Quick Guide To Reflexology

Reflexology is just for the feet

Reflexology can be carried out on the feet, hands, face and even the ears! Foot Reflexology is the most popular, and many reflexologists believe that the sensitivity of the feet makes them particularly suitable for treatment. Hand Reflexology exercises can be given to clients to use between treatments as ‘homework’.

Reflexology is torture if you’re ticklish

Very rarely the case! As soon as you Relax you’ll find that the firm, sure touch used by the therapist doesn’t tickle. I have never lost a client because they found the treatment ticklish, and many people who were bracing themselves for an ordeal have been very pleasantly surprised.

My feet look horrible, the Reflexologist will comment on them and embarrass me

Before starting a treatment, a Reflexologist will examine your feet. If they feel you may need treatment from a chiropodist or doctor for a foot condition eg veruccas or corns, they will tell you. Other than that they are there to do a job and aren’t judging your feet, or indeed you. Your feet have their own shape and structure, and are nothing to be ashamed of.

After a day on my feet they aren’t too fresh!

Again, your Reflexologist isn’t there to judge you. We all lead busy lives and there isn’t always the opportunity to wash your feet before your appointment. Most reflexologists will freshen up the client’s feet before starting the treatment.

Reflexology can tell me what’s wrong with me and then cure me

Reflexologists are not trained to diagnose, and do not claim to cure medical conditions. We don’t have medical training, and in any case that is your doctor’s job. Having said this, Reflexology naturally supports your body, mind and emotions and allows them to heal on their own, and it can have some astonishing results.

Reflexology is one of these newfangled crazes

Reflexology has roots in Ancient Egypt, India and China. For centuries scientists have explored the theory that the body has energy zones running through it. In 1913 an American hospital consultant, Dr William Fitzgerald, established that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to organs and areas in the body through a zone network. In the 1930s a physiotherapist, Eunice Ingham, developed Dr Fitzgerald’s work and called her method ‘Reflexology’.

Sum up Reflexology in a sentence, please!

Reflexology is the technique of applying gentle pressure to reflex points on the feet and hands to bring about a state of deep Relaxation, stimulate the body’s own Healing Process and help a person return to a state of balance and well-being (homeostasis).

What does Reflexology actually do for you?

A Reflexology treatment works through each organ, gland and body system. Among the many benefits it can provide are Relaxation, pain and Stress relief, improved circulation and digestion, stimulation of the immune and Nervous systems, and balance for the mind, body and spirit. Reflexology is a holistic treatment, since the whole person is treated instead of singling out a symptom. Digestive Disorders eg Irritable Bowel or Acid Reflux; Migraines; sinus problems; PMS and hormone related problems; Pregnancy, Fertility and Menopause related problems; back and Joint Pain; and Insomnia, are just a few of the conditions Reflexology may help to relieve.

How quickly does Reflexology work?

Reflexology isn’t a wonder cure, although I have seen some astonishing results after just a handful of treatments. How quickly you are likely to respond to Reflexology depends on all sorts of factors, such as how long you have been living with a particular condition. Very broadly speaking, we would hope to see some improvements in your health and well-being after 4-6 sessions, and it is normally advisable to start the course of treatment with weekly treatments.

How can I get the most out of Reflexology?

Your body is a little like a car – if you treat it with love and respect, have it MOT’d and serviced regularly, clean it, give it water and oil, and carry out the appropriate health checks, it should serve you well for years! I often find that the people who get the most from Reflexology are those who put in a little effort themselves to improve their overall well-being and health. Your Reflexologist will have an in-depth lifestyle discussion with you, and together you may pinpoint ways in which you could help yourself to better health. These might include drinking more water and cutting down on caffeine drinks, eating a more balanced diet, seeking advice on nutrition, looking for ways to improve your sleep, or finding ways of relaxing and lowering your Stress levels.

What happens when you go for Reflexology?

You don’t need to undress to have Reflexology, just to remove your socks, shoes and spectacles. Men may want to loosen their tie, and tight belts may be removed for your own comfort. Ladies need to remove their tights or stockings. After a consultation with your Reflexologist, you sit in a special chair or lie on a couch. This positions you so that you are comfortable and your feet are in the right position for the Reflexologist to work. After some foot Relaxation, he or she will normally work on one foot at a time in a special sequence. The Reflexologist’s fingers and thumbs work gently around your feet pressing, thumb walking and using other techniques to stimulate the flow of energy through all the zones and release any blocks or energy imbalances. If they detect a possible energy imbalance they may ask you questions to find out what it might relate to. It is normal for you to feel deeply relaxed, and you may Fall Asleep. After your treatment you will be given a glass of water and the chance to rest and ground yourself.

Who can have Reflexology?

From newborn babies to the very elderly, everyone can benefit from Reflexology treatments. Your age and state of health are taken into consideration by the therapist when planning the nature and duration of your treatment, and the pressure he or she uses will be adjusted to meet your individual needs better.

About the author

Siobhan Forsyth runs the At One complementary health practice in Egham, England. She is a fully qualified and insured member of the Association of Reflexologists, and trained at the Central London School of Reflexology - http://www.At-One.uk.net

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