What is Reflexology
Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg correspond with different areas of the body. Reflexologists work holistically with their clients and aim to work alongside allopathic healthcare to promote better health for their clients.
Whilst the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, Indian and China, this therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald developed "Zone therapy". He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
In the 1930's, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone theory into what is known as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body.
Reflexology should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice.
How does Reflexology Work?
There have been some positive research projects carried out with reflexolgy; however, as yet, there is not a large enough body of evidence for us to make clinical claims of effectiveness.
After one or two treatments your body may respond in a very noticeable way. Most people note a sense of well-being and relaxation; however, sometimes people report feeling lethargic, nauseous or tearful, but this is usually transitory and reflexologists believe that it is part of the healing process.
It is useful to give feedback to the reflexologist as this may show the response of your body to treatment. This in turn might help the reflexologist to tailor a reflexology therapy plan specific to your needs.
What does a reflexology session involve?
The first reflexology session will entail a medical history being taken, this will take about 15 minutes or longer depending on your medical history (this information will be kept confidential). The therapist will then use their hands to apply pressure to the feet, lower leg. You may feel areas of discomfort during the therapy, but this is usually fleeting, but generally the experience should be relaxing. The session lasts approximately one hour.
There is a view that Reflexology has helped with the following conditions.
Stress & anxiety, breathing problems, muscle pain and stiffness, back & neck pain, circulatory problems, digestive disorders, migraine, headaches, menstrual and menopausal problems, catarrh, sinus, eye complaints, calming the nervous system. Clients living with a long term debilitating illness, kidney & urinary problems or just as a relaxation for the mind and body.
The number of Reflexology sessions needed will vary depending on the condition and response of the individual Some people use Reflexology as a means of relaxation and health maintenance, seeing their therapist regularly every 4 - 6 weeks.
People receiving chemotherapy; Anecdotally, Reflexology has been known to help reduce the effects of chemo by relaxing and de-stressing the client. There is a belief that Reflexology helps to optimise the function of the liver and kidneys and helps the body deal with the very toxic drugs. Clients have also reported that Reflexology helps to manage side effects such as nausea, vomiting and constipation, fatigue, and helps to energise the client whilst they are receiving chemo treatment.
GIFT VOUCHERS ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
I had heard about the benefits of reflexology for both Mum and baby for having a healthy pregnancy and also in preparing for labour. I looked on the internet and found a practitioner and went excited to my first appointment. Unfortunately it was a disaster – the therapist talked all the way through the reflexology session, we didn’t click. I felt despondent but didn’t give up and eventually found Jan.
From the first moment I knew that I had made a lucky find. Jan is a therapist and a healer in the true sense of the word and I left the first session feeling elated!
During my pregnancy I saw Jan once a month and she helped me relieve both physical symptoms e.g. heartburn, lower back and pelvic pain and also emotional stresses. In the final weeks I saw Jan once a week to help prepare for labour and hopefully bring the baby on time!
I went into labour naturally four days after my due date – which according to my NCT teacher is the most common time and therefore the norm! I had a straight forward labour with no medical intervention. The only pain relief methods I used were a TENS machine and water. Charlie was born in the water after ten hours of labour. People are amazed when I tell them that my first baby came on time, that I didn’t tear, had no stitches and that my labour was only ten hours. Charlie is a calm, alert, happy baby and I am a happy Mum. Thanks Jan, Steph C (Uxbridge)
REFLEXOLOGISTS DO NOT CLAIM TO CURE, DIAGNOSE OR PRESCRIBE.