Here are some of my clients with their views on reflexology
A lot of people are in the dark as to what reflexology actually is. I've heard people say It's just a foot rub or a massage. Some people think it's some form of faith healing or far out hippy thing.
If reflexology were these things, then how come it is a respected complementary therapy to regular medical care? How come it is used in hospitals and also by physiotherapists and chiropractors?
There are over 7,000 nerve endings at the bottom of each foot. Nerves connect to every organ, every limb and region of the body through the brain and spinal column. The strange bit is that there is a correlation of the bottom of your feet to every region in your body. It definitely exists!
Reflexology has its origins in ancient Egypt, China and India. There have been images found dating back to that era where foot therapy was shown. In the 20th Century, Dr William Fitzgerald, an ENT surgeon in Connecticut, took the principle further and developed zone therapy. He found that by applying pressure to the feet or hands, the patient experienced pain relief and the cause of the pain was relieved also. Dr Shelby Riley, who was trained by Dr Fitzgerald, took this further again and added horizontal zones to both the hands and feet. Eunice Ingham found, during her work as a physiotherapist, that the reflexes in the feet were a mirror image of the whole body and mapped them into reflex points on a chart.
So how does reflexology work?
A simple explanation is that reflexology works by applying pressure at specific points on the feet which correspond to the parts of the body. This pressure sends a message from the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system which then prompts the body to alter the tension and encourages relaxation. It then has a positive effect on all of the systems of the body. The best way to understand it is to have a treatment. Seeing is believing!
Reflexology is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where the approach is to consider health as a balanced state and disease as an unbalanced state. It focuses on the body as a whole. Western medicine has a different approach with its foundation in chemistry and anatomy and is evidence based.
This could explain why reflexology and other complementary therapies have less credibility and are looked upon less favourably by some as medical science can’t prove how it works. However, there have been some recent clinical trials that do show the benefits of reflexology, especially in reducing anxiety and effects of stress.
Having a reflexology treatment gives you the best of both worlds!
What are the benefits of reflexology?
Reflexology is gentle, non-invasive and is very relaxing. It can help ease the aches and pains of the joints and muscles, relieve many issues, such as headaches, toothaches and earaches, and generally improves the functioning of the major systems of the body. It's a great stress reliever. Stress is at the root of many illnesses, so reflexology works in a preventative way too, as potential issues can be found before they have a chance to fully develop.
Reflexology is like an MOT for your physical and mental health.
Who can have reflexology?
It is generally suitable for everyone, from newborns to the elderly. Please see the drop down list for more information on how it can be of benefit for fertility and pregnancy, babies and children, teens, and for sports.
Please read the important information section below as sometimes reflexology may not be suitable for you.
It will prevent any frustration or disappointment when booking a treatment and turning up, only to find I cannot help you. There is nothing worse than a wasted trip!
How is my reflexology different to others?
All therapists have their own style, but I noticed that after having had reflexology myself from several different therapists, the focus tends to be on it being a quiet time with very little communication during the session and a chat at the end. I tend to do things a little differently! My treatments start with a foot reading - your feet "talk" so I basically interpret what they are saying. They show what is happening both on a physical and emotional level. This helps me to pinpoint the areas where you need it most, so you get the best possible treatment. Quite a lot of my clients prefer to talk about the issues that come up, so a session becomes truly holistic as it deals with the mind - your thoughts and talking through what comes up, the body - the physical aches/pains/niggles, and the spirit - the emotional aspect. The end result, feeling calmer, more peaceful and more positive.
Of course, you aren't obliged to talk if you don't want to. It's your session so it's completely up to you if you prefer to zone out instead.
Contagious diseases (including a cold)
Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
After a recent operation (within the last 3 months)
Fractures (within the last 3 months)
Foot and ankle injuries (within the last 3 months)
Infectious skin diseases
Deep vein thrombosis
Severe undiagnosed pain
Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
Unstable heart conditions
Medical tests/procedures (if your first treatment is immediately prior to undergoing any tests or procedures, reflexology is a no-no as it could distort the tests)
Aeroplane flights (due to a possible healing response, I cannot offer reflexology if you are to fly within 24 hours of a treatment)
Placental abruption (placental lining has separated from the uterus)
Placenta praevia (placenta too close to cervix)
Pre-Eclampsia – Eclampsia
HELLP Syndrome (a variant/complication of pre-eclampsia)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Hydramnios (too much amniotic fluid around the baby after 32 weeks gestation)
For lymphatic drainage:
Acute kidney failure
Congestive heart failure
Infection of the lymph vessels
Malignant tumours or disease
Severe swelling (oedema)
Swollen lymph nodes
If you've never had reflexology before and want to try a shorter taster session, then please get in touch for a chat.
I can also do taster sessions for small groups upon request.