By Dorit Brauer. This article was published in Reflexology Across America Magazine, Winter 2011.
Holistic medicine understands that a physical imbalance seldom occurs in isolation.
It is essential to look at the entirety of a person’s life: the quality of life, environment, nutrition, family relations, etc. In addition it is no coincidence where in the body and imbalance manifests. Every organ has a deeper meaning.
The digestive organs may relate to a person’s ability to digest the events in his or her life. Constipation may represent the inability to let go and holding on to the past. Diarrhea relates to an over-stimulation, an influx of too many new impressions. The person is not able to deal with them or integrate them.
Back stands for support and stability. Hips relate to balance. Legs have to do with movement and flexibility, as well as the ability to go with the flow of life. Bladder issues represent the need to relief pressure. The eyes, of course, relate to the aspect of seeing, e.g. if a person does not want to look at things in their lives or refuses to gain insight.
The respiratory organs represent the rhythm of life as well as contact and relationship. Breathing demonstrates the law of polarity. Breathing in is tension and breathing out is relaxation. The two form a steady rhythm and do not exist without one another. If the rhythm is not kept a problem might occur.
The alveoli of the lungs have a surface of approximately 230 square feet, in contrast to the skin, which has a surface of around 6.5 square feet. The skin forms the border form the outside world and it is up to a person’s will if he wants contact or not. However the contact of the lungs is indirect and not under control of the will or ego. If the lungs are affected issues concerning relationships and contact may be considered.
The head stands for intellect, reason and thinking. A human being has two centers, the heart and the brain. When a headache appears it is a sign to take a break and to listen to the heart. One has to change the focus from thinking to feeling. It is not a surprise that in our head-oriented society so many individuals suffer from headaches.
There is also significance to the two sides of the body. The left side relates to the relationship to the inner self or the relationship to a close female figure, as mother or wife. The right side has to do with the interaction with the outside world, as well as a male figure, the father or husband.
The knowledge of the deeper meaning of our organs is not a new invention and we can find it deeply embedded in our language with expressions like:
– someone without a backbone
– something sticks in our throat
– to jump out of one’s skin
– a person who has a lot of gall
– to have two left feet
– to stand with both feet on the ground
– pain in the neck
– someone is handy
The following example illuminates the practical application of this knowledge for the holistic practitioner. A woman came to see me for Reflexology. She had consulted several physicians and nobody had been able to help her. Her presenting complaint was severe pain in her hips and her lower back.
My first question was: “When exactly did the pain occur for the first time and what was happening in your life then?” She reflected briefly and answered: “The pain started the day after I received notice that the firm I work for would go out of business and I would loose my job.” Amazingly nobody had asked her this question before.
From the holistic viewpoint the mental state of my client had immediately manifested in her physical body. The pain in her hips could be translated as her sense of loosing balance. The lower back is related to survival, the sense of feeling safe and secure in our physical existence, which also includes the financial aspect. The analysis of her feet revealed high sensitivities in the reflex-points related to the kidneys. According to Chinese Medicine every organ of the body is associated to a particular emotion. The kidneys are associated with fear and anxiety. My client confirmed that she was filled with fear when she thought about her future. She couldn’t sleep at night.
In our Reflexology sessions I focused on balancing all her bodily systems and stabilizing the energy flow to her kidneys, her hips and lower back. After her first one-hour session my client felt a significant reduction in her pain. She practiced daily the meditations I taught her. This allowed her to take part in the healing process and learn the tools, which are essential for prevention of disease. She meditated before she went to bed and was able to sleep through the night. She felt increased confidence and reported a more positive outlook on her future. After three Reflexology sessions her pain was completely gone.
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