The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels:
- interfere with learning and memory,
- lower immune function and bone density,
- increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease.
Our emotions greatly impact our well-being and health. Once we feel an emotion, our autonomic nervous system is activated and our body responds with stress in the form of blood pressure increase and fast heart rate. Also, stress can encourage cortisol release and production. People who are depressed have a high cortisol level. This stress hormone impacts the body’s neuropeptides, as well as our social skills and behaviour.
Depression is a condition which can impact the entire body. It changes how we think about ourselves and other people. Depression impacts our nervous system, influences how we react to some situations, and changes our mood. Although depression can be treated and managed with traditional medicine, reflexology has promised to work wonders in terms of depression treatment.
How Reflexology Generally Works
The idea behind reflexology is that some foot zones correspond to some anatomical body parts. It is believed that applying pressure to such points can promote healing in some parts of the body. Reflexology is aimed at promoting health in body organs and releasing stress from the body. In this therapy, the feet and hand are mapped to spot particular points which correspond to body parts and systems. By stroking, massaging, and applying pressure to such points, therapy can unblock energy flow and release tension. According to Ancient Chinese philosophy, energy flow can be blocked and cause diseases like depression. Also, reflexology can promote better blood circulation and break down the buildup of lactic acid crystals in the feet.
Reflexologists are trained to help balance the mind and body and to maintain this state of homeostasis the body needs to run smoothly. When there is a malfunction in the body it is thrown off balance. Reflexology helps to sustain a natural equilibrium in every gland, organ, muscle, tissue and cell in the body through stimulation of pressure points, called reflexes on the hands and feet.
Stress is a normal physical response to events when a person feels threatened, upset or their equilibrium is threatened in some way. At this point, the body’s defences kick into a rapid, automatic process known as the fight-or-flight reaction, or the stress response. When there is a perceived threat, the nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action and the blood pressure rises, the heart beats faster, senses become sharper and, for a brief period, stamina and strength can increase. These reactions are life preserving but many people live at this heightened state of anxiety all the time and that can take a physical, chemical and psychological toll on a person that impinges on every aspect of their life.
Work-related stress has only recently been recognised as one of the major causes of some of the most costly, time-robbing health problems for business; millions of working days are lost by illness and injury, mostly millions are from stress, anxiety, and depression.