Mar 232005
Authors: Daniel Hallford

Reflexology sessions are available by appointment with Suzanne Roug� by calling 308-1415, with more information at, by appointment with Carol Kellgren by calling 391-5251, and at the Healing Arts Institute by calling 223-9741.

Reflexology, another arm of therapeutic massage, is practiced to keep the body free of toxins and promote its natural healing.

By using a map of pressure points on the feet, ears and hands, reflexologists cause internal organs to contract, resulting in the release of toxins and the relaxation of the body.

Reflexology is beneficial in four major ways, said Suzanne Roug�, a reflexologist in Fort Collins. Reflexology provides deep relaxation, allowing the body to reach a state of homeostasis. The body is supposed to reach homeostasis during sleep, but in the modern world there are too many distractions and stressors to allow good rest, she said.

Secondly, reflexology improves blood circulation to all parts of the body. After the organs contract and the stagnant toxins are squeezed out, the improved circulation brings healthy nutrients and blood into the area, stimulating natural healing. Thirdly, reflex points provide exercise for organs that usually do not get much use. By stimulating these organs, they become healthier.

"This is a way of passively exercising your organs," Roug� said. "It's a very grounding thing; it really calms the physical body."

As a fourth element, Roug� adds the integration of herbal remedies and a spiritual component to her reflexology sessions.

"I see it as a spiritual practice," Roug� said. "The more a person is invested in their own health and healing, the more belief you hold in that, the more the body can do what it's designed to do, and that is to heal. Reflexology is replenishing all your organs with better building blocks for health."

Reflexology can stimulate the 10,000 nerve endings in each foot to reach every area of the body. Spots on the feet, hands and ears are closely related to the practice of acupuncture. As such, reflexology spots are called acupressure points, Roug� said.

"It's a well-being measure," said Carol Kellgren, reflexologist at A New Beginning Doula and Massage Therapy, 1304 S. College Ave. Suite 11. "Reflexology is a gentle way to nurture someone."

Kellgren said that reflexology is not a cure for any illness, but it is a way to keep a person's body healthy. Reflexology raises energy levels and self-esteem, Kellgren said. By using reflexology in conjunction with good diet, exercise and healthy sleep habits, one can achieve health.

"I help people feel better through relaxation of the body. Reflexology can cover the entire span of the body without working on the total body itself," Kellgren said.

Certification for reflexology is separate from that of massage therapy. The Healing Arts Institute, 4007 Automation Way, offers programs in both disciplines – a 500-hour program for certification of massage therapy and an additional 175-hour program for certification of reflexology.

"We can't go back to being an indigenous people, so we have to bring some of the tools forward to help us cope with the world today," Roug� said.

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