[Subterm of Manipulative therapies]
Reflex therapy or Reflexology refers to a therapeutic method that uses manual pressure applied to specific anatomic zones that are known to communicate with specific anatomic areas of the body enabling treatment of specific physical disorders. The organs, muscles and other components of each half of the body are believed to be represented at the foot on that side, primarily on the sole (but also on the dorsum, heel and toes). Other areas of representation are found on the hands and ears. Bodily functions can be influenced by stimulating these areas with pressure or massage thus activating a reflex mechanism involving nerves or meridians. Reflexology may be used together with other techniques. Other therapies that use the concept of correspondence to parts of the body include acupuncture techniques such as Auricular therapy and Korean hand acupuncture.
[Related techniques: Autogenic training, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, meditation]
Relaxation therapy refers to techniques for eliciting the “relaxation response” of the autonomic nervous system. One of the most common relaxation techniques is progressive muscle relaxation, pioneered in 1930 by Dr. Edmund Jacobson, an American physician. Progressive muscle relaxation is based on the notion that it is impossible to be tense in any part of the body when all of the muscles are completely relaxed. Furthermore, tension within involuntary muscles and organs can be reduced if the associated skeletal muscles are relaxed. The method is learned by first tensing a muscle before relaxing it in order to help recognize the difference between tension and relaxation. Subsequently, it is possible to relax a limb without first tensing it. The technique was modified over time. Other relaxation techniques involve passive muscle relaxation, refocusing, breathing control, or imagery. Benson’s relaxation response contains an attention control element wherein the focus addresses slow rhythmical breathing combined with repetition of a single word. With imagery-based relaxation, the idea is to imagine oneself in a place or situation associated with relaxation and comfort using visualization and involving all the other senses in creating a vivid image.
The treatment is usually carried out in a quiet room without bright light. The patients usually lie on their back with arms to the side. Muscle groups are systematically contracted and then relaxed in a predetermined order. In the early stages, an entire session will be devoted to a single muscle group. With practice, it becomes possible to combine muscle groups and then eventually relax the entire body all at once. With progressive muscle relaxation, several months of practice, at least three times a week, are required after learning the technique in order to be able to evoke the relaxation response within seconds.
Rhinofacial acupuncture refers to a form of acupuncture point stimulation utilizing points on the face and nose. Needles are inserted in order to produce therapeutic effects within specific organs or even to produce analgesic effects in specific of the body. It is based on some type of communication (not yet identified) between the face and these organs. The relationship is explained by the presence of acupuncture points on the nose and face that are not directly part of classic meridians but are linked to meridians via anastomosis, a more complex branching system.