Reflexology is the term given to the deep massage of the feet, primarily on the soles of the feet. Practitioners of this field of alternative medicine believe that each area on the foot corresponds to a main part of the body and that by massaging a particular area of the foot, that corresponding part of the body is stimulated. While many believe that this treatment is beneficial for adults, the Bromley Health Management website notes that reflexology also has benefits for children. Others claim that it can help calm children who suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy and stress, as well as help babies deal with earaches, colic, cutting new teeth and muscle pains.
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Why Reflexology is Effective on Children
Children are more apt to relax and give themselves up to the benefits of reflexology because they do not have any preconceived ideas about the treatment. In addition, they are young, and life stresses have not had time yet to do major damage on their bodies, so short-term treatments are all that most children will require.
How Children are Prepared for Reflexology
Everyone wants to hold a baby, and each one of us holds a baby differently. Some will cuddle the child and stroke his back while others will hold the baby in a more horizontal position and pat his bottom. Other adults will gently rub the back of the baby's head or lightly stroke the back of his neck. All these experiences teach babies about positive touches, so when their feet are massaged, they are more likely to not only permit it but also enjoy it.
Reflexology's Effect on Childhood Illnesses
Performing reflexology on a baby can help relieve the pain and stress of colic, colds, earaches, sore throats and muscle pains. It can relax a baby enough that he can pass the gas causing colic pains, and it can help the baby fall asleep even though he has pain in his ear or throat. Also, by massaging the part of the foot that corresponds to the colon, a parent can "cure" a constipated baby. In addition, on his "Passing the Torch" blog, Dr. David Allan notes that reflexology has had positive effects on children who suffer from cerebral palsy.
Other Benefits of Reflexology in Children
Reflexology begun at an early age can help instil trust in a baby. This will result in a happy and content child. In addition, a simple foot massage before bedtime can help a baby fall asleep more quickly and even enter a deeper sleep cycle. On his "Passing the Torch" blog, Dr. David Allan reports that there have been several cases in which reflexology has helped calm children with ADD and ADHD.
Reflexology should be performed gently on babies, and if you are unsure about the correct amount of pressure to use, consult a certified reflexologist. If you cannot find one in your area, consult a chiropractor, many of whom also practice reflexology. Reflexology helps relieve symptoms, but if they continue to reoccur, it is important to seek the cause of the symptoms. Sometimes a professional reflexologist can help find the cause. If she cannot, she will refer you to a medical specialist.
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