Let’s learn more about Ingham and Asian reflexology treatments because did you know that for most people, the feet are the most sensitive part of the body? They daily take a severe beating as they support our entire body weight. Furthermore, most people walk around every day on unforgiving surfaces…… hot, cold, wet, dry, rocky, smooth, grainy or gravelly. While men customarily wear shoes designed for comfort, women often feel compelled to showcase their legs with extremely high heels. These look great, but certainly takes a further toll on your poor feet.

Ingham and Asian Reflexology at Taksu Spa Ubud, BaliIf your feet could talk to you, what do you think they would say? Would they be screaming at you due to all the pain you cause them, or would they thank you for the proper care and treatment they receive?  Would they recommend an Ingham and Asian Reflexology treatment?

If your feet could also talk to the rest of your body, any idea how the dialogue would flow? The kidneys may well say you need to drink more water. The heart may insist on more active workouts. The liver may shout for a serious detox. Well, a trained reflexologist can hear these vital organs through the feet and guide you in taking better care of yourself.

The History of Reflexology

The practice of reflexology has been around for thousands of years, originating around the same time in Egypt and China. Extensive journeys during the Roman Empire era served to spread its use throughout Europe. Eventually, it made its way to native North Americans via the Inca civilization, becoming part of their traditional health practices.

This ancient form of therapy has stood the test of time in many parts of the world, leading so many people to better health.  Today there are two main types – Ingham and Asian Reflexology.

Ingham Reflexology: What is it and how does it work?Ingham and Asian Reflexology at Taksu Spa, Ubud, Bali

As we know it today, western reflexology was developed in the early 1930’s by Dr. Eunice Ingham, an American physical therapist. She discovered that the foot and hand can be divided into twelve different zones to treat various regions of the body. This scientific system is used to naturally heal muscles and organs by stimulating predefined pressure points on the extremities.

This method uses the thumb-finger walking technique to pinpoint the pain in your body and then pressure is put on the corresponding location on the hands and / or feet to heal the ailment. It also improves blood supply. It is primarily used for releasing tension and stress as these factors are linked to many health problems. Ultimately, this technique is meant to promote wellness by providing health and healing to where it is most needed.

The Magnesium Bonus

Although Ingham Reflexology still remains one of the most popular forms, new modifications are consistently being made as therapists share their experience and new clinical discoveries are made. A recent innovation is the addition of magnesium oil as a lubricant it is more quickly absorbed through the skin than orally. It is one of those silent minerals that most people don’t even think about, but yet is vital for a well-functioning body. When you are magnesium deficient, which many people are no matter how varied their diet is, it can lead to a variety of health issues, including general tiredness and achiness.

When applied topically it can provide pain relief which is why it is used by athletes to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation. It can also provide respite from the intense throbbing of migraines.

Feeling stressed? Use a bit of magnesium oil to settle down nerves rather than turn to a glass of wine! It can even reduce hypertension which is also linked to severe magnesium deficiency. These same characteristics also make it a natural sleeping aid.

These are just a few of the wonderful benefits delivered by magnesium oil. Read more about it here.

Asian Reflexology: What is it and how does it work?

Also known as the Rwo Shur method, this too uses the thumb-sliding pressure technique with the addition of knuckles and a small wooden stick to increase the intensity. The wooden sticks are able to dig much deeper than the hands alone and enables the practitioner to feel the small crystals or grains under the skin. These crystals indicate energy blocks which are more easily broken up with the stick’s pressure.

The focus is therefore more on stimulation versus the relaxed feeling created during an Ingham reflexology session.Ingham and Asian Reflexology at Taksu Spa, Ubud, Bali

Another core difference is that Asian Reflexology is based on the principle of energy meridians. Although ultimately similar to the 10 zones used in Ingham Reflexology, there are 12 primary energy channels in Asian Reflexology in which the feet serve as the master control centre.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, when energy is blocked, applying firm pressure to the corresponding point on the foot helps to clear the blockage by increasing the flow of Qi (energy) and blood to enhance the body’s innate healing power.

Yes, it can be painful, but a well-trained reflexologist gauges the condition of the recipient and adjusts accordingly. Afterwards, you will feel light on your feet and any pain you felt before magically dissipated.

Which one is for me?

Only you can be the judge. For pure relaxation, yet with health benefits choose the Ingham method. If you want to address any health issues through breaking down energy blockages then Asian reflexology may just leave you feeling like a new person.  Or just try both Ingham and Asian reflexology treatments to assess which one offers the maximum benefits for you as an individual.

Where can I find professional Ingham and Asian reflexology?

Unsurprisingly, Ingham Reflexology is practiced more in the West than the East, and vice versa. There are places which offer both types under a single roof. For example, Taksu Spa located in the heart of Bali’s spiritual capital of Ubud trains all of its therapists in both Ingham and Asian reflexology styles. They have the added benefit of a nature-infused environment which is sure to set you immediately at ease. Check them out at here.

