A part of our bodies that are often unspoken, our feet and hands hold the key to much of our healing. It is incredibly interesting to know that our foot has over 7000 nerve endings and each reflex point corresponds with a gland, organ or body area. Reflexology looks to use these nerve endings to assist in energy flow through areas of stress or illness and calm anxious nerves. By applying gentle pressure to areas of the feet or hands a Reflexologist can help the body restore its own healthy balance. Evidence has been found for some form foot and hand therapy being practised in China and Egypt more than four thousand years ago.
Reflexology aims to treat the individual as a whole, creating a state of harmony in both body and mind. It has the benefit of also being a deeply relaxing therapy, and during periods of relaxation the body takes the opportunity to heal, restore and energise itself.
Reflexology can induce a deep state of relaxation, which improves the effectiveness of the treatment. Relaxing helps relieve tension and aids circulation, increasing the flow of nutrients, oxygen, and energy to all parts of the body, and helping with the removal of toxins.
While it is not a cure, Reflexology can be particularly helpful in managing many health conditions, especially constant or recurring ones that we might have come to accept over time as being a normal part of life.
Reflexology is suitable for all ages, from baby to adult, and can be especially helpful for long-term and recurring conditions. Reflexology does not diagnose and does not cure though; as a complementary therapy it should not be considered an alternative to conventional medicine.
Reflexology is also an excellent aid to conceiving and in relieving symptoms of pelvic girdle pain, swelling, insomnia, nausea and digestive issues experienced during maternity. In your final trimester, reflexology can also be used to help induce labour.
While relaxation and energy flow are most common in reflexology, other benefits include:
Cleansing the body of toxins
Boosting the immune system
Increasing lymphatic flow
Promoting healing and reduce ailments
A few of the more common conditions that can be supported through Reflexology:
Stress and tension
Hayfever and other allergies
High blood pressure
Insomnia and sleep disorder
PMT, PMS and menstrual problems
Headaches and migraines
Irritable bowel syndrome
Conception, pregnancy and post-partum
During a reflexology treatment, all you will need to do is lie down, roll up your trouser legs (so try and wear something a little loose) and remove your socks. Reflexology will then be applied to your feet using a balm or oil.
Some benefits of conception/maternity reflexology include:
Reducing morning sickness
Reducing pelvic girdle pain
To balance hormones and emotions
To help in inducing labour
Improving breast milk flow
Helping your menstrual cycle to return to normal post-birth
Hot Stone Reflexology
A beautifully nourishing and indulgent treatment. Allow the heat from these volcanic, river-washed, basalt stones to penetrate your muscles and tendons with their warmth and melt away tension up to 7 layers deeper than what the hands alone can reach. The Hot stones are combined with normal reflexology techniques – the best of both worlds!
Everyone is different and the response to Reflexology can be immediate or sometimes take longer than one appointment, but often benefits can be seen after 4-5 sessions. Regular weekly treatments are best for the body properly beginning the self-healing process, and following an initial consultation I will suggest the number of Reflexology sessions I think we should undertake.
Reflexologists cannot claim to diagnose or cure, but during a treatment we get ‘feedback’ as to which parts of the body are working well and which are not. Sometimes Reflexology will highlight a specific area which is struggling or working hard to maintain your wellbeing; if a particular reflex point shows this kind of reaction I’ll discuss it with you at the end of the session.
Reflexology is performed entirely on the feet, ankles or hands, so the most you’ll have to do is take off your socks and roll up your trousers! During the treatment the client lies on their back on a reclining chair, supported by pillows and covered with a soft blanket to keep them warm.
And don’t worry – reflexology doesn’t tickle! Many clients come to me with ticklish feet or worried about their feet being touched, but find they can relax and enjoy the benefits of Reflexology.
You might find some areas feel sensitive to the touch, but Reflexology does not involve hard pressing in the way something like a sports massage might. As a therapist I will be aware of the status of your feet, noticing how they feel, the temperature and colour. All these things play a part in understanding which areas of your body – as reflected through your feet – require a bit more care and attention.