Reflexology for Runners

Since 1990, the amount of marathon finishers has increased by a whopping 140% to an estimated 518,000 marathon finishers in 2011 right through to an all-time high in 2013 with 541,000 finishers (bear in mind, that NYC had cancelled their marathon, due to Hurricane Sandy.  Had the Marathon have happened, that number would have likely increased by an estimated additional 47,000+ finishers).

Reflexology, which has been around since 2500 B.C in ancient Egypt, is now baking its way back to mainstream & may be overlooked as an equally beneficial treatment.  It is a misconception that because the feet don’t hurt, reflexology is not needed.  This could not be further from the truth.

Reflexology can not only improve circulation, but offer a release of tension & sooth aching muscles.  According to a blog by Susan Mix (former VP of Reflexology Association USA), reflexology can help reduce the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles by up to 4x faster than other alternative therapies!v1: DK: Slight crop, Auto Levels, USM

This in itself could make reflexology the new treatment go-to for runners post-race to help provide the muscle pain relief felt from the stress of running & lactic acid build up!  Ice baths also work very effectively, but as a former runner myself, I can vouch for what method I personally find much more enjoyable!

Reflexology supports the body’s innate ability to heal itself & can promote a quicker recovery time and it can be beneficial in assisting with running related injuries such as runners knee, IT Band Syndrome or strain (a common athletic injury to the tendons of the knee. The primary cause is strong exertion of the muscle during sports or training which manifests itself as pain in the outer knee area. ITBS can stop runners in their tracks) & Hoffars Syndrome (a painful condition of the knee relating to the fat pad under the knee/patella. The knee pain is situated anteriorly on either side of the lower kneecap and is worsened by straightening [extension] of the knee joint. Hence the fat pad comes under constant irritation and may become significantly inflamed as circulation to injured areas is increased).

Reflexology allows the body to naturally return to a parasympathetic state (homeostasis), therefore allowing self-healing which can encourage deep relaxation & also improve sleep patterns.

Pre-race jitters can also be calmed by treatments in the days leading up to the race, as it again, encourages sleep patterns leaving the runner feeling refreshed & ready to hit the pavement!

With this, reflexology can be the newest investment to the runner for improvement in the health of not just their feet, but for their over-all well-being!

-by By Trudy Parolin

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