Reflexology and Hair Loss

reflexotherapyBy now, anyone who is not living under a rock has heard about reflexology. Everyone seems to practice it nowadays  and places that offer this service seem to pop up like mushrooms after the rain.  Moreover, the demand for these places is high since people are attracted by the fact that this practice is completely safe and drug-free.

Are there any true benefits of reflexology?   It is actually very hard to determine since no serious studies have been made in this field.  All we can do is unveil some of the myths about the effectiveness of reflexology including  its effectiveness in treating hair loss and  you will have to decide whether you should be a believer or not.

What is Reflexology?

Foot_Massage

Reflexology is a practice that considers the body as divided into 10 different zones that are represented across the hands, ears, and feet.  Consequently, it is believed that by stimulating certain points on the hands, ears, and feet, corresponding regions and organs will also be stimulated.  Blood circulation, nerve impulses, nutrient absorption and energy will be increased in that particular region.

This sounds very good and all – being able to increase the blood flow and nutrient absorption in any organ at will.  You would think that this would surely help with a number of conditions including hair loss.  By increasing the blood flow in the scalp, the hair follicles might be provided with more nutrients… Right?

Well not exactly.  The sudden increase in blood flow in the scalp actually causes your hair to fall out temporarily (shedding of hair in telogen phase) and then regrow healthier and stronger (this is what Minoxidil does).   As there are no reports of this happening to people who undergo reflexology, this can make you doubt  it actually does anything.

Other Myths of Reflexology

  • Something that would make you doubt that reflexology actually does anything is the fact that practitioners practice it on cancer patients.  Any person with a basic knowledge of medicine will tell you that it is strictly forbidden to increase the blood flow in the region affected by cancer.  Any type of heating or stimulating is strictly forbidden.  Even vitamin supplementation can make the cancer grow faster.  If reflexology actually did increase the blood flow and absorption of nutrients, then the people who  perform it on patients with cancer actually quicken their departure.
  • People who practice reflexology also claim that this technique can “rid your body of toxins and restore energy.”  We can’t tell you anything about “restoration of energy”; however, we can tell you about toxins.   There is no such thing as accumulation of toxins in the body.  If you have toxins released by bacteria in your blood stream, you have temperature and you are very sick.  If you have toxins in your intestine, you have diarrhea.  The point is – toxins cannot go unnoticed.  These same people claim that the popping of the joints that you hear during the massage of the hands and feet is caused by accumulation of “salts” or toxins.  Once again this is far from the truth.  The popping sound is caused by the gasses being released from the synovial liquid located within the joint when the pressure within that space quickly drops as the synovial cavity rapidly expands (for example when you pull on your fingers).
  • The heel pain that many mature people go through is also claimed by the practitioners of reflexology as “accumulation of salts”.   In fact, this heel pain is caused by heel spur – calcification (accumulation of calcium) of the plantar fascia.  Reflexologists  try to massage it, saying that this will heal the pain.  In reality, however, this condition is better treated by stimulating that area as rarely as possible ( which is almost impossible to do since you’re constantly walking).  As well, you could use anti-inflammatory creams on the region since calcification is the direct result of inflammation of plantar fascia.

Can anything good be said about in reflexology?

Of course!  Reflexology is a wonderful tool for relaxation.  And since a modern person is always too busy to just sit and relax, reflexology is a good reason to allocate some time to just lying there and enjoying a good foot or hand massage.

Since hair loss is sometimes caused by stress, reflexology can somewhat help with that.  You must discount the fact that all the hair that people lose due to stress eventually grows back on its own.  But people always want to believe in something and reflexology can relieve stress.