Why would I come to you for reflexology treatment?
Reflexology is a popular alternative therapy. It promotes relaxation, improves circulation, reduces pain, soothes tired feet, and encourages overall healing. People come to me for all sorts of reasons, and typically it may be used to help the treatment of:
- Stress and stress-related conditions
- Tension headaches
- Digestive disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sports injuries
- Menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome(PMS)
- Digestive problems, such as constipation
- Back pain
Reflexology is often used for post-operative or palliative care. A study in the American Cancer Society journal found that one-third of cancer patients used reflexology as a complementary therapy, but should not replace medical treatment.
How does it work?
The underlying theory behind reflexology is that there are "reflex" areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body.
- the tips of the toes reflect the head
- the heart and chest are found around the ball of the foot
- the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot
- lower back and intestines are towards the heel
Early practitioners believed that certain areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body. This concept was furthered by physiotherapist Eunice Ingham into the modern practice of reflexology.
Practitioners believe that applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organs through energetic pathways. A scientific explanation is that the pressure may send signals that balance the nervous system or release chemicals such as endorphins that reduce pain and stress.
What is a typical reflexology treatment like?
A typical treatment is 45 to 60 minutes long and begins with a consultation about your health and lifestyle. You are then asked to remove your shoes and socks and sit comfortably in a reclining chair or on a massage table. Otherwise you remain fully clothed.
The reflexologist will assess the feet and then stimulate various points to identify areas of tenderness or tension.The reflexologist then uses brisk movements to warm the feet up. Then pressure is applied from the toes to the heel according to your comfort. Lotion or oil may be used. Some areas may be tender or sore, and the reflexologist may give extra attention to these points. The soreness should decrease with pressure.
Most people find reflexology for the most part to be very relaxing, and it should not be painful. The majority of clients feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. They may even feel sleepy. Occasionally, people feel nauseous, anxious, or tearful, but this is only temporary and is considered to be part of the healing process.