How much do you know about Reflexology? If you enjoy a foot massage, then this could be your idea of heaven and it could help you to heal too.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a Complementary Therapy. This means that it can be safely used alongside medical treatment or other complementary therapies. It involves pressure being put onto various points on the feet that correspond to organs or areas of the body. These points are rather like acupuncture points. Reflexologists believe that these points are where vital energy pathways crossover. If they have become blocked by ill health, stress or injury then the body’s energy is prevented from flowing normally. If that happens, further illness or stress can be caused. Therefore, the aim of Reflexology is to open up those pathways and restore the energy flow. This brings the body back into proper balance and allows healing to take place.
Is it a new thing?
Not at all. There are paintings on the wall of a Doctor’s tomb in Ancient Egypt showing people having their feet treated by reflexology. The pictures have been dated to 2330 BC.
Up until 200AD, Delphi in Greece was a spa. People flocked there for all kinds of relaxing and beneficial massages, hydrotherapy treatments and reflexology. These were also thought to help people develop their sixth senses, an ability which was highly prized.
Reflexology is known to have been used for centuries in China, Japan, India and Russia.
What is Zone Therapy and what does it have to do with Reflexology?
Zone Therapy was developed by Doctor William Fitzgerald. He believed that reflexes work in different areas (zones) of the body and that pressure put onto a certain reflex could diminish pain in the corresponding zone of the body. He divided the body into ten vertical zones to facilitate treatment.
In the 1930’s, a physiotherapist called Eunice Ingham was using Zone Therapy on her patients. She discovered that many of the zones were accessible from the feet so she created a map showing the areas on the feet that related to the zones. Reflexologists use that map to massage areas on the feet to achieve relief in other areas of the patient’s body. A good Reflexologist can help to relieve tension, improve circulation, help with elimination and relieve pain – all by massaging the feet, often with the thumbs.
What can Reflexology help with?
From a general point of view, it can help the body to restore its own balance so that it can help to heal itself. More specifically, it has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of:
- Back Problems
- Fertility issues
- Sleep problems
- Hormonal issues
- Digestive problems
- Stress and stress-related illnesses
Is it safe?
Yes. In fact it is now offered by some Doctors (along with acupuncture) as a form of healing. It can be used on all ages.
What happens during a Reflexology treatment?
A treatment usually lasts around half an hour although the first one may take a little longer. This is because the Reflexologist will ask you some simple questions about your medical history and your current situation. You will then take off your shoes and socks or hose and lie back in a comfortable chair.
The Reflexologist will commence the treatment. This often has three parts.
- A gentle and relaxing massage or your feet. This involves putting pressure on your feet and often some gentle rotation of your ankles to relax them and to help with the circulation of blood to your feet.
- The reflexology is then brought into play, with specific attention being paid to sensitive areas which could flag up an energy blockage to the therapist. They will massage those areas to relieve discomfort and restore your energy flow, which works ‘long distance’ on the corresponding area of your body.
- The treatment often concludes with a relaxing foot massage, often using massage oil or essential oils.
Is the treatment painful?
Many people report it to be a relaxing experience. You may find that some areas are tender but this is because they are linked to a corresponding issue elsewhere in your body. You may not have been aware of these tender areas until the Reflexologist finds them. Once massage has begun on the area, the sensitivity is usually relieved.
I have ticklish feet – I’m not sure if I could stand it!
Reflexologists come across many people with this worry. However, because a treatment involves a steady pressure, it doesn’t feel anything like having your feet tickled!
How many treatments are necessary?
It really depends how long you have been suffering with your current condition. As a general rule, the longer you have had the issue, the longer it will take to resolve. As a general rule, most full treatments are completed after four or six visits.
Will I feel better after a session?
As previously mentioned, it will probably take 4 – 6 sessions to improve the core cause of your health issue. After one session, people tend to feel either extremely relaxed or full of energy. Others may feel a little tearful or even feel a bit sick. You may feel one or some of these reaction but they are all completely normal. It’s important that you tell the Therapist how you are feeling so that they can judge the effectiveness of the treatment. There’s no way of knowing how it will affect you until you have a session.
What about side effects?
Reflexology is recognized as helping the body to get rid of waste. You may find that you urinate more than usual, or have more bowel activity that usual. You may also sweat more and your nose may run. These effects show that the treatment is working and Reflexologists call them ‘healing reactions’. Be sure to tell your Therapist if you experience any of them. They are all transitory and should settle as treatment continues.
Millions of people now have regular reflexology treatments. They’re relaxing, non invasive and proven to promote healing. Why not book up for one and see how you could benefit