What Diseases Can Be Treated By Reflexology

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Reflexology and Your Body's Anatomical Relations

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Your feet must last a lifetime! When making reference to reflexology of the feet, we must correlate this part of the body to its anatomical relations.

Anatomical Terms
THE ANATOMICAL POSITION - The body is in the upright position with the head facing forward, the arms at the sides, with the palms of the hands facing forward and the feet together.

MEDIAN PLANE - When the body, in the anatomical position, is divided longitudinally into right and left halves, it has been divided in the median plane. Any structure which is medial to another is nearer the midline and any structure lateral to another is farther from the midline or at the side of the body.

PROXIMAL - Closer to any point of reference.

DISTAL - Further from any point of reference.

POSTERIOR OR DORSAL - Indicates that the part being described is nearer the front of the body.

ANTERIOR OR VENTRAL - Indicates that the part being described is nearer the back of the body.

SUPERIOR - Above or higher than a given reference, e.g., diaphragm guideline is superior to the waistline guideline.

PRONE - Lying face downward.

SUPINE -Lying face upward.

PLANTAR SURFACE - The area pertaining to the bottom or sole of the foot.

DORSAL SURFACE - The area pertaining to the top of the foot.

MEDIAL - The inside of the foot, or an anatomical area nearer to the midline of the body.

HALLUX - The great toe.

FLEXOR HALLUCIS LONGUS - The flexor tendon of the great toe, which forms the tendon guideline.

DIAPHRAGM LINE -This line runs from the medial to the lateral edge on the plantar surface of the foot at the base of the metatarsal heads.

WAISTLINE - This line runs from the highest point of the tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal on the lateral edge of the foot, across the plantar surface to the medial edge.

PELVIC/HEE LINE - This line runs across the foot from the medial to the lateral edge at the calcaneus/navicular joint.

TENDON LINE - This is a longitudinal line that runs from the diaphragm line to the pelvic/heel line along the flexor hallucis tendon. This line/tendon protrudes visibly when the great toe (hallux) is pushed back.

REFLEXOLOGY - A science that deals with the principle that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands, which corresponds to all the glands, organs and parts of the body. Reflexology is a unique method of using the thumbs and fingers on these reflex areas.

REFLEX AREA - The area on the foot that corresponds anatomically to the area found on the body as outlined on the Ingham Method of reflexology charts.

ZONES - Imaginary longitudinal lines which run from the head to the toes and divide the body into ten (10) sections.

HELPER AREA - The reinforcement reflexes that are worked, besides the direct reflex, to aid the area of congestion.

REFERRAL AREA - The reinforcement reflex for reflexology is an area that allows us to work one part of the body to help another.

PIN-POINT REFLEX - A very small, exact reflex which requires an exact measurement using the guidelines: pituitary, ovary/testes, uterus/prostate, ileocecal valve and flexure reflexes.

SUPPORT AND PROJECT - A holding technique used to protect the toes from being bent back or pinched. The fingers of the holding hand are place as a unit on the dorsal surface, level with the tips of the toes, as the thumb of the working hand works down the plantar, medial and lateral surfaces of the toes.

LEVERAGE - Positioning of the fingers in opposition to the thumb to give the thumb or fingers greater strength.

BACK AND OUT TO THE SIDE - To push the foot back and out to the lateral side with the heel of the holding hand in order to work the plantar surface of the foot from medial to lateral.

BACK AND STRAIGHT - To push the foot back and hold in a vertical position with the heel of the holding hand in order to work the dorsal and lateral areas of the foot, e.g., lung/breast/chest and pelvic reflexes.

HOMEOSTASIS - The body maintaining stability or balance.

Anatomical Relations
Reflexology is based on zone therapy; as such we have referral areas. Referral areas are areas of the body that are interesting and extremely useful as an adjunct to reflexology. They allow us to refer to one area of the body as an alternative area. For example, the arm to the leg, leg to arm, hand to foot, ankle to wrist, wrist to ankle, elbow to knee and knee to elbow.

The right and left hand are referral areas, for the right and left foot respectively.

The palm of the hand refers to the plantar surface of the foot.
The inner forearm refers to the calf or the leg.
The bony part of the forearm refers to the shinbone.
The elbow refers to the back of the knee.
The front of the upper arm refers to the back of the thigh.
The back of the upper arm refers to the front of the thighs.
Also note, the relationship of the thumb to the great toe, the thumb being in the opposite position to the great toe.

The basic reason we call these areas referrals is simply because of the anatomical relationship existing between them.

Now suppose there were a misstep and you sprained your ankle very badly. A Reflexologist would know that pressure would soon build up on the areas of the sprain if it were not immediately relieved. Naturally, if the ankle is too injured to touch, much less to work on, the reflexologist would work on the wrist, due to its anatomical relation to the ankle.

To repeat, a referral area is an anatomical related area which can be worked instead of or in addition to the affected area. For a reflexologist, this is true for all referral areas. This is quite amazing! Like Aristotle said, "Nature does nothing in vain".

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