Energy channels is a concept which is central to the practices of Reflexology and Acupuncture. Both believe that vital energy is channelled through the body along specific pathways. In acupuncture, these energy lines are known as the meridians and in Reflexology the energy channels are called zones.
Both Reflexology and Acupuncture believe that diseases are caused by blockages in energy channels. The acupuncture points which are situated in specific points all over the body are most commonly stimulated with or sedated with needles. Reflexology however concentrates mainly on the feet although they can also work on the hands and ears, stimulating with specific finger pressure techniques the reflex areas as well as the sections of meridians situated there. It is by working on these specific reflex and meridian areas that these block energy channels can be released allowing the body to go back into a state of balance and harmony.
The meridians are a network of energy channels of which there are 12 major ones. Each of the meridians passing through one side of the body has a mirror image on the other side of the body which results in 12 pairs of meridians. If health is to be maintained within the human body then the circulatory and the nervous system must be able to flow freely throughout the body, if this is not able to happen then the body loses its natural balance and harmony which may lead to illness. This principle applies to the meridian network. When Chi (life energy) is able to flow freely throughout the body via the meridians then health and well being will be maintained. Environmental factors such as what we eat and drink, all affect the flow of Chi in the meridian network.
Along the meridian pathways there are acupressure points which are linked to the organs within the body. If a meridain is congested then a stimulation of any of these points will allow energy or Chi to enter the meridians. Stimulation of the meridians helps to clear congestion whilst restoring balance and health.
Reflexology works to maintain the equilibrium within the Chi (life energy) by activating areas of the meridians which are present on the feet, together with activating the reflexes of organs which relate to the meridians.