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There are a number of massage therapy schools in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Most offer a wide range of training and courses to meet all needs of today's massage therapist. A number of these provide Reflexology as part of a typical training program. Just what is Reflexology? It's an alternative treatment approach that focuses on energy flow to help relieve the tension and stress found in the body.

It is not surprising that the popularity of Reflexology has spread rapidly across the country. The techniques for reflexology are very different from traditional massage, yet include it as part of an optional course for any of the licensed massage and shiatsu degree programs in Minneapolis massage therapy school. Since it is such a popular modality, many massage therapists have chosen to include Reflexology as one of their massage specialties. Because of this, massage therapists can benefit by adding Reflexology as an additional modality to their practice. Moreover, students pursuing a professional massage therapy degree or continuing their education can learn Reflexology at their school and then add it to their curriculum.

The benefits of Reflexology come from the specific areas of the body where reflex points are situated. When applied correctly, it will target these reflex areas in the hands and feet to help promote healing through increased blood flow and decreased tension. This same targeted program will also improve muscle strength in the shoulders and back. However, as with massage, there are not specific areas of the body which are targeted for reflexology. Instead, it is believed that the feet and hands are the ideal location for applying pressure for maximum benefits.

Perhaps the most popular region where Reflexology is practiced is over the shoulders and neck. Massage techniques focus mainly on those areas since they're believed to harbor a great deal of energy which can be exploited for therapeutic benefits. As a result of this, applying pressure points like those in the neck and shoulders is a fantastic way to both relax the body and generate extra energy for healing. While massage therapy focuses primarily on pressure points on the body, Reflexology applies its therapy techniques to the particular regions where pressure points are located.

Another area where Reflexology could be implemented is over the ears. This isn't surprising given the proximity to the neck and head. The ear is also connected to the brain which gives the ears their sensory organ, thus providing a potential source of sensory input. Because the ear contains sensitive nerve endings, the application of massage to the ears provides a relaxing effect as well as the potential advantages of stimulating the nervous system which assists in the healing process. This is why ear reflexology has been seen as an effective modality in the treatment of chronic conditions like depression, stress and pain.

One of the key ways in which Reflexology may be used is through the application of pressure points on the whole body. Pressure points refer to targeted areas on the body which allow for better blood flow, thus allowing for increased general wellness. By way of example, there is a specific pressure point referred to as the acupoints located close to the wrist. By applying pressure on these acupoints, the reflex points located in the wrist begin to transfer blood flow to the whole body, including the skin. By increasing blood flow, the whole body is able to maximize its immune system and work more effectively to fight disease and heal itself.

As mentioned before, Reflexology uses its own finger pressure points to stimulate the nerves within the body. It is this connection to the nervous system which makes Reflexology therapeutic oftentimes. However, as interesting as that may seem, the primary reason that massage therapy is often considered as capable of relieving pain and the treatment of a variety of conditions is because of its ability to alter the state of one's energy system. According to conventional reflexology, the body is made from the five basic meridians that run parallel to one another. By working every meridian with unique techniques, the energy system of the person can be changed.

Massage allows for the easy transfer of energy across the meridians and to the various areas of the body. If done correctly, it can stimulate the proper flow in the body, allowing for organs to obtain the proper nutrients they need. Besides potential benefits like improved circulation, there are also verified reflexology methods that may help decrease pain and reduce the healing time after an injury or surgery. Therefore, whatever you initially had in mind when you decided to go to the spa, it might be well worth it to consider Reflexology.

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