Physical Healing Through Emotional Release: Ayurvedic Reflexology

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Can physical healing be experienced through emotional release?

 by Earl Rigdon


 Ayurveda (pronounced I-yoor-vay-da) is an ancient, traditional health system developed in India more thsn 5,000 years ago. When the principles of Ayurveda are brought together with contemporary Western reflexology, we have a powerful marriage of knowledge, and a new and dynamic approach to wellness… Ayurvedic Reflexology.


The Ayurvedic approach to health and well being is based on the concept that there is a deep connection between mind, body and spirit.  The philosophy of Ayurveda states that there is no separation between the physical body and the mind. One cannot maintain physical health if the mind is unhappy. The disease process begins first on a spiritual level. It progresses through a mental and emotional level until it begins to effect the body physiologically. The process can take many years or in cases of extreme duress or chronic emotional conditioning, symptomatology can be immediate.  In most cases, when the cause is discovered, the decline does not continue.   Recognition of the imbalances in the first three stages is best.


Ayurveda acknowledges an inextricable connection between humans and everything else in the universe. It is not surprising then that Ayurveda strongly advocates that we embrace a harmonious and respectful relationship with Nature.  Ayurvedic medicine is based on the Laws of Nature and utilizes naturally occurring substances, therapies and routines for healing purposes.  These include herbs, vegetables, oils, essential oils, minerals and gemstones, Daily routines of health (Dinacharya), nightly routines of health (Ratricharya), routines of seasonal changes (Ritucharya), appropriate combinations of food, nutrition for the individual’s doshas in Prakriti (Primary Constitution) or doshas in Vikriti (Imbalances in Constitution) known as Nutrition Ahara, treatments and habits for rejuvenation (Rasayana), individual yoga therapy for doshas (Ayuryoga), meditation by means of sound (mantras) and combination therapies to massage the Body (Abhyanga), Head (Shiroabhyanga), Hands (Hastabhyanga) and Feet (Padabhyanga). 


Padabyhanga massage includes hand techniques such as friction, knuckling and effleurage on the feet and the legs this stimulates blood and lymphatic flow. These techniques also assist in the vital flow of prana giving vital energy to the body and mind.  Prana naturally flows, via major nadis (thousands of micro energy channels), down through the limbs towards the fingers and toes. If the flow of prana is sluggish or blocked, the inevitable outcome will be an absence of health (dis-ease) within the organism.  Additionally, the chakra system is connected via the soles of the feet which helps re-balancing the charkras. Padabhyanga incorporatyes two additional ayurvedic therapies: foot massage with Kansa Vatki (basins made of 3 metals: tin, bronze and zinc) and Marma therapy (Accupressure of energy points).  Metals are extensively used in Ayurvedic treatments. Copper helps in reducing pain, inflammation, and arthritis and also improves the quality of haemoglobin.  Zinc helps in proper functioning of the digestive system and immune system, and Tin is believed to be helpful in digestion, relieving headaches and insomnia. According to eminent french Ayurvedic practitioner Atreya Smith, “Marmas are similar to the pressure points used in reflexology and acupressure. In fact, it is the system of marmas that is the origins of these systems and acupuncture. Their use in the context of the Ayurvedic system greatly enhances their results.”  Dr. David Frawley also reminds us of their tremendous value, “Therapeutic regions, like marmas on the arms and legs, are the most important for treatment purposes.”  Ayurvedic physicians palpate marma points at the skin surface for diagnostic purposes


Reflexology is based on concepts of Chinese medicine that all parts of the body have corresponding reflex points on the ears, hands and feet.  Additionally the emotions of grief, anger, fear, worry and joy are associated with various internal organs.  In Western Reflexology, the therapist systematically walks through the body in effort to stimulate the reflex points.  This process generates nerve impulses to the various body parts.  It also stimulates the flow of life energy, known in Chinese medicine as chi.  The discovery of crystallization is routinely attributed  to localized problems, or some form of dysfunction in related reflex areas.  Once identified, pressure is applied to the crystals in effort to crush, or liquefy them, so they can be moved to the lymph system and removed from the body. 


The benefits of Padabhyanga, Hastabhyanga and Western Reflexology are almost identical:  Helps calm the mind, promotes quality sleep, promotes circulation in the feet and legs, nourishes the skin on the feet, aids foot health (alleviates pain, improves muscle tone and strength), helps maintain eyesight and hearing, helps calm and maintain the vata dosha, helps prevent sciatica and most importantly it connects the body with its emotions bringing it closer to the spiritual level.


Ready to experience the benefits of Padabhyanga ?  

Allow Earl Rigdon our Reflexology and Massage therapist to customize a therapy for you !!!

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