the skin and the internal organs.

American doctor William Fitzgerald is credited with being the founder of modern reflexology. In his book “Zone Therapy” published in 1910’s the human body was divided into ten zones.

Later another American doctor Joe Shelby Riley was the first one who illustrated a chart for foot reflex zones as well as ear reflexes.

In September 1990, the International Council of Reflexologists (ICR) was inaugurated at a conference held in Toronto. The ICR charter was drawn up using the United Nations charter as a guideline.

The purpose of ICR is to meet the needs of the profession by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information, promoting and convening international conferences and supporting the development of local, regional and national associations. The principles of ICR include:

Set an example of inclusiveness, respectful consideration, and tolerance for any reflexology theory, technique and practitioner.

All members shall have equal rights. The organisation will not discriminate on the basis of nationality, language, religion, sex, colour, ethnic origin, or age.

The organisation will not interfere with the actions of members, associations or educational institutions within its membership so long as their actions do not harm individual members, other associations or the public.

Even though foot massage was practiced in China long ago, later on under the dominance of feudalistic ideas, women’s feet were bound and became untouchable. To touch another man’s feet was also regarded as somewhat impolite. Thus on the whole, foot-massage wasn’t well developed in the past. In the early 1980’s when China adopted the policy of opening to the outside world, reflexology was introduced to China as “foot reflex zone massage”.

In 1990, a Preparatory Committee was founded to pave the ground for a national organisation. Training courses are organised on a regular (monthly) basis. A lecturing group is formed to provide speakers to teach reflexology in Beijing and the provinces. The influence of reflexology expanded rapidly.

In January 1991, the Chinese Ministry of Health issued a document in approval of the setting up of the China Reflexology Association confirming the role of reflexology in “preventing and curing diseases, and preserving health”. On 2 July 1991, the China Reflexology Association registered at the Ministry of Civil Affairs as a national organisation. Now the CRA has 2800 members and dozens of branches in the provinces and big cities.

The CRA held a national symposium in July 1993. There are over 600 participants representing 26 provinces, 72 theses were presented. In October 1993, the Chairman of the CRA, Prof Hang Xiongwen attended the International Council of Reflexologists Conference held in Melbourne, Australia. A Special Recognition Award was presented by the ICR in recognition of the continuing efforts made by the CRA in promoting reflexology in China.

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Feb 01 2010

What is Chinese Reflexology?

Chinese reflexology is the ancient art of healing by working pressure points on the feet, hands and ears, which correspond to different parts of the body. Chinese reflexology is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which utilizes energy zones on the hands and feet to energize the body system and provide relief for a variety of illnesses. Chinese reflexology is commonly referred as foot massage by most of the Chinese people.

Chinese reflexology is based on the concept of energy channels, which is the central point. Chinese reflexology works on the principle that vital energy is channeled along various lines throughout the body, which are known as meridians or zones. In Chinese reflexology they are called zones. These zones transverse throughout the body and are curved or zig-zag pathways. The focus of Chinese reflexology is mainly on the zones of feet and on the reflex areas. These points are stimulated by specific pressure techniques.

It was discovered by some chinese people that Chi, or life energy, circulates in the body along the meridians or zones. There are 12 bi-lateral zones and each one of it is connected and related to a specific organ. Due to the connection and relation of these meridians or zones with a specific organ, they have a partner meridian organ that consists of a yin and yang. The body is regulated by yin organs, which are dense, blood filled types of tissue. Yang organs are the hollow organs that are involved in absorption and discharge from the body. There is a constant interaction between these two forces. But if the balance between the organs is interrupted, the flow of Chi throughout the body will be affected, resulting in illness.

Due to the illness, chi or vital energy pathways in the body are blocked thereby preventing the body from functioning normally. Chinese reflexology helps to unblock these pathways by eliminating the toxins from the body and improving circulation. This restores the balance between yin and yang forces, which in turn encourages healing and strengthens the body. Since each spot on the sole of foot corresponds to an internal organ, Chinese reflexology concentrates mainly on the foot. The theory of Chinese reflexology assumes that an ailment of an internal organ is associated with the nerve ending on the sole of the foot.

Chinese Reflexology involves applying firm pressure in sweeping movements on the various points of the feet with stimulating foot cream. Before the massage, the patient’s feet are kept warm by soaking them for about ten minutes in a footbath, which is a dark colored solution of hot water and Chinese herbs. The patient is also given warm fluids such as green tea throughout the massage session. This is done to improve circulation. The massage therapist then moisturizes the foot by using medicated cream. The medicated cream also helps to provide lubrication.

The therapist usually uses the knuckles on his hand since it provides a hard and smooth implement for the massage. As soon as the pressure is applied to the sole, if the patient doesn’t feel any strong pain then he is perfectly healthy as per the theory of Chinese reflexology. The massage therapists or reflexologists believe that the painful spots reflect illnesses of other parts of the body. So they rub and massage the painful spots to break down rough spots and accumulated crystals and increase circulation. The illnesses are cured when the sore spots of the sole are treated and removed by massage.

Based on the theory of Chinese reflexology, some shoe liners are made with pressure points to stimulate the soles of the feet in order to promote better health of the overall body. But the nature of these crystals has yet to be explained or demonstrated scientifically.

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Dec 27 2009

You Could Use a Vibrating Foot Massager

Published by under Chinese Reflexology,reflexology

What do humans walk or run on? Yes, that’s right, feet! It’s our feet that help us to run, walk and achieve all the goals of our lives. And it’s the feet which hurt the most at the end of a long day! Earlier, our forefathers had people who pressed and massaged their feet. They had saunas and steam baths which helped in rejuvenating them. However, these days when a visit to a beauty parlor costs money and almost half your salary, people don’t really get time to take care of their feet. As a result, they have all sorts of problems from edema to varicose veins and painful soles. However, thanks to the increasing popularity of the vibrating foot massager, most people no longer are facing these leggy issues!

Here are some advantages of a vibrational massage:

* It helps in relaxing your feet and hence reducing your stress.
* Stiffness and the muscle tension is relieved.
* Its particularly useful in healing sprained ligaments, strained muscles and swelling.
* It also relieves muscle spasms and aids in enhancing flexibility and range of motion.
* It also helps in enhancing athletic performance.
* Helps in enhancing the blood circulation and lymph fluids movement.
* Since it aids in relieving stress, it also helps in reducing blood pressure.
* You get a relaxed state of mind and your immune system is strengthened.

There is vibration in every atom of the universe. Hence, a vibrating foot massager only helps in the synchronization of these vibrations and helping your muscles to achieve a complete state of harmony.

Find the perfect vibrating foot massager for you! Personal Foot Massager

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