Reflexology is a healing technique that dates back thousands of years and is still prevalent in today’s healthcare. This method works under the assumption that three areas of the body, the feet, hands and ears contain points that are correlated with neural pathways leading to many other body parts such as internal organs.
Manual pressure is applied to these three locations based on which connected organ or body structure is experiencing dysfunction.
As with many other healing techniques, the specific implementation of reflexology varies across the globe. Given that the Chinese and western methods of reflexology are two of the most popular forms of the technique; this article will explain some key differences between the two.
The first notable difference between these two methods is the body map used to navigate treatment. Reflexology uses a specific anatomical map that displays the exact points on the hands, feet and ears that correlate to locations elsewhere on the body.
While both Chinese and western forms of this technique do in fact utilize a body map, the specific points vary significantly. For example, the Chinese body map displays the pressure point correlating to the Pancreas being located along the inside edge of either foot. Western reflexology believes this point is found in a significantly more specific area, the ball of the left foot.
Both methods being discussed further divide the aforementioned body map into “zones” or “meridians.” These zones divide each foot into numerous sections that correlate to the same layout as the whole body.
Western reflexology states that the body is divided into 10 specific zones, with each foot being divided equally into these areas. On the contrary, the Chinese method divides the body into 12 energy meridians. Similar to the western approach, the feet are still regarded as the center of treatment that affects the entire body.
The actual intensity of the applied pressure also varies between these two methods of reflexology. While the western approach tends to maintain a somewhat gentle approach that stays within the individual patient’s level of comfort, practitioners following Chinese guidelines require a greater amount of pressure, regardless of pain level, once the appropriate contact point is found.
Further differences between both methods include the actual tools utilized during treatment sessions. Chinese reflexology applies the pressure using a wooden stick that is rolled back and forth across a specific pressure point.
Supporters of this method believe that this tool allows greater pressure to be applied with the added benefit of being able to feel the areas of discomfort more acutely. Instead of using actual tools, the western technique involves all of the pressure being applied by the hands and knuckles of the person performing the treatment.
When discussing the differences between western and Chinese reflexology methods, an obvious point of interest would be which of the two is superior. While there is no objective way of reaching this conclusion, arguments exist on either side. No matter what healing intervention an individual seeks to follow, availability is probably the most critical factor.
The effectiveness of any healing technique doesn’t matter if a person is unable to actually receive the treatment. Considering this dilemma, the Western reflexology method boasts significantly greater accessibility. The cause of this disparity is due in part to the reverence in which reflexology is regarded in the Chinese method.
This technique is kept somewhat secretive, only being passed on between family members and close-knit groups of students.
Western reflexology is substantially more commercialized, being able in a broad range of continents and countries. In conclusion, the intricate differences between both methods do not hold as much relevance as the actual availability.
Reflexology Can Improve Your Health
The practice of reflexology stretches back thousands of years. This isn’t a newfangled trend brought to you by western civilization. Reflexology is an ancient Chinese medicine that believes in the body’s energy.
If you’re familiar with the term qi, then you already have an idea about what reflexology is and how it can positively influence your life. Qi is basically your body’s energy force.
If your qi is blocked, then it can cause illness and diseases. All is not lost, though, because those blockages can be cleared through the amazing practice of reflexology. The body’s meridians can be manipulated through the practice of reflexology.
Science points to the efficacy of the practice, highlighting how it can positively influence people suffering from asthma, constipation, headaches, joint paint, and even cancer. It’s such a simple practice, but it is a powerful one.
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