The art of Reflexology is an ancient one. This therapy has been practiced for over 5000 years by a number of ancient cultures and was introduced to the western world over 100 years ago. Thanks to the tireless research done by a few key people, Reflexology is now available to us. Dr William Fitzgerald first re-discovered zone therapy in the early 1900s, he wrote articles and books on this practice. One such article was "to stop toothache, squeeze your toe". Whilst Dr Fitzgerald was credited for re-discovering zone therapy that was used hundreds of years before, it was largely brought to public notice by a colleague called Dr Shelby Riley who firmly believed in Zone therapy. Working alongside Dr Riley and his wife was Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist (who is now referred to as the Mother of Modern Reflexology). Eunice Ingham painstakingly mapped the feet with all the organs of the body, spending years and years researching and demonstrating her findings to the medical profession. It is her foot maps that form the basis of what is used today. Eunice Ingham also devised thumb walking, she discovered that alternating the pressure of your thumbs whilst working on the reflexes of the feet would disperse the build up of toxins and thus restore flow. Reflexology is a gentle, non-intrusive complementary therapy which is based on the theory that different points (or reflexes) on the feet and hands correspond with different areas of the body. Reflexologists believe that working these reflexes using a combination of moves, aids relaxation and helps improve well-being and re-balances from within. With an ever increasing list of stresses bestowed upon us, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the detrimental effects of stress and what impact is has on us both physically and emotionally. Reflexology is one way people can address their own healthcare by helping to ease the effects of stress and thereby improving their own well-being.
Quote from Eunice Ingham:
"If you're feeling out of kilter, don't know why or what about
let your feet reveal the answer, find the sore spot, work it out"
CAN I BENEFIT FROM REFLEXOLOGY?
This is an interesting question, personally, I feel 'everyone' benefits from Reflexology and I have yet to come across anyone that hasn't absolutely loved the treatment. However, it would be wrong of me to claim that 'specific' issues can be addressed, although many people note an overall improvement after a few sessions. Reflexology is all about re-balancing the body and paying particular attention to any imbalances. The best way to find out if Reflexology can benefit you is to book in for a treatment and try it for yourself. Whilst I have plenty of client testimonials, it's very much down to the individual how they respond to Reflexology.
WHAT'S INVOLVED AND HOW WILL I FEEL?
As previously mentioned, Reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive therapy, all that will be required from you is for you to remove your shoes and socks - it's that simple. We will have a talk at the beginning of your treatment where we will go through a (fairly) short medical form and talk about your lifestyle, any concerns you have or any questions you may have, I will then ask you to sign a consent form. Once we have finished our initial talk, you will be made comfortable on my treatment couch with a bolster under your knees (to take the strain off your lower back), a pillow underneath your feet, a snuggly blanket draped over you (as laying still can make you a little chilly) and an eye pillow (if you want to totally zone out). The treatment starts with a range of relaxation moves, this warms your feet up nicely and gets them used to my touch. I will then go through various sequences on each foot that involve me using my thumbs, fingers and knuckles. In going over and working all these reflexes, any areas that feel out of balance can be addressed and we will talk after the treatment about what was noted. It's fairly common for people to want to talk all the way through the first foot, asking questions as I go, this is fine and I welcome such interest, although by the time I get to the second foot, people are usually so relaxed, they no longer want to talk! It's important to note though, my role is NOT to diagnose, I'm not a GP and any imbalances do not necessarily mean an issue with that particular reflex, it can literally be just a slight blockage in flow. Reflexology is a holistic therapy so we work with the whole of you to attain inner equilibrium and calm.
After one or two treatments, most people report an overall improvement in their sense of well-being and experience relaxation and calmness and an improvement in sleep quality. Occasionally, people report having (what we call) a healing response - as Reflexologists, we think this is good news as it's negative energy making way for new, positive energy. This response can include a mild headache, feeling tired, needing to go to the toilet more often, possible worsening of symptoms already present - this is all perfectly normal and only usually lasts 24-48 hrs and afterwards you will feel lighter and brighter. It's worth noting, not everyone responds to Reflexology like this, it's a bit like the side effects listed on a packet of pills, am just making you aware of it but it's unlikely you'll experience it.
Reflexology should NEVER be used as a substitute for medicine. If you have any concerns or are suffering from an undiagnosed illness/pain, you should contact your GP. Reflexology is a holistic complementary therapy and should be used alongside healthcare and medicine.
"Tension is who you think you should be.....relaxation is who you are"