The basic principle of hand reflexology can be understood via the so-called ‘reflex-arc’ – a phenomenon in the central nervous system where a body reflex response is induced by a stimulous without getting the brain involved.
For example: if a finger gets burned by a candle, the painful stimulus will induce a rapid response: the finger is instantly removed from the flame with the jerking motion. At the same time the brain is receiving indicating that a painful event occured in the hand. It is important to understand that although the brain may perceive the painful stimulus (at the level of the skin), the ‘reflex arc’ acts to retract the hand without direct imput from the brain (see video above).
Hand reflexology is based on a likewise reflex-principle affecting the inner organs (instead of muscle action); this is also known as an ‘autonomic reflex arc’.
The 10 vertical reflexology zones, the meridians (which represent a concept from traditional Chinese medicine), and the so-called dermatomes, provide some clues about how the reflexes tend to work inside the body. The picture below describes the primary heart channel and the primary lung channel.