After a long day on your feet, it is natural to experience some fatigue in those trusty appendages at the bottom of your legs. But did you know foot pain could be associated with problems elsewhere in the body?
In the practice of reflexology, it is believed that every organ, muscle and bone structure is connected to the soles of the feet.
"By working the soles of the feet you can treat the whole body, because every body system is represented there," said Judy Spivey, who does reflexology, as well as a variety of therapeutic massages at the Payson Day Spa and Salon.
"Reflexology is an ancient healing art practiced by Eastern cultures, such as those in China and Japan. It was also practiced in ancient India and Egypt," Spivey said.
There are more than 7,200 nerve endings in each foot, she added.
"If people are self-conscious about taking their clothes off for a full (therapeutic) massage, reflexology is a good alternative. Who doesn't like to have their feet rubbed?" Spivey said.
She said reflexology can relieve stress and tension, improve circulation and the lymphatic flow in the body.
"It will benefit the whole body," Spivey said.
She has been practicing reflexology for about four years, and for most of that time has been working at the Payson Day Spa and Salon. Spivey said learning to do reflexology treatments was a natural extension of her holistic practice course of studies.
Spivey shared a partial list of things that could be helped by reflexology:
• headaches, including migraines;
• high blood pressure;
• back ache and sciatic pain;
• allergy and sinus problems;
• neck problems; and
• the well being of the entire body
"In recent studies they're saying reflexology is an effective way of providing some emotional relief, as well as dealing with physical problems," Spivey said.
For the maximum benefit from a reflexology treatment, Spivey recommend a 20 to 30 minute session.
Jessica Horn, another member of the Payson Day Spa and Salon staff, also provides reflexology, along with therapeutic massage.
When Spivey gives a reflexology treatment, she starts with a superficial massage of the foot to warm the tissue. Then using her thumb and fingers she does deep stimulation to the entire sole of the foot, plus the toes.
"I work the points on the foot and if I find a tender spot I give it more treatment," Spivey said
To finish the treatment another overall foot massage is given.
It is also possible to do self-treatment. Spivey said a tennis ball can be used, or there are little kits available that contain wooden balls in various sizes for self-treatment.
To make an appointment for a reflexology treatment, call the Payson Day Spa and Salon at 474-6621. Spivey said appointments are usually available with only a day's advance notice.