One of the most valuable and noticeable benefits of reflexology is improving digestion.
Time and time again one of the most noticeable things people report after having a reflexology session is that they had a great bowel movement afterwards.
When your digestion is poor or sluggish, your whole system suffers. Without good digestion, you can’t absorb enough nutrients to give you the energy and vitality you need to keep your other organs and systems in check.
And chances are, even if you don’t have any noticeable digestive issues, you probably have some things to work out in the digestive systems of your feet!
Typically in a combination session, clients will get a shorter reflexology session, but I always include the digestive system as one of the key areas to work. In a full reflexology session, every area of the body is worked on the foot as well as some extra time on areas needing balancing.
And if you’re pregnant, reflexology is a safe treatment for things like heartburn, indigestion and constipation!
So, WHY do our digestive systems need some extra LOVIN’?
1) Processed foods, poor diet and poor food combinations.
2) Eating too quickly or in a hurry when eating and not chewing food enough.
3) Unknown food sensitivities disrupting the lining of the small intestines that create inflammation, bloating, leaky gut, etc.
4) Lack of water intake.
5) Imbalance of gut flora from antibiotic use.
In our society today, we often operate at higher levels of stress. Even when you don’t think you’re stressed, you probably have some degree of stress. For example, driving in traffic which most of us do daily, can be stressful!
In a state of stress the sympathetic nervous system is activated, AKA your fight or flight response. In this state, your body prepares by drawing your blood supply away from the trunk of your body and into your limbs so you can either run or fight.
You may have heard of this innate biological response that has historically been used to protect man from getting eaten by lions, tigers and bears – OH MY!
Unfortunately, this once helpful biological response hinders your digestion. So when you are stressed the energy that should be used to digest your food is instead directed away from the center of your body.
Reflexology works to reduce this stress response in the body and activates the parasympathetic nervous system AKA your Rest and Digest Response. It is in this state that your blood supply is directed towards the trunk of your body, and your energy is being used to heal, rest and digest!
So what can you do to have better digestion, and therefore more regularity in your bowel movements, less bloating, indigestion, etc.?
1) Eat a proper diet full of wholesome foods: high in vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and proteins, and carbohydrates if you so choose. There’s a lot of different types of diets out there nowadays, and I don’t recommend any particular one over another. You gotta do what feels right for you, but no matter what you choose please make sure it has vegetables in it and is low in processed foods.
2) Chew your food. Slow down while eating your food. Take some of the burden off your stomach, intestines and digestive enzymes.
3) Take a probiotic that has a good amount of good bacteria. You can find these in your grocery store, health food store or at a Naturopathic Doctor office. Head over to Holistic YYC for recommendations on brands and types.
4) Digestive enzymes will help you digest foods that are hard on your system.
5) Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tsp a day can do wonders for aiding digestion and elimination.
6) Eat Fiber. Either from vegetables, fruits, or grains- fibre will help keep things moving along. Add in some ground flaxseeds to your smoothie or chia seeds to your pudding for an extra boost.
7) ZenGest: this blend of essential oils are great for soothing tummy upsets and promoting regular digestion.
Regular reflexology treatments can help with improving digestion and regular elimination(among many other health benefits).
Consider reflexology like an “oil change” or “teeth cleaning” appointment for your body. With health, maintenance is key! If your body breaks down after years of neglect, it can be a lot harder to get back to healthy. Instead, invest a little time and money into yourself to maintain and improve your health and wellbeing.