What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a powerful but safe and gentle complementary therapy based on the principle that every part of the body has a corresponding reflex point on the hands and feet. By applying a specific method of finger and thumb pressure to these reflexes the corresponding parts of the body are positively affected. Treating the whole foot has a relaxing and healing effect on the whole body.
Working on these reflexes induces a state of relaxation and wellbeing, therapeutically reducing stress and tension throughout the whole body. As your body relaxes the nerve supply to your cells improves and the blood and lymph circulation improve. In addition the elimination of accumulated toxins from the body is aided. Together these effects allow all the body systems, organs, and glands to work more effectively, promoting good health and helping to prevent illness.
Our bodies are endowed with a wonderful self healing potential and reflexology helps to assist and stimulate this natural healing ability. Following illness, stress, injury or disease the body is in a state of ‘imbalance’ and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. It is this balance reflexology seeks to restore.
What will happen on my first visit?
As the aim of reflexology is to treat the whole person and not just the symptoms of illness, the first visit starts with a consultation to outline your medical history, diet and lifestyle, and – most importantly – establish what you hope to gain from the treatment. This helps to tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs.
For the actual treatment you just have to remove your shoes and socks and then relax in a reclining chair! The treatment starts with a relaxing massage of the feet before the reflex points are gently stimulated. During the treatment there may be fleeting discomfort at a particular point. This is often an indicator of imbalance in the corresponding part of the body and, by working on these areas, equilibrium can be restored to the body systems. For the most part the sensation is wonderfully soothing, relaxing and calming.
If you can it is a good idea to allow yourself time after the treatment to rest and take it easy.
Responses to treatments vary and tend to depend on how long you have had a problem for and its seriousness. Some people notice an improvement in symptoms or an improved sense of well being after 1-2 treatments while others may need several treatments before they feel the benefit. However, most people are aware of beneficial changes within four to six treatments.
Treatments are initially at regular intervals, ideally weekly, but once improvement is established the space between treatments can be extended. Many people continue to have treatments every so often in order to maintain well being and health.
Who can benefit from reflexology?
As the therapy is extremely safe and gentle it can be used to treat people of all ages and can benefit almost everyone. It is particularly useful for:
- Stress-related conditions
- Headaches and migraine
- Musculo-skeletal pain (back ache, stiff neck, frozen shoulder, arthritis)
- Sinus problems
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Digestive disorders (constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Menstrual irregularities ( PMT and menopausal symptoms)
- Providing support in making lifestyle changes
There are very few contra indications, although certain conditions require special care and close liaison with the medical practitioner. Reflexology works very well with conventional medical treatment and other complementary and alternative therapies.
If you would like further information, please visit the Association of Reflexologists web site.