Balance the Energy Flow in the Body
When your body is functioning at its optimum, you are in a state of homeostasis, which means balance. With homeostasis, every system of your body is working properly; you are a fine-tuned machine, running at full production. The central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord, sends messages through the nerves directing every part of your being to act properly. This basic operating function happens without any outside stimulus.
Energy flows through the body by way of electrical impulses, which may be nerves or chemical messengers such as hormones or endorphins. How does that work? Some pathways of energy do move with the nervous system, and others use meridians, zones, chakras, dermatomes, or, simply put, the universal life force. We aren't going to discuss the different pathways here — that's a whole other book! What we are concerned with is the fact that energy does exist and that reflexology assists in removing any resistance to the flow of energy.
Congestion and Blockages
Congestion or blockages can occur throughout the body, and stimulation through reflexology may break up this interference, allowing the energy to flow freely. An area becomes blocked or congested when the body overloads with toxins. Toxins are any substances that interfere with homeostasis, interrupting the smooth flow of body function.
Some of these congested areas may be actual stressed regions found in the feet. Scar tissue from a past injury, calluses, or pinched nerves, as well as a buildup of uric acid can all be the cause of blockages. Other causes may be emotional upsets, which can produce an overall feeling of listlessness and exhaustion. Emotional stress can bring about muscle tension, headaches, and even upset stomachs. The extended blockage of energy channels can result in long-term illness or pain.
Chronic pains, which may manifest as fibromyalgia, myofascial syndrome, arthritis, or irritable bowel syndrome, are clear examples of energy disruption. Meridian therapy is based on the concept that the flow of energy is blocked, not allowing smooth passage of blood, lymph, and nerve supply to the organs. When an area on a meridian indicates stress, or a reflex feels tight, this reflects congestion of an energy pathway.
There are ten zones, twelve main meridians, and seven main chakras, all of which divide the body into sections. Each of these sections is connected to the structure, function, and well-being of the body and is accessed through reflexology.
What Is This Energy?
The energy we are talking about here is the same shared energy that makes up everything on this planet. Humans connect into this universal energy through their own energy fields. The body's energy fields are composed of many electrical functions dispersed throughout the organic systems. You have electrochemical, electromagnetic, and many other electrical impulses working to maintain balance in your body. The molecules of the body run through many pathways of energy, continuously balancing your systems in a circuitous cycle.
Energy is measurable though not always seen. The machines used in conventional medicine such as EKG, EEG, EMG, MRI, and EKY are used to diagnose disruptions in body systems. These diagnostic implements seem to be based on the concept of energy and energy fields. The idea of seeking out imbalance and correcting the energy field is now being developed in today's medical practice. A meeting of conventional and ancient wisdom is taking place.
The Practice of Holistic Energy Medicine
Holistic means whole. Energy means life. Medicine means to heal. Whole-life healing is the practice of holistic energy medicine. This does not mean that reflexologists practice medicine. Far from it! Reflexologists and other energy workers assist the receiver in helping themselves by using the whole-body concept. The only true healer is the body, mind, and spirit of the person being administered to. The integration of many modalities contributes to whole wellness.
The balance of all three elements — body, mind, and soul — is essential for true wellness. Being healthy is a many-faceted component. Physical health exists when all systems are functioning at the best for the individual, who is then full of zest and exuberance. A healthful environment is essential and includes the food you eat, the water you drink, and the air you breathe. Honoring your living space and those you live and work with is also part of whole health.
Universal life force energy has many names throughout the world's cultures, such as Chi, Qi, Ki, Prana, Shakti, Reiki, Spirit, Yesod, Waken, Baraka, and Orenda. You have probably heard one or two of these mentioned before. The energy systems are accessed through zones, meridians, or chakras. The practice of yoga, with its postures and breath work, is another way to connect with these systems. Prayer and meditation are also powerful tools.
Mental health is another part of the holistic picture. Living a satisfying life and feeling fulfilled by your experiences are necessary aspects of a healthy mindful state of being. Emotional well-being is intrinsic to the quality of mental health desired. Many also believe that spiritual health connects you completely to the universal energy. A healthy spiritual self allows for unconditional connection and recognition of a Greater Source.
The social aspect of whole health is an important connection. An energetic, vital being lives a longer, happier, and healthier life than one who has minimal social contact.