As an atheist and critical thinker, I’m a naturally skeptical person with a sharp mind. I can see the fallacies of many types of alternative healing, yet there are some practices that I feel work. First of all, I’ve noticed that many freethinkers tend to enact a knee-jerk response as mentioned in another thread to anything not administered by pharmacuticals. It is frusterating, because I am both a critical and open-minded person, and being in a community of freethinkers is most likely to mean being in a community of alternative medicine bashers, so to speak.
Reflexology is the practice of stimulating nerves on the feet and hands to temporarily aide a “blockage” or problem. I have been practicing it since I was young, and no I am not “brainwashed” by it, it actually works.
How much does it “cure”? I don’t know. But to say that the effects are “placebo”? Ignorance.
It makes sense: all of the nerves in our body connect at the feet, the most sensitive part of the body. If we press a nerve, it will react. If we have a health problem, is is generally do to a part of our body that is out of wack. Pressing a point causes a response, thus the feeling of relief.
When I had a terrible cold, I performed reflexology by pushing my toes on one foot (holding and pulsing with the other) against a slightly sharp edge of a table. The pulsing caused different feelings throughout my body: discomfort in the form of a slight “shock”, a warm tingling sensation, followed by a feeling of “wetness”. These nervous responses are hard to explain. As I pulsed my sinus spot, my sinuses cleared. After the treatment on the whole foot, I felt deep relaxation and calm. Reflexology also teaches that spots on the toes that appear puffy may connect to a problem area. After treatment, my puffiness goes away. When I am sick, my toes get very red. My foot doctor simply told me toes “just do that’, but relfexology points to an issue. After treating red toes, the puffiness goes away and I feel better. I have countless success stories based on reflexology, including a time when I had the flu and for awhile felt normal.
It works, I feel the effects, and honestly…even if I don’t have “scientific evidence”, I feel great relief and good feelings, so thanks but I’ll continue. I’m not proposing we should substitute it for any kind of medicine, and I notice the effects are temporary, but sometimes temporarily giving your big toe a massage instead of popping a liver-damaging Advil is for the best.
If you want to outright call reflexology bullshit, fine. That is your right. But sometimes I notice that many people bash it before they try it. Of course we should study this in detail, but we should also keep in mind that sometimes the most simple approaches are the most effective, and not every discovery that “works” is made in a labratory.