Segment-Reflex Massage

by: Boris Prilutsky

Segment reflex massage is not just technique, but a holistic comprehensive view of the human body. In the center of this view is the observation that there are number of zones in the human body where somatic and visceral components are connected by the same innervations. Because connections exist on the level of involuntary reflexes such zones are called reflex zones. Because a segment shares its innervation with various somatic structures on that level, abnormalities developed in the inner organs effect somatic parts. Such abnormalities are expressed in the form of higher skin density, muscular tension, development of trigger points, high tension and immobility of connective tissue, hypertrophy or atrophy of the periosteum, and trigger point development in the periosteum. These abnormalities cause pain, discomfort, limited range of motion and a variety of other symptoms. When diseased inner organ causes the abnormality we refer to such reflex as "viscero-somatic reflex." At the same time, spinal disorders such as spondylosis can exacerbate the development of abnormalities in the reflex zone - in both somatic and visceral components. The pathological impulse generated by such a disorder can not only cause pain at its somatic origin, but also reach inner organs and disturb their function. We refer to such reflex as somato-visceral reflex. By eliminating abnormalities in reflex zones at somatic components a therapist can positively affect inner organs that share common spinal segment level of innervation. That's why massage plays such a significant role in treatments of various back and limb disorders, internal organs diseases and even emotional disorders.

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