Healing Arts

The Healing Arts: According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health*, Massage Therapy and Reflexology are separate body-based alternative healing modalities. Massage concentrates primarily on soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and fascia) while Reflexology focuses more internally through the nervous system.

Massage and Reflexology therapies assist in bringing the body into a balanced state of relaxation by calming the nervous system and thereby relieving stress and tension within the body/mind continuum. This reverses our stressful “fight or flight” state of mind to one of peace and tranquility.

We are physically and mentally designed to self-heal—to restore and revive. This can optimally happen when the overall balance in the body is restored. This is called homeostasis. Our electrical and chemical systems (endocrine and nervous systems) begin to normalize and bring us out of “dis-ease” and into “ease.” This is the primary effect of complementary and alternative therapies. In addition, certain therapeutic techniques can also be done to relieve specific pain and address various acute and chronic health conditions.

Yoga and meditation have become mainstream integrative health practices in the U.S. and are used to help people cope with the pressures of continuous stress on varying levels, which affects our natural homeostasis. According to the Functional Medicine profession, 95% of our physical and mental illnesses are either caused or made worse by stress. As a result, many people are turning to Mind-body interventions (MBI’s) such as meditation and attending yoga asana classes. Both are recognized by the NCCIH as effective complementary and integrative therapies.

Eventually, the future trend for any individual wellness protocol will undoubtedly incorporate massage, reflexology, yoga, meditation, energy healing or another alternative type of therapy in place of or in conjunction with holistic, functional, and conventional medical treatment.

*The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the leading Federal agency for research on integrative and complementary health practices.