Reflexology and the Elderly
Nowadays, there are several popular forms of complementary and alternative medicines and therapies that promote wellbeing, such as homeopathy, chiropractic, reiki, massage, and reflexology. This week, it's 'Reflexology Awareness Week - but what is reflexology and why is it so popular among the elderly?
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas of the body, notably involving the manipulation of defined pressure points on the feet, hands, lower legs, face or ears. Reflexologists believe that pressure points correspond to various areas of the body and that the application of pressure on these specific points can help to alleviate illness, encourage healing and release tension by working on lines of 'energy.' Aside from the physical benefits, reflexology is relaxing and is often cited as an effective way to alleviate stress.
Regular reflexology sessions can help older people cope with general aches and pains as well as alleviating symptoms associated with some chronic problems, including:
- Respiratory conditions
- Anxiety and depression
- Recovery from stroke
- High blood pressure
- Migraine and headaches.
Often carried out in hospices and residential homes for the elderly, reflexology techniques can help reduce cholesterol levels, reduce and maintain lower blood pressure and assist with mobility. It has also be attributed as being a calming and reassuring non-verbal method of communication for those who have Alzheimer's and dementia, by providing relaxation techniques helping the client to feel they are in a safe place.
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