Reflexology Gets On Your Nerves—Literally

What is it about working on the feet that reduces nervous tension and anxiety? Plenty. The feet contain more nerves per square inch than any other part of the body. An important nerve for maintaining optimal function is the vagus nerve (vagus, from Latin, means wandering). This wandering nerve is a primary one within the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for automatic functions like digesting and regulating heart rate and blood pressure, among others.

Anxiety, which is becoming increasingly prevalent, inhibits digestive and other essential functions and people are finding help through body work that helps calm their jangled nerves.

Reflexology differs from massage because its methodology is to reduce tension directly through the nervous system rather than through the musculature as in massage. Both are excellent modalities for stimulating the vagus nerve, creating a deeply relaxed state conducive to healing on many levels.

In reflexology, the vagus nerve is mapped on the big toes (top and bottom) and halfway up the midline of the foot. Reflexologists use relaxed pressure along these areas to “wake it up”. Generally, simply bringing conscious awareness especially to the lower body, the base, can promote grounding, safety and stability which support not only the digesting of food, but also the digesting of life with all its complexities.

Cheryl Foster, a Nationally Board Certified Reflexologist, has been in practice for 15 years. Her gentle practice, Barefoot Dreams Reflexology, is located at 2230 E. Speedway Blvd., Ste. 100, Tucson, and is now offering a special introductory rate for new clients. Connect at 520-345-4554, or See ad. page 19. 

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