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How does reflexology work?

With reflexology, the body is divided into 10 equal zones, starting at the top of the head and going down to the feet-with each of the zones having a corresponding area on the foot.

A good analogy to help make this concept clear is picture a marionette. In a marionette, each piece of the puppet's body is connected to a string, and each string is attached to one of two control mechanisms. By manipulating the two mechanisms, the puppeteer can move every part of the puppet's body.

In reflexology, the control strings run from the joints, muscles, organs and every part of the body to the feet.

By manipulating specific parts of the foot, you can manipulate the condition of every part of the human body. One study claims that reflexive foot massage can cut the need for pain medication following a surgery by more than half.

According to the Reflexology Association of America, each foot contains 7,200 nerve endings. The heart, for example, can be addressed by exerting pressure on the ball of the left foot. The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body, while the left foot addresses the left side.

To address a pain in the chest, a reflexology practitioner would manipulate just below the toes, on the center tops of each foot.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.