Learn your reflex points for improving health

Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the belief that reflex points exist in the feet, hands and ears which correspond to all parts of the body. King County is rich in diversity and our residents embrace a wide variety of approaches to promoting health and wellness. To complement Western health practices, therapies like acupuncture, massage, and reflexology are commonly used in our community. 

Reflexology paths are widely available in Asia where people walk them daily to enhance health and well-being. These paths are usually made of natural stones set into concrete in a variety of shapes and patterns, providing the user with the opportunity to stimulate different reflex points on the feet. 

A recent study of older adults in Oregon shows that walking on indoor cobblestone mats decreases blood pressure, improves balance, and improves measures of mobility more than walking for the same amount of time on a smooth surface.

Older adults and people of all ages can now enjoy public reflexology paths at the following parks:

Instructions for walking the path
  1. Practicing reflexology at the parkWalk each section of the path at your own pace, following instructions and breath slowly. Your feet may be tender at first, so start with just a few steps.
  2. For the best acupressure affect, walk barefoot or in socks.
  3. Use the hand-railing for balance assistance and for rocking exercises to the arch of the foot. Rest on benches between walking sessions and massage areas of soreness on your feet.
  4. After walking the reflexology path, drink water to help flush away toxins.

Elizabeth Marazita, a licensed reflexologist who designed the reflexology paths at White Center Park and Marymoor Park, provides more tips:

“Please walk the paths at your own pace using the hand railing provided for balance.  The Chinese Medicine recommendation to walk reflexology paths and practicing Tai Qi or Yoga is similar:  walk the path breathing in as you lift your leg to step, and breathing out as you place your foot on the path.  As you step, focus on placing the weight of your body on the ball of your feet.  Walking heel to toe with weight on the heel will cause undo soreness.  If you would like to learn how to walk gracefully and pain-free (on reflexology paths, practicing Tai Qi or simply walking), watch children walk.  Children walk naturally, leaning forward, with their weight on the ball of the foot and breathing naturally!”

Enjoy the paths as a regular part of a healthy and active lifestyle

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