Pretty much everyone loves strawberries and increasingly a strawberry facial. For sugar lovers, they possess all the sweetness without the guilt. They happily adorn desserts with their vibrant red color. Many shades of lipstick are named after them. Coated with decadent chocolate they embrace the concept of love, especially on Valentine’s Day. And they are ever so adorable with that goofy looking green hat sitting atop their conical body.

Despite their popular appeal, few people really appreciate just what a powerhouse they truly are. These tart fruits are packed with powerful anti-oxidants, dietary fibre, and loads of beneficial vitamins and acids. So it is well worth making them part of your regular diet.

Although the concept of a strawberry facial may seem strange at first, these very same factors serve to slow down ageing. Their seeds also act as a gentle exfoliant to remove dry or dead skin, thus sustaining that youthful
look you have worked so hard at through a well-thought out eating regime.

  • Vitamin C fights off free radicals that steal oxygen from healthy cells and destroys collagen, one of the major causes of wrinkle formation. They also prevent acne and pimples from popping up.
  • Folic acid aids in cell regeneration and the production of new cells in our bodies.
  • The anti-oxidant ellagic acid prevents collagen destruction and protects the skin from harmful UV rays. It is one of the main reasons some people have that youthful glow year-round.
  • Strawberries acidic nature is effective in removing the excess accumulation of sebum which can cause oily skin and acne.
  • The salicylic acid is an excellent exfoliating agent, clearing away dead cells and inhibiting the growth of notorious blackheads.

The humble strawberry does more than just create a fantastic strawberry facial. They can be used as a scrub for the feet, body and even the lips. With its astringent properties, just place several large pieces over your eyes; relax
for 15 minutes and no more puffy, dark eyes. Rub a strawberry across your teeth and you’ll have a brighter smile to accompany your strawberry-fresh smooth skin. Create a strawberry hair mask to soften, nourish and moisturize.

It seems like there is nothing this power-packed berry cannot accomplish for your health and beauty enhancements

Interested in what a Vegan Chocolate Scrub is all about?  Well, let me tell you a true story.  A friend recently became a vegan and as a newcomer, she had questions about exactly what foods were indeed 100% plant-based. As a lifelong chocolate addict, her first question was could she still eat chocolate. She was relieved when it was explained that chocolate comes from cacao beans grown on cacao trees, so indeed it fits the criteria. As she sighed with relief, I had to give her a reality check. In the journey from the tree to the grocery store, additives such as milk, sugar, cocoa butter and milk fat are used to enhance the chocolate’s flavor. The result is that not all chocolate in its processed form is vegan! Her smile vanished! For example, most milk chocolate contains milk ingredients, although if you search carefully you can find some made from a rice, almond or other plant-based milk. However, most chocolate sweets are made from dairy-based milk chocolate, so reading the ingredients is important if you want to remain on a strictly vegan diet.

Her smile quickly returned though when I explained that most dark chocolate is vegan, especially for those with a high proportion of cacao, pure ingredients and few additives. Their prices tend to be higher, but once the chocolate enters your taste zone, you won’t regret it. Fortunately, vegan dark chocolate is readily found these days, so vegans who are chocolate lovers need not despair!

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT A VEGAN CHOCOLATE  SCRUB

Chocolate body scrubs have been popular for a while now, yet my former meat-eating, converted vegan friend was confused about the advantages of a vegan scrub. It is actually quite logical, but I patiently described why a vegan chocolate scrub is so much better in many respects.

Firstly, almost all vegan chocolate does not contain any harsh chemicals. It is a completely natural way to exfoliate, nourish and moisturize the skin. Plant-based scrubs are particularly effective for those with sensitive skin as it is gentle, yet powerful enough to aid in renewing cells.

Secondly, even most meat eaters do not want to be part of unnecessary animal cruelty. By choosing a vegan chocolate scrub you are assured that there have been no animals used to test products. This in itself will make your skin feel all that much better.

Thirdly, the caffeine in chocolate stimulates blood circulation which serves to revitalize and firm skin. Who wants to observe signs of premature ageing such as wrinkles, age spots and fine lines? Chocolate is just the magic elixir to retain youthful skin.

Fourthly, chocolate is a known source of antioxidants and we all love those free radical killers.

Fifthly, the cocoa butter found in vegan chocolate is full of natural emollients and natural oils, so it is a fantastic moisturizer. If you suffer from dry, rough and flaky skin, chocolate is your ideal remedy.

VEGAN CHOCOLATE FOR GUILT-FREE SNACKING AND HEALTHY SKIN

There are just too many compelling reasons not to choose vegan chocolate. It doesn’t mean you have to embrace a vegan diet, rather just to take advantage of its nourishing health values for the body and skin. Plus you will play a role in creating a more sustainable world.

