Saturday, October 10, 2009


Occasionally in my yoga class, we take a moment to massage our feet, hands, or faces (particularly the ears). This is the practice of reflexology, a natural healing art that applies pressure to reflexes on the hands and feet that correspond to other parts of the body in order to promote their function. On a general level, reflexology reduces stress, but is also used to reduce pain, improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and complement traditional medical care. Archaeological evidence suggests that the idea of reflexology emerged centuries ago, but it began to be used in the West in the 19th c. This was the same time phrenology reached its popularity, but while phrenology was debunked as a pseudoscience, reflexology has been accepted as an alternative medicine. In the U.S., there is an association and a certification board. I like the practice of reflexology as much as I like the charts, having been long fascinated by the idea of the homunculus.

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