Reflexology is rooted in the ancient Chinese belief in qi (pronounced “chee”) or “vital energy.”

According to this belief, qi flows through all beings, and when a person is stressed the qi is blocked, leading to an imbalance that could potentially lead to illness.

Reflexology is essentially the use of pressure applied to specific reflex points on the ears, hands and feet. When pressure is applied to these locations, the nerve endings are stimulated and in turn correlate to the different organs, joints, glands and systems of your body.

This technique – and the goal of reflexology – is to keep qi flowing through the body, maintaining a balanced and disease-free equilibrium.

A reflexologist can stimulate your digestive system using pressure and strokes over reflex points on the feet that correspond to your stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and small and large intestines.

Reflexology typically increases blood flow to the digestive tract, therefore energizing and decreasing the stress on this vital system.

Many people do not digest their food completely in their stomach because of low HCL levels (Hydrochloric acid) vital for breaking down food into absorbable nutrients and protecting the body from infection. These low HCL levels allows food to linger in your small intestine and produce toxic byproducts.

A common technique used by reflexologists is finger walking. This method, when used on the feet, can alleviate constipation and blockages along the digestive tract.

In a nutshell, reflexology helps promote the elimination of toxins that build up within the digestive system, toxins that over time can lead to inflammation and fatigue.

Being kind to your body with healthy routines and drinking plenty of water is always appreciated, but it is especially important after a reflexology treatment. Your body will be working overtime to get rid of the build-up through the digestive and urinary systems and they need to be supported to prevent dehydration.

Reflexology should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, but it’s also a great way to complement your current healthy routines and keep that qi flowing.

Holly Wright of Bluffton is a Reiki Master, reflexologist, NASM certified personal fitness trainer, and co-owner of Trinity TheraSpa in Moss Creek Village.