What is reflexology?
Reflexology is based on the principle that reflexes in the feet and hands correspond to each organ/structure in the body, and are linked to these by energy channels, zones or meridians. Reflexology is a pressure technique applied using the thumbs and fingers on these reflex areas. When illness, pain or disease occurs, the corresponding energy channels become blocked.
Reflexology works to balance/unblock the energy flow and induces relaxation. It can help improve circulation, boost effective functioning of the immune system and encourage relief of stress and tension, thus helping to bring all the systems of the body in to balance.
Feet are seen as the most effective place to treat due to the large number of nerve endings present (roughly 7000 per foot). Treatment can also be applied on the hands which means, between treatments, it is possible to support your own healing by working on relevant areas yourself. The reflexologist will be able to show you techniques and the locations of areas/points to work on.
In the fast paced, high stress world we live in, it is sometimes hard to find the time to stop and take care of ourselves. It is scientifically proven that at least 75% of all ill health is caused or worsened by stress. A reflexology session can be a wonderfully effective way to take that much needed time out and relax, whilst actively supporting your health and well being. This helps to relieve tension, promote overall balance and improve functionality.
What happens during treatment?
Upon arrival, you will be asked to complete a confidential consultation form to establish your case history, and the focus of treatment. Provided there are no reasons treatment cannot be carried out (contraindications – such as Athlete’s Foot) here is a brief outline of a treatment session:
• You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks. No other clothing is removed.
• The most comfortable position for treatment will then be established. There are various options including a reclining chair, a foot stool that can be used with a standard chair or a massage couch should you wish to lie flat. Pillows, bolsters, cushions and blankets can all be used to achieve maximum comfort and thus help to promote relaxation. There are also options for gentle background music, and the lighting will be set depending on what you find most relaxing.
• The appropriate medium will then be chosen. Choices include various oils.
• A small amount of medium will be applied, and treatment will begin with some relaxation techniques on both feet.
• The left foot will then be wrapped up warmly in a towel whilst the right foot is worked on using reflexology techniques.
• After treatment is completed on the right foot, the left foot will be unwrapped, and the right covered whilst the left is treated.
• Once the reflexology treatment has been completed on the left foot, both feet will be uncovered and some relaxing closing movements will be applied to both feet.
• You will then be offered a glass of water, and feedback from the treatment given.
• If it is your first treatment, you will be provided with an after care sheet covering some general suggestions for self care post treatment, such as drinking water.
Claire is a member of the Association of Reflexologists (AoR) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).