So much more than a massage!
What is reflexology? It is a holistic therapy (holistic meaning whole) that predominantly works with the feet although it can be applied to the hands or ears.
It has been around for centuries but only became recognised as a therapy in the 1900’s. It was recognised by a Dr William Fitzgerald that by applying pressure to certain points on the feet you could reduce the levels of pain. He wrote an article titled “To stop that toothache, squeeze your toe”
Today many seem to consider it a pleasurable foot massage but it is so much more!
There are points on the bottom of your feet that represent every organ and system in your body. By following a sequence and using a technique that applies gentle pressure to your feet we can stimulate blood flow through the pathways in the body. If any pathways are blocked this extra blood flow can help unblock them, allowing the body to restore its balance. A treatment can also bring about a heightened state of relaxation, helping the body’s own healing process. Reflexology works in a similar way to acupuncture but without the needles.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.
How does reflexology work? In the 1890s, British scientists found that nerves connect the skin and internal organs. They also found that the body’s entire nervous system tends to adjust to outside factors, including touch.
Reflexology works on touch. By gently massaging different points on your feet that correspond to the different organs and systems within your body we can stimulate those nerves. We can also encourage the body to increase the blood flow to that particular area of the body. This is how the body repairs itself, how it clears blocked pathways and brings you body in to the best place it can be.
A reflexologist’s touch can help to calm the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and other benefits just like any form of massage. It can help to reduce pain, lower blood pressure, support your digestive system, improve sleep, help to balance hormones and more.
Do you suffer with any health concerns? Have you considered that reflexology might be able to help you?
Who can have reflexology? Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary therapy that makes it accessible to most people.
There are some conditions where you may be asked to get a letter from your consultant if the condition would be considered unstable, such as epilepsy and heart conditions. It is also not advisable to have a treatment during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
It is very popular amongst cancer patients bringing relaxation, pain support and an emotional boost. It is also suitable for post operative care as well as palliative care.
Can reflexology diagnose a problem or condition?
No, it can’t diagnose but what it can do is show up areas where your body may be out of balance. These imbalances can sometimes be indicators that there may be a problem. It may be that after a few treatments the imbalance settles down as the body has restored its natural balance and rhythm. If that is not the case and the imbalance is still present it can be worth having a chat with your healthcare provider to review what may be causing it.
Is reflexology painful? The treatment requires gentle pressure on the reflex points on your feet, we can adjust the pressure to suit the individual.
You may find that some points are slightly tender, especially when you first start having treatments. This suggests there is an imbalance in this area and should improve with treatment. Sometimes you may find that you get a tingling sensation, this may go up your legs or it may be in the area that the reflex represents but it should quickly settle down.
I hate having my feet touched, I am so ticklish!
You should not find a treatment ticklish. I have a number of clients who have been concerned about this and have not found it in the least bit ticklish. Even my husband who I think must have the most ticklish feet ever is able to have a treatment. He was a little tense the first time but within 15 minutes he was sleeping like a baby.
Of course, if you don’t think you could cope with having a treatment on your feet you could always try hand reflexology.
What should I expect after my reflexology treatment?
If you’ve never had a reflexology treatment you may wonder if there is anything you should expect afterwards.
One of the things that a treatment will do is help your body to release toxins. To help your body with this process there are a few things you can do.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water for the rest of the day.
- Avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol as your body has to work harder to process these so won’t be able to deal with removing the other toxins.
- Eat a light meal, again your body will have to divert its energy to digesting a heavy meal rather than cleaning out the toxins.
It is possible that you may experience some physical reactions to the treatment although these should reduce with further sessions. These can include:-
- Feeling more emotional than usual.
- If your body releases too many toxins you may experience a headache afterwards. You can help improve this by ensuring you drink plenty of water.
- As your body removes the toxins you may well find that you pass more urine than usual.
- You may well find that you feel quite tired following the treatment but most people normally experience very good nights sleep afterwards.
All of these responses should be seen as a positive reaction to the treatment as it is your body removing potentially harmful toxins. It is also helping support your body in reminding its balance. You shouldn’t expect them to last any longer than 24 hours.
How often can I have a treatment? Well that is partly down to you as to how often you would like one.
When you first go for a treatment it would be advisable to have 2 or 3 just a week apart to really help your body to remove the toxins and start to rebalance. I have lots of variety amongst my clients, some come weekly, some fortnightly, some monthly and others just periodically.
Listen to your body and work with it to find what is a good rhythm for you but from my personal experience and those of my clients I don’t think you will regret it for a minute.
I am excited to be nearing opening up my treatment room again so if you are local to me why not book yourself a treatment. Doors reopen on Monday 12th April.