Salud Consicnete – La Reflexología no sirve según la evidencia científica.
En un Pueblo Consciente, en la Súper Cultura se hacen masajes a la planta de pie, pero no se hacen con la idea de la reflexología para curar alguna enfermedad, si no que se hace como una rutina para mantener a los músculos relajados, en este caso, para tener a la planta de pie relajada, y para generar el efecto de la relajación.
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Reflexology is based on the claim that the body can be divided into zones that have their endpoints in the hands and feet. You can visualize various bits and pieces of the human body—the eyes, the lungs, the bladder—with little strings coming out of them, and these strings descend all the way to specific points on the soles of your feet. They are “reflected” there, hence the name. By pressing the bladder spot on the sole of the foot, you would, according to this eyebrow-raising theory, stimulate your actual bladder, like a puppet master moving a marionette around.
Because reflexology is used in the health space, it is surrounded by a thick cloud of claims: that it can relieve stress, help with insomnia, treat all manner of diseases and conditions (including rectal prolapse!). And, of course, you will never run out of testimonials from people who swear by it.
Reflexology is also a reflection of every complementary and alternative “medicine” under the sun, and by looking at it from different angles we can learn what distinguishes it from evidence-based medicine and why its semblance of effectiveness has sustained it for centuries.
First, there are the implications of reflexology if its theory is true. If every organ in the body maps onto the sole of our feet and the palm of our hands, and these organs can be supported by pressing on these discreet spots, what happens when we walk? when we grab objects? when people go rock climbing? when a boxer punches a bag and their fingers press into the stomach and liver areas? Either we would be injuring or healing our inner organs every day simply by interacting with the world.
Then there’s the issue of the maps themselves. They disagree with each other. The idea of pressing down on hands and feet to treat illness dates back thousands of years, but the modern birth of reflexology is traced in its literature to Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat doctor, who claimed to discover that these pressures could cause partial anesthesia and thus allow him to perform surgery without anesthetics. He and a man named Edwin Bowers published about this “reflex zone therapy” in 1917, and people in the ensuing decades refined and changed his theory. We thus ended up with a number of methods: the Ingham method, the metamorphic technique, the Morrell method, Vaxuflex reflexology, holistic multidimensional reflexology, and others. And their maps of which part of the foot to press to reach the right organ don’t all agree, like telephone keypads with some of the numbers mixed up. There seems to be particular disagreement over where the pituitary gland, the solar plexus, and the heart can be accessed. The heart! That’s never a problem for cardiologists, but reflexologists from different schools of thought simply agree to disagree.
Something else that distinguishes reflexology from science is its unfalsifiability. Philosopher of science Karl Popper famously proposed that real science is distinct from fake science because it can be falsified or proven wrong. It turns out that this is an overly simplistic solution to a complex problem, but whether or not a claim can be shown to be wrong is certainly something to keep in mind when trying to determine if it is scientific or reliable. Reflexology simply cannot be wrong. First, it has been claimed that it is impossible to treat “inappropriate” zones on the feet because all zones have an effect on the body. Even if you massage the wrong area, all organs are linked, so the healing process will reach where it needs to go. But more boldly than that, some reflexologists claim their intervention can cure future problems! Therefore, if you think a session of reflexology was not beneficial to you, it may only be because you don’t know about the future stomach upset it helped prevent. Neat trick.
The idea that the body is separated into zones that end in the hands and feet is simply not supported by medicine, but that has not stopped reflexologists from guessing as to how their specialty might work. Maybe it’s tapping into acupuncture meridians (also not a thing). Maybe diseased organs launch crystals of calcium and of uric acid down nerves and they deposit on the soles of the feet, and reflexologists can break them up with their hands. Maybe this pressure sends signals up the nerves that silence pain signals. Speculating on possible mechanisms of action is easy but it does not mean much if the technique itself is shown not to work. So does reflexology actually work?