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Have a desire to help others achieve wellness via the power and intelligence of their own bodies?  You may want to consider reflexology. Reflexology, as described by ACARET (the American Commission for Accreditation of Reflexology Education and Training), is a manual technique applied to specific points on the body, specifically in the feet, hands, and ears; these points connect to specific zones of the body.  Skilled manipulation of these pressure points leads to psychological and physiological normalization of the whole body. Reflexology, therefore, is a total body experience and is one of the most popular forms of natural healing and holistic, alternative treatments. 

The experts at ACARET break down the scope of reflexology training and education into 4 main spheres. The first one is manual reflexology, which involves direct use of the finger and hand and no tools. Next, students are taught about reflex points, areas of the microcosm that reflect the organization of the body. Third, those trained in the art and techniques of reflexology learn about zones, which are vertical divisions of the body from the top of the head to distal aspects of the digits. Finally, the aforementioned microcosms are covered; these are defined as discrete areas that reflect the organization of the total body. A solid understanding of these four principles provides the basis for reflexology. 

Archeological evidence in Egypt, China and Japan points to the use of ancient reflexology medical systems
dating as far back as 690 BC, states Although reflexology has been around for a very long time, its popularity has increased in recent years, due to its efficacy as a complementary or stand-alone treatment. The general public's dissatisfaction with the limits of conventional medicine, the truly cost-efficient approach of alternative therapies, and a centuries-old track record have  provided a boost for the holistic health care world. 

The Power of Reflexology
There are a number of wide-ranging health benefits resulting from reflexology treatments, but perhaps the most important one is stress reduction. The feet and hands set the tension level for the entire body, therefore, manipulation of both can interrupt the stress signals and reset the body's equilibrium, or homeostasis, says  

Still under investigation is the question of whether reflexology can positively impact diseases or specific health conditions; further scientific study is needed to determine the connections there. For this reason, experts recommend that reflexology does not replace standard medical care but should serve as a complementary therapy only.  

What follows is a sampling of the many benefits of reflexology: relaxation, pain reduction, rejuvenating tired feet, improvement of blood flow, impact on blood pressure/cholesterol, enrichment of medical care for conditions such as cancer (relieving pain, nausea, vomiting, or anxiety, symptoms often accompanying this disease), hemodialysis, or phantom limb pain, a complement to mental health care for conditions like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and finally, reflexology may positively benefit new mothers with easier birthing,  delivery, and post-partum recovery. 

Intrigued by reflexology?  Take the next step and research classes, areas of study, and licensing requirements today!

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