With all the information now available on the adverse side-effects of medical intervention into depressive states many people are looking to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to help. I am often asked about alternate or complementary practices that can alleviate the symptoms of depression. Although there are many holistic treatments that can help, one of the favorites is Reflexology. Reflexology has been well documented by science to relieve symptoms of depression.(1) Let’s look at depression and reflexology:
So what is depression? Depression is described as a state of low mood and aversion to activity that affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being.(2) When people are feeling depressed they will describe life as being sad, empty and hopeless. They may feel anxiety, be irritable and develop lethargy or restlessness: Once pleasurable activities become uninteresting, appetite may change and they may develop problems with concentrating or making decisions. People also exhibit physical aches and pains or digestive problems and sleep problems which seem to be resistant to usual treatments.(3) Bouts of depression may span from weeks to years and sometimes cause despair so great that suicide may be contemplated.
And what is Reflexology? At SCT we define Reflexology as a specific bodywork technique, where the therapist strokes, massages and applies pressure to the feet, hands and face to effect changes in the body, relax muscles, and stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
A Reflexology treatment session causes an increase in blood flow to organs and helps the body to eliminate toxin build-ups. The lymphatic and endocrine systems are stimulated while a state of relaxation is induced. Both sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems come to balance and natural feel-good hormones called endorphins are released. Scientific sources indicate that an increase in production of endorphins reduces the body’s stress response and causes feelings of well-being.(4)
On the holistic or CAM level, the internal energy lines that flow through the body are cleared and the body returns to energetic balance. This in turn is believed to allow optimal nervous system functioning.
Sounds good? And it feels even better! A good Reflexology session will leave you feeling rested and refreshed, ready to tackle the world again.(5) Regular Reflexology as part of a wellness program has been indicated to help alleviate depressive symptoms. So, if you are feeling a bit blue, why not give it a try?
If you would like to learn more about Reflexology SCT has courses in the classroom and distance learning available for professional or home use. If you have any questions or would like to learn more please contact us.