LYMPHATIC MASSAGE BASICS

Just like dining out at a new restaurant, choosing which massage or spa treatment is best for you can be fairly overwhelming.  The menu is often quite extensive and even confusing for inexperienced spa-goers, especially when you see something strange like lymphatic drainage massage or myofascial release therapy.

Balinese Massage is the standard whole body massage, particularly wonderful for easing aches and pains. Warm Stone massage is so soothing and comforting that it is almost like a sedative for the mind and body. And who would not find a Lomi Lomi massage enticing just by the images it evokes of tropical island lifestyles. Any of these options would make your family and friends jealous of your immersion into the world of wellness.

In contrast, imagine you came home and told your loved ones that you just had a Lymphatic Drainage massage. Maybe they will shriek in horror thinking you had just been diagnosed with an awful illness.  Despite its less than enchanting name, it is an incredibly gentle and therapeutic massage. To understand why, you first have to appreciate how a well functioning Lymphatic system is so crucial to your over-all health.

 WHAT IS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM?

Lymphatic System in the Human BodyThink of it as rail system inside the body. It has main lines that feed into key stations, in this case critical organs, and others that take you to outlying destinations, for example the arms and legs.  Lymph vessels are like the rail lines that carry the lymph fluid to various stations known as lymph nodes located primarily in the neck, groin, armpits and tummy districts.  When loud and visible public transportation systems don’t work in the real world, it affects many people who rely on it daily.  Yet when the silent Lymphatic system breaks down most people are not even aware of it, blaming the resultant health problems on other factors.  Annoying aches, low energy levels, fatigue, mood swings and frequent colds may all be due to an impaired lymph system. That is why a well-functioning system contributes significantly to over-all wellness.

WHY IS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM SO IMPORTANT?

Its main role is to collect excess fluid, clean it of all waste products, and return it back into circulation. Without it, our bodies would become bloated so that we looked like a big marshmallow.

Our cells would also be infested with all sorts of harmful pollutants brought to us through poor environmental conditions and dietary habits.  Even the most wellness-focused person needs the lymphatic system to clear itself of unwanted substances such as bacteria, viruses and fungi in order to fend off potential infections and illnesses.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

For most of us, the lymphatic system just keeps humming along however, it really benefits from a recharge.  A lymphatic drainage massage can increase the volume of lymph flow which holds metabolic waste, some of it toxic, by as much as 20 times.  It is like a liver detox program without the hunger pains!  If you do opt for a detox, a lymphatic massage is a great way to expedite the release of toxins from the body.

Although this in itself is of immense value to your long-term health, the massage has also proven to help reduce swelling problems such as lymphedema that frequently occurs after cancer treatments.  Similarly, breast feeding mothers benefit from unplugging tender lymph nodes.  For anyone with bloated or swollen joints, it can really help drain the fluids and provide comforting release.

By delivering more antigens to the lymph nodes, it can relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis and laryngitis.

As no massage oils are used it can focus on the face to relieve puffiness due to fluid retention.  Due to the quick draining process, it firms and smoothes the skin.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A LYMPHATIC MASSAGE

Forget about any pain from a therapist digging deep into tissues and joints.  A lymphatic massage is all about light, feathery strokes – so soft that some people gently fall to sleep during a session. The paradox for many is how such a superficial technique has such a deep impact.  However, it is really quite simple as a lymphatic massage enlivens and accelerates the body’s normal processes.A relaxing lymphatic drainage massage

The process starts on the upper part of the rib cage to force muscles to work a bit harder with breathing resistance.  It moves to the neck area, an area full of lymph nodes, with pumping actions.  Strange as it may seem at first, the therapist then starts to perform pumping techniques in the navel area.  This is because the largest lymphatic vessels are on this level, so it further speeds up the progression of fluid into the nodes.

Next comes massaging the lymphatic nodes themselves, a painless process.  In fact, it should almost feel like someone was caressing your body in a thoughtful manner.

It is recommended to drink plenty of water before a massage as the quick disposal of excess fluids can make you feel a bit unfocused immediately afterwards.

WHERE TO FIND A LYMPHATIC MASSAGE

Let’s get real. Lymphatic Drainage Massage is not typically found on spa menus, despite its many genuine health benefits.  As it is quite different than typical massages which use moderate to strong pressure, it hence requires a longer training period to get it just right.  Most spas just choose to offer more mainstream bodywork treatments.

If you do find a spa in your area that features it, check that the therapists are well trained, preferably with international certification such as CIBTAC, ITEC or CIDESCO.  Especially if you are there for any medical reasons, be sure to ask management about their training.

If you are in the USA, you can find a qualified therapist here.

When in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, Taksu Spa has an excellent team of well-trained Balinese therapists who display a degree of sensitivity to your needs that is not often found in other cultures.

Wherever you choose to try a Lymphatic Drainage Massage, you will certainly not regret it.  More likely, you will keep coming back for more.