Helping depression with reflexology

Reflexology for depression

Depression is something that can affect your whole body. Depression alters the way you think about yourself and others. Depression affects your nervous system, changes your mood and influences your reactions to certain events or situations. Depression is a growing problem in the UK and a disturbing trend is to only prescribe anti-depressants to combat the illness. However, there is an alternative way to help depression and that’s to use reflexology. Unlike prescribed drugs, reflexology does not have the associated risks of dependency or the nasty side-effects such as nausea, dizziness and lethargy. Reflexology is a complementary and alternative therapy that can provide immediate relief from the effects of depression.

Reflexology stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine in which the practice of stimulating certain points on the body can have a positive affect on internal organs or other areas. In reflexology, the hands and feet are mapped to identify specific points that correspond to body systems and parts. By massaging, stroking or applying pressure to these points the reflexologist can releases tension and unblock energy flow. Ancient Chinese philosophy states that energy flow can become blocked and cause illnesses such as depression. Reflexology can also encourage better blood circulation and break down lactic acid crystals that build up and settle in the feet. By breaking down these crystals, they can then be absorbed back into the body’s system and flushed out.

Finding the reflexology points for depression

A reflexologist will focus on specific points when alleviating depression. Within the body there are glands that regulate our emotions and mental well-being. When someone is suffering with depression, these glands do not function correctly and cause instability. The glands that a reflexologist will target to treat depression are the pituitary, thymus, pineal, thyroid and parathyroid. They do this by using massage or pressure to points on the big toe, under the big toe, on the ball of the foot and toward the inside of the foot.

Reflexology for depression will also focus on other associated reflex points. Points on the feet and hands that correspond to the heart, chest, solar plexus, lung and upper limbs will be massaged to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Reflexology can also encourage the release of endorphins within the body. Endorphins are the ‘feel good’ chemical that we naturally produce and are known for relieving stress (which can have a big impact on depression).

Reflexology is a self-help treatment for depression

The feet and hands are a map to improving our health and well-being both physically and emotionally. A reflexologist can examine your feet for condition, colour and appearance to identify any underlying causes of your problem. People experience different sensations when receiving reflexology but generally everybody finds it relaxing – and relaxation plays a major part in overcoming depression. Reflexology can be incorporated into your daily lifestyle and a trained reflexologist can teach you methods to use at home to combat the symptoms of your depression. Simple massaging techniques on the toes and fingertips can make a big difference to your physical and emotional state.

If you are suffering with depression don’t just reach for anti-depressants to help. Consider an alternative therapy such as reflexology which can provide an effective and relaxing solution to your problem. Reflexology can also be a suitable complementary therapy that works alongside your prescription should your GP suggest this option.

Article submitted by
Daniel Alexander, GoToSee Journalist

Date published
23/08/08


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