You may have asked what reflexology has to do with dentistry. The connection between them is like the connection between reflexology and other branches of western medicine. It supplements them. What does that mean? And how does it work? First, a few things about reflexology treatment must be said.
The word reflexology originates from reflection. Reflexology considers the feet to be a reflection of the various body organs, which may be influenced. Using various contact techniques such as rubbing and pressing, the reflexologist may treat various illness types. Applying pressure in certain areas causes a chain reaction of neural reflexes that leads to relaxing the muscle tone, improving the blood flow and generalized calmness in the body.
Foot massages are nothing new to mankind. There is evidence of many cultures using therapy focusing on the foot that is similar to what we call reflexology today, from ancient Egypt and China to 18th century Germany. At a certain stage, reflexology vanished from the medical world and was reintroduced in the early 20th centuries, when Dr. William Fitzgerald found that pressure applied to a certain area of the foot affected recovery and pain in various body parts. Fitzgerald called his treatment method “zone therapy” and in doing so laid the basis for modern reflexology.
Reflexology is a noninvasive diagnostic and therapeutic method, which has been researched and proved to help treat a range of morbidities, from fatigue and stress, to chronic and acute diseases. Reflexology is a holistic therapy method that is aimed at treating an individual as a whole being, to bring him to a state of balance and harmony of body and mind. Why is the state of balance so important? Because the body has self-healing ability that works better when it is balanced.
Reflexology is based on the understanding that the feet contain the reflection of all organs, glands and other body parts. The feet are highly sensitive due to the large amount of nerve endings that conduct electrical impulses and serve as energy channels that connect the feet to the end of the body. During application of controlled pressure on the various pressure points in the feet, neural impulses are applied that form a message that is transmitted through the neurons to the two nervous systems in our body – peripheral and central (the spinal cord and brain), and through them to the specific organ we wish to influence.
In the context of dentistry, reflexology is a certified therapeutic tool that helps temper and reduce levels of stress and anxiety, which are common conditions in patients in dental clinics. In this state of imbalance, the body’s muscles contract. When the muscles contract, the blood flow in the body is poorer, our natural pain killers in the blood flow have difficulty reaching the various organs and pain increases. Reflexology increases the blood flow and helps relax the muscles, thus improving the natural pain killers’ arrival at the various body organs, as well as nutrients and oxygen that are necessary for the organs to focus effectively, thus effectively helping the body heal itself.
The treatment starts with the introduction to the reflexologist and an explanation on its nature. After initial relaxation, the dentist starts the dental procedure. During the procedure, work is done on the various body systems, such as the nervous system, bloodstream, the lymphatic system, hormonal system and others, to bring the body to a balance that will help harness the intrinsic healing process to the extrinsic one being performed by the dentist. The reflexology treatment continues throughout the procedure, with attention to the needs of the patient in the various procedure stages.
Chaya Drey Shaked
Registered naturopath N.D, clinical herbalist, Cl.Hl and senior reflexologist. Graduate of the Kibbutz Seminary College, graduated with honors, studied under Shmulik Zaidel, veteran reflexology master, founder of the Israel Reflexology Association
Sharon Elimelech – senior reflexologist