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Developed by the ancient Egyptians, reflexology is the art of stimulating pressure points in the ear, hands and feet to affect different regions of the body. The toes and fingers, for instance, stimulate head and neck zones, while the ball of the foot corresponds to the upper back and chest. To practice reflexology, on yourself or patients, you only need a comfortable, quiet room and a few basic supplies.
Books and DVDs are essential reflexology supplies
A thorough knowledge of reflexology techniques, including an understanding of the body's many pressure points, is a reflexologist's most important tool. Study up with good resources, such as Michelle Ebbin's DVD Massage Practice: Reflexology.
A chart shows you where to put pressure
Every reflexologist needs a handy reference chart demonstrating the location of pressure points. You can find large, color-coded charts designed to be hung as posters, so you can find the right spot at a glance. Reflexology charts are labeled with detailed information showing which body parts connect to which points of pressure in the hands, feet and ears.
Reflexology balls help alleviate pain
Reflexology blue balls, made of spiky rubber, can help reduce back and neck pain. The Acuball System, for example, includes two differently sized balls that you can roll and press beneath your feet to stimulate pressure points. The balls can also be used to address pain in other areas, such as the neck and back.
Massage tables, mats and chairs make patients comfortable
If you're going to perform reflexology on other people, you may want to invest in a professional massage table or reclining chair. This will allow your patients to relax as you work on their pressure points. A cushioned massage mat, placed on the floor or on a raised surface, offers a good alternative.
Special reflexology apparel reduces guesswork
If you're new to massage and reflexology, supplies like pre-printed socks and gloves make finding pressure points easier. Wear them yourself for a self-massage, or ask your patient to wear them. Labeled with pressure spots and their corresponding body parts, they let you instantly locate the places where you want to apply pressure.
Bolsters, brushes, and models are useful accessories
If you're planning to do reflexology often, or are thinking of getting your certification, you'll want additional accessories. Bolsters are useful for elevating a patient's feet, while brushes neatly apply and remove foot powder. Three-dimensional models of the ear, hands and feet are handy to have in the office.