What Can Reflexology Be Beneficial For?
Reflexology is a safe natural therapy and may aid in the relief of a wide range of acute or chronic conditions. It brings about the relaxation response providing the right environment for change to take place within the body. Reflexology can be used to treat a wide variety of symptoms including:
What Is Reflexology?
Reflexology is both old and new. The Reflexology method used today was introduced into this country from America in the 1960’s.
However the origins of Reflexology are thought to go back thousands of years. More than 5000 years ago Indians and Chinese were using a similar technique and history suggests that the skill goes back even further. A tomb drawing found in Egypt dating back to 2,500 BC shows two men being treated with a form of Reflexology. North American Indians have used the practice of reflex therapy for centuries and believe that our feet are our connection with the earth and the earth’s energies.
It was Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat specialist who rediscovered the therapy in the early 20th Century. Working in Vienna he became interested in the concept of zones and pressure points. He discovered that by applying pressure to one part of the body he could anesthetize a corresponding area and he used this to great effect when conducting surgical operations. He further discovered that the body could be divided into 10 zones, which run up the body and extend from front to back. He introduced the term and in 1917 published a book entitled Zone Therapy.
Eunice Ingam an American Physiotherapist was introduced to the concept of Zone Therapy which she used to great effect within her practice. She studied the therapy closely and concluded that since the zones ran throughout the whole body and could be accessed anywhere some areas might be more accessible and effective than others: namely the feet. It was she who mapped the feet in relation to the zones and it is Eunice Ingam who is widely recognised as the founder of modern Reflexology as practiced today.
Reflexology is now one of the most popular and widely respected of the Complimentary Therapies. It is practiced in both Private Therapy Centres and also increasingly along side orthodox medicine in Hospices, Hospitals and General Practice Surgeries.
How Does Reflexology Work?
“Reflexology is a science which deals with the principle that there are reflexes in the feet relative to each and every organ and all parts of the body. Stimulating these reflexes properly can help many health problems in a natural way just like preventative maintenance.” Eunice Ingam (1938)
Reflexology works along Holistic principles taking in to account the body, mind & spirit and facilitates a state of homeostasis or balance. Reflexology can be both relaxing and stimulating.
It is based upon the theory that every organ, structure and part of the body is reflected in a related part of the foot.
A Reflexologist uses a very specific method using their thumb and fingers to apply gentle controlled pressure to the reflexes of the feet. By applying this gentle pressure to the reflex areas, muscle tensions are relaxed and the nerve supply is freed from constriction, allowing the body to fall into a deep state of relaxation.
Gently applying pressure to specific reflexes of the feet can also clear blocked energy channels, encourage the removal of waste products & toxins, stimulate circulation and create the right condition for your body to return to health. As energy is able to flow more freely and fully around the body, the functioning of the body’s systems is optimised and facilitates a state of balance, encouraging the body to heal itself.
What Does A Reflexology Treatment Involve?
The first treatment includes a consultation, where the Therapist will ask questions about your general health and life style. The Therapist will ask you to remove your shoes and and any foot coverings so an initial foot examination can take place. You will then lay fully clothed on the treatment couch and the Therapist will begin with a sequence of gentle, relaxing massage techniques. The Therapist then continues the treatment by applying gentle pressure to the reflexes of the feet, covering the whole of both feet.
Reflexology is an extremely relaxing therapy. The treatment should not hurt, although some slight discomfort, tenderness or bruising may be felt in some reflex areas. These are known as imbalances or sensitive areas; the extent of the imbalance will depend on how long the imbalance has been present.
After a treatment many people comment on how wonderfully relaxed they feel and how they feel they are walking on air.
The effects of the treatments are cumulative and therefore a course of treatments is usually recommended.
Can Reflexology Help Me?
Most people can benefit from Reflexology from the old to the very young. Your treatment will be very much geared to your individual needs established during your consultation. For each person the treatment and the effect of the treatment is unique.
Not only does Reflexology help reduce stress and tension, it can also speed recovery from a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses. It is commonly practiced in Hospices and Palliative Care.
Stress affects us all, we live with it in our everyday life, problems arise when we are unable to manage it well. When we don’t handle stress well the body’s defences break down and we become more susceptible to illness and disease. It is now estimated that over 75% of illnesses are stress related. Reflexology reduces stress by generating deep tranquil relaxation.
Reflexology is important for healthy people too, everyone needs balance, relaxation, moments of reflection and serenity to get in touch with their deepest selves and experience the peace and well being that lies within. To maintain a well balanced body and a strong immune system that can ward off illness and fatigue use Reflexology as a preventative measure, so that whatever you do you do it with more enthusiasm, joy and energy.
Length Of Treatment And Cost
Treatment approx 60 minutes – £33
MICHT, VTCT Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy and Holistic Therapies
Member of Federation of Holistic Therapists (MFHT)
IIHHT, MICTCH, MHFS, MACTA, ATL