Reflexology - AAAH

ReflexologyI was getting shooting pains from my heel up my leg when I walked. In an attempt to avoid going to the doctor, I decided instead to see if I could find a way to just relieve tension in my leg via reflexology and see if that would work.

I have had reflexology before and found it very palative so I booked a session at Angel Feet in NYC, my neighborhood reflexology spa.

Reflexology is a form of alternative medicine that divides the foot into different areas of the body. It is believed that by applying pressure to the foot in certain areas, you can help allieviate ailments or induce calm. Nothing is proven but I personally like it. And I should note that the session was several days ago and my foot feels good - no pain.

When you enter the spa they guide you to a wicker easy chair and immerse your feet in warm water and aromatic balms. Then for the next hour you just lie back, listen to the soothing new age music and have your feet rubbed, oiled, prodded and massaged. Ahhh. I have once gone home and just fell asleep after a session. It is a real treat for me and if it also helps relieve pain and stress, all the better.

After the session ends, your reflexologist will let you know where she feels tension in the rest of your body based on the knots she felt in your feet. For me the tension was particularly tight in my lower back, shoulders and calves.

If you are interested in studying reflexology there are several different programs nationwide. Here are some selections. There are also some great books on the subject.

The Open Center in New York City

If you are looking for a good course on Reflexology, Sexuality, Yoga, Tarot, Wellness, Spirituality, Eastern Medicines, Religion, Psychology or a host of interesting subjects (many of them new age related), look no further than The New York Open Center located on 83 Spring Street in New York City. Their course are arranged by the following subjects: Society, Ecology & Culture, Spiritual Inquiry & Practice, Psychology, Holistic Health, Bodywork & Movement, Arts & Creativity. I have studied astrology and aromatherapy and have also attended many of their free introductory programs.

Open Center

The next cycle of free introductory programs (which include meditation, alchemy, acupressure, detoxification, flute, singing and even belly dancing) is starting on Monday September 8, 2008 and runs through Wednesday January 21, 2009. And they also have an "Open" House on September 6, 2008 from 2-6pm with an afternoon of free lectures and refreshments. Check out the schedule here. If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by!

Has anyone out there taken other courses at The Open Center? Please share your experiences with me.

The Silk Day Spa

Reflexbk Run, don't walk, to the Silk Day Spa on 47 West 13th Street in New York City. And after you run there, rest your weary feel with a Asian influenced treatment.

My generous friends gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure and I redeemed it this morning. The spa is downstairs and very quiet. After you change into your robe, you enter a quiet and serene waiting area. Salt lamps with candles light your way and there are little snacks and water as you wait. The pedicure had everything - a salt rub, creams, hot wax and reflexology. I floated out of there and went home to take a nap.

The Silk Day Spa has a range of services - all sorts of massages and facials too. Worth a restful visit.

I recommend Reflexology, a fully illustrated guide that features step-by-step sequences and incredible photography, an invaluable guide for home users or reflexology students.

Reflexology Parks, Cobblestone Pathways

Reflexrug Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the belief that you can stimulate specific reflex points in your body, many of which are in your feet, to enhance your health.

Let's file this under "What will they think of next?" Reflexology parks have specially constructed cobblestone pathways that park users walk on barefoot. The uneven stones stimulate various flex points in the feet which some believe can lead to health benefits like improved circulation and reduced stress.

Until recently you were most likely to find these pathways in China where spas and condominiums regularly promote the pathways as an amenity of their properties. But you can now find a few reflexology paths in the United States: there are several in the Seattle, Washington area, like the King County Parks.

If you view their website you will find links to paths in the area, medical benefits, reflexology foot map, and instructions on how to properly walk a path. If you don't have a reflexology path nearby you may want to consider this reflexology rug from signals.com. It is about 28 inches in diameter, is hand woven from hemp and stones by artisans in Thailand. This just may be the most convenient way yet to experience a soothing, and beneficial foot massage.

But after all is said and done, really nothing beats a visit to a certified reflexologist.
If you'd like to learn how to work reflexology into your busy daily routine buy Complete Reflexology for Life by Barbara and Kevin Kunz, world-renowned names in reflexology.

Do-It-Yourself Reflexology

Reflexsock2 The gentle healing art of reflexology can be an effective form of therapeutic foot massage. By applying pressure on certain reflex points in the feet you can get relief from aches and pains, increase circulation, revitalize energy and reduce stress. So many health benefits and it feels so darned good, too! While reflexology is most effective when done by a professional it could be more convenient (and less expensive) to try on your own, all you need is some easy-to-follow guidance.

Well, now you have it --  just slip on a pair of Earth Therapeutics reflexology socks. The soles of these socks have colorful, easy-to-understand diagrams that show each reflex pressure point. This simplifies the complex art of reflexology and provides a fool-proof instruction so you can provide a healing and fun massage on someone else. They also come with a printed chart you can use when you are on your own and realize how difficult it can be to read the bottom of your socks.

They cost about $10 a pair and my feet are telling me they are worth every cent. You may even want to wrap these babies on other parts of your body and press those pressure points for a real thrill of a lifetime!

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