How can this be from the beginning to the end?
Colleagues and myself included, have long been on a continuous search to answer "How does Reflexology work?".
I have to note here before I continue that I have been deeply influenced by my mentor Nico Pauly of MNT-NR Int.
So out of many possible explanation one of them could be in a phrase, because of the "plasticity of the brain".
A great book for this is "The Brain that changes itself".
You can actually download it for free here!
You see "thinking-imagining-visualizing" a movement or a structure like a muscle or organ not only affects the way our brain works but also its physical shape and structure and that of the movement or structure!
This is achieved because imagination and action are actually integrated and engage the same neural pathways, practising one actually influences the other!
Watch this great video for more:
An inspiring example of the positive effect of visualization I had heard about years ago and has to do with the Chicago Bulls basketball team. Phil Jackson the team coach would use visualization but also encourage the players to use it themselves before every game,
and here: Phil Jackson believes in visualization. He guided the Lakers to three titles in his first stint as their head coach from 1999-2004, and guided the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in his nine years as head coach from 1989-1998. In his book, “Sacred Hoops,” he wrote “Visualization is an important tool for me.” Jackson helped his players not only visualize their success winning games, but he gave them guided meditations called, the “Safe Spot” during half times to help the players calm down to focus. The players in their visualization each went to a special place in their minds where they felt safe and at peace.
Also of interest and worth noting for my further down last equation is mentioning an example of the brain changing its morphology and structure which you can read here, here.
So what are the equations?
Pressing on reflex area + client focusing on area at hand = better desired results
There is great example from Touchpoint.dk.
Linking of foot reflex and body area Find the sore area on the back (in the picture it is thoracic 10), and the equivalent reflex area on the foot. If there is acute pain, try to hold a gentle static pressure with the hand on the back, while treating the foot reflex with the other hand. This linking provides an additional energy exchange between the areas, while at the same time increasing the client's focus on the therapy.
You can vary the technique so that the static hold is on the foot reflex, while you massage the back. Or you can hold still in both places and let the energy flow do the work.
This last equation was inspired by a comment Lorimer Mosely made when I asked him to have a look at a Reflexology research with fMRI's and here.
"I am curious to know if the recipients had knowledge of Reflexology maps." clearly implying that if they did they could activate on there own their own somatotopical brain regions (sensory-motor).