Perhaps you’ve said that to someone – or wanted to – or have had it thrown in your face. Or, how about, “Chill Out!” Comments like these are usually indicating that one person is requesting an immediate shift in another’s energy. So, how does jumping in the lake, as opposed to just jumping in the air, accomplish this shift?
Blame It on Your Skin
One of its jobs is to help maintain a constant internal body temperature of 98.6 degrees. It does this by opening pores to release heat through perspiration or shutting down pores to hold needed heat inside. The skin obviously must be very sensitive to changes in temperature in order to maintain this perfect internal temperature.
Any water application that changes the skin temperature (like jumping in a cold lake or soaking your feet in warm water) will produce a primary action in the body. This in turn causes a reaction. This secondary action is the body’s response to the primary one, its attempt to self-regulate, to reverse the primary effect in order to return to its normal internal stability.
The interplay between heat and cold causes blood vessels to dilate and contract, dilate and contract. Kind of like a vascular workout for the blood vessels. An increase in the diameter of the blood vessels allows more blood to flow, resulting in the delivery of more oxygen and nutrients to the cells. More food! The body LOVES this! Without even knowing why, you feel better. Water becomes this magical “mood shape shifter”!
Reflexology and Water
Reflexologists can use this information to enhance their clients’ sessions, by offering foot or hand soaks to begin. Not only does soaking cleanse the extremities and begin the internal shift of restoring homeostasis, the feel and temperature of the water brings a client’s attention to her body, acting as a lovely segue from the external experience prior to entering the clinical space to that of the internal world.
I start all foot reflexology sessions with a soak. I find it humbling to sit at the feet of my clients and wash their feet.
If you’ve not incorporated soaks into your sessions yet, you might want to try it and see how your clients respond. Try a hot soak for someone who needs nurturing, pain relief and relaxation; cooler water for someone who finds the weather uncomfortably warm, is agitated or “hot-headed” as she arrives.