Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Weight loss and Reflexology

  The question ‘Can Reflexology help with weight loss’ is often asked.

Stress may increase intake of the wrong foods

Adrenaline and cortisol are stress hormones released to protect us when we feel threatened. In today’s busy world we experience high levels of stress as we juggle work, family, finances, relationships, etc. Stress prompts the fight-and-flight response activating the following hormones:
·       adrenaline
-      increases the heart rate
-      tightens muscles
-      shortens the breath
-      boosts energy supply
·       cortisol
-      increases sugars in the bloodstream boosting energy.
-      the body burns more fuel and oxygen

To maintain a state of alertness, an instant spike of energy is produced when eating foods containing sugars and simple carbohydrates. Our body is designed to respond to stress quickly, burning up the fats and sugars as fuel and for the stress hormones to drop when we no longer feel threatened.

Scientific and medical research clearly shows that to stay in a state of stress - resulting in high cortisol levels - is detrimental and may cause numerous health problems such as
·       obesity: increased appetite and cravings
·       increased stored body fat
·       compromised immune system
·       heart disease
·       sleep problems
·       digestive problems
·       chronic fatigue, etc.

Reflexology regulates stress
During a Reflexology treatment, deep relaxation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes further relaxation thus slowing production of cortisol and adrenaline. 
The result is a
·       slower heart rate
·       relaxed muscles
·       improved digestion
·       body and mind are more relaxed
·       improved immune system
·       improved feeling of well-being

Weight loss/management

As reflexology improves feelings of well-being and regulates the stress hormones, cravings diminish and digestion improves. To lose or control weight, the intake of food needs to supply the right amount of fuel for good energy. Reflexology sets a lot in motion, both physical and mental, but on the journey of weight loss the following is crucial:
·       feed the body the fuel it needs, not more, not less
·       eat a variety of fresh, non-processed foods
·       eliminate all sugars
·       avoid saturated fats
·       eat good fats
·       read labels and look for the ‘hidden’ sugars and saturated fats
·       exercise – walking and swimming are safe exercises. Daily chores such as cleaning, home maintenance, gardening, etc. are also ‘exercise’
·       drink up to 8 glasses of water per day


References

Mayo Clinic (2010). Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001
Malesky, G., Kittel, M. (2011). Prevention. Retrieved from: http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/how-your-hormones-affect-your-weight

This is general information only, it is not medical advice