It taps into the parasympathetic nervous system by providing you with a deep level of relaxation. The parasympathetic nervous system is one of two major divisions of the larger autonomic system. The autonomic nervous system regulates activities in our bodies that seem to happen automatically like regulating our digestion, urination, reproduction, circulation, and our heart and respiratory rates.
There are two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. You have your “fight or flight” (sympathetic nervous system) which activates when we are in a state of fear, anger or stress and then you have the “rest and digest” (parasympathetic nervous system) side which promotes the movement of food through our intestines, slows our heart and respiratory rates, and ensures normal function of our reproductive system.
Both states have an important role in our survival but it is the “rest and digest” where healing and recovery begin. Reflexology supports the body’s efforts to function optimally, improve circulation, and relieve tension through the application of pressure on the reflexes in the body that map to other parts, glands, and organs of the body.
A review of research studies found that reflexology can increase blood flow to organs, enhance organ function, lower high blood pressure, reduce anxiety, cause positive change in brain wave patterns, and reduce pain linked to arthritis, kidney stones, and diabetic neuropathy. It can alleviate the pain of migraines and tension headaches and other forms of chronic and acute pain.
Amongst the benefits that clients report are reduced stress, improved relaxation, released tension, decreased pain, improved body function, enhanced wellness, increased strength and increased mobility.