Reflexology is the term describing a certain type of massage to the feet, and sometimes the hands.
It is based on similar ideas to acupuncture in that energy lines linking the hands & feet to various parts of the body. The feet have reflex areas found on the soles, top and sides relating to all parts of the body. By massaging and stimulating areas of the feet, the corresponding parts of the body are also stimulating, helping to eliminate any blocks and restoring balance to the whole. In other words, the feet correspond to the whole of the body.
Reflexology is thought to have originated in ancient China, and has been practiced by the Egyptians, Native Americans and some tribes of Africa. A lady called Doreen Bayly, a former “zone therapy” student, first introduced it to Gt Britain in the 1960s.
Reflexology represents an excellent holistic way of releasing blocked energy flows in parts of the body and helping restore balance to the whole and promoting self-healing and may help alleviate many everyday conditions. All of us have self-healing properties, an example of which would be the elements that make up our immune system.
Reflexology helps stimulate these self healing properties systems and therefore helps the body correct itself without introducing any outside influences as well as promote feelings of calm and well being.
What can I expect from the first appointment?
As with all therapies, the first appointment involves an initial thorough consultation, followed by aftercare advice at the end.
To experience a treatment, you simply need to remove shoes and socks and make yourself comfortable on a couch ideally, although Reflexology can be performed with a client sitting comfortably in a chair. Feet are the preferred area to work on since they are more responsive, present a larger area to be worked on and are generally more sensitive. However, if for whatever reason it is not possible to work on the feet, reflexology can adequately be performed on the hands. Effectiveness and sensitivity in this area soon develops.
The total treatment time takes between 45 minutes to an hour and includes a soothing foot massage. Essential oils may also be burnt and specially selected music played to help enhance the experience.
The great majority of people report a general sense of calm, relaxation and well-being. Reflexology is a great way to let go of any tension without actually consciously trying! Depending on the exact nature of any presenting symptoms, it is perfectly natural and normal to sometimes experience sensitivity on areas of the feet which corresponds to blockages in the body whole. These feelings are very brief and transitory, followed by a feeling of release and ease. The skill as a therapist is very much to understand and respond to any sensation you experience and adopt a sensitive, interactive approach, seeking your feedback wherever possible and appropriate to guide the course of the treatment.