Reflexology

What is reflexology?

Reflexology involves massage to very specific points on both feet, including the soles, the tops and around the ankles. Stimulation of specific points on the feet is thought to have a healing effect on the rest of the body in a similar way to acupuncture; by dispersing blocks in the energy channels that run throughout the rest of the body, and allowing the body’s own healing mechanisms to work effectively.


 

What are the benefits of reflexology?

Physical effects

  • Reduces muscular tension
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes refreshing sleep
  • Strengthens natural self-healing mechanisms

 

Emotional and mental effects

  • Promotes calmness and a sense of well-being
  • Relaxes the body and mind
  • Soothes emotional distress

 

Should I have reflexology done?

If you are suffering from any of the following, reflexology is not advisable

  • Possibility of having thrombosis, such as, deep vein thrombosis (e.g. after a long haul flight)
  • Gangrene
  • Contagious disease, such as, measles (because of cross infection to other people)

 

However, the following conditions may affect when or how a treatment is given, so if any of these apply to you then you should check with me before booking an appointment for treatment:

  • Acute undiagnosed pain
  • Any type of infectious disease
  • Aneurism
  • Arthritis, if joints swollen or painful
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Imminent medical test or procedures
  • Injury to the feet (or hands)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cellulitis
  • Phlebitis
  • Pregnancy (in the first 3 months)

 

Should I tell my doctor I am having reflexology treatments done?

I would suggest that you consult your regular medical practitioner if you are being treated for particular acute or chronic conditions. Since reflexology may stimulate organs, such as the thyroid gland, where a client is receiving regular medication to control this type of condition, the therapist will recommend that the doctor is advised of the treatment, so that the condition can be monitored properly, and adjustments made to medication if necessary. Similarly, it is advisable for clients with diabetes to advise their doctors of reflexology treatment, because reflexology may stimulate the liver to release stored sugars, and your medication may need to be adjusted slightly.


 

Do I have to do anything during the treatment?

The more passive you are, the more relaxed your muscles will be. You will lie on your back on a massage table, and on cushions if necessary. I will encourage you to pay attention to your breathing, and focus on relaxing your entire body on the exhalation. When I am working on releasing any painful areas, breathing deeply will speed the process of release and deepen your sense of relaxation. After I massage an uncomfortable area of the foot, it will rapidly become more comfortable. You may notice sensations travelling throughout the rest of the body, as the energy channels in the body become unblocked.


 

How and where did it originate?

Forms of reflexology are thought to have been used for thousands of years and in many different cultures. There is evidence of methods similar to reflexology being used in Ancient Egypt. It is possible that over the centuries the practice of reflexology migrated slowly from Egypt to Greece, Arabia and then on to Europe through the Roman Empire. Forms of reflexology have been found in China and amongst First Nation Americans such as the Cherokee. In Europe, a form of reflexology called zone therapy was practiced. The scientific basis of reflexology has its roots in early neurological studies conducted in the 1890’s by Sir Henry Head of England.  He established “Head zones” and conclusively proved the neurological relationship existing between the skin and the internal organs. American doctor William Fitzgerald is credited with being the founder of modern reflexology. In his book “Zone Therapy” published in 1910’s the human body was divided into ten zones. He noted that by applying pressure to parts of the feet, relief from pain could be felt elsewhere in the body. This theory was further developed by Eunice Ingham in the 1930’s, who went on to map out the various parts of the body onto the feet. By applying a massage technique to tender spots, using her fingers and thumbs, a therapeutic effect could be achieved.  In 1960 reflexology was introduced to Britain by Doreen Bayly, a student of Eunice Inghams.


 

What should I expect at my first appointment?

Before I start the treatment, I will sit with you and discuss your medical history, dietary and lifestyle habits. All information will be kept strictly confidential. You will remove just your shoes and socks, and lie or sit back in a comfortable position on the massage table or armchair while the treatment is being done. Please don’t drink alcohol before your appointment.


 

How long is a treatment?

A normal treatment will last 45 minutes. Allow at least 15 minutes extra during the first consultation. It’s better not to schedule anything too demanding or strenuous immediately after the end of the treatment.


 

What should I expect to feel during the treatment?

There are two main ways that indicate the corresponding areas of the body that are out of balance and perhaps prone to developing a problem. One is a feeling of tenderness or sensitivity, which soon passes and the other is a sensation of small crystals directly under the surface of the skin. Overall, you should feel a deep sense of relaxation. Let me know if any areas are particularly sensitive or painful. It is helpful for you to breathe deeply during a treatment.


 

How should I expect to feel after a session of reflexology?

Effects immediately following the treatment can vary from feelings of being deeply relaxed to very energetic. You may notice increased thirst or hunger or needing to go to the bathroom more often. These are all signs that the body’s own healing mechanism has been activated. It’s helpful to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol for a few hours after a treatment.


 

Is there anything I can do to prepare?

It would be helpful to wash your feet shortly before a treatment, and avoid wear clothes that make it possible to reach the ankle area. It is better to arrive feeling neither hungry nor very full.


 

Can I have reflexology if I am pregnant?

Yes, but it is recommended that you avoid treatments during the first 12 weeks, when your body is adjusting to hormonal changes. After 12 weeks, expectant mothers often find reflexology extremely helpful in coping with morning sickness, tiredness and common ailments associated with pregnancy. If there is a possibility that you might be pregnant, please let me know before the session begins.


 

Can I have reflexology if I am menstruating?

Yes, but please let me know, as firm pressure on the areas that relate to the reproductive system can bring on a heavier flow which may be unwanted.


 

What happens if I can’t make the session?

Please let me know as soon as you can. If you have to cancel within 24 hours of your appointment, then you will be charged half of the appointment fee.
Reflexology should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice.