Reflexology is one of my most popular therapies. My clients find it useful in treating a wide range of issues. It sounds incredible when you first hear about it, but I am a firm believer in the healing power of reflexology.
What is Reflexology
Reflexology is the holistic understanding, study and practice of treating points and areas in the feet and hands that relate to corresponding parts of the body. Using precise hand and finger techniques, a reflexologist may improve circulation, induce relaxation and enable homeostasis – the state of stable physiological equilibrium between interdependent elements – by working on the feet. This encourages the person’s own healing systems to be activated to maintain well being.
Reflexology is a complementary therapy, which works on the feet to assist in restoring homeostasis to the whole person, rather than simply treating the prevailing symptoms.
Reflexology is a gentle healing art which dates back to ancient Egypt and China. An indication that even then the benefits of this therapy were acknowledged can be seen in Egyptian tomb art dating from around 2000 BC, which depicts the giving and receiving of foot massage.
It was not until 1913 that Dr William Fitzgerald introduced this therapy to the West. He found that the application of pressure to one part of the body could create a response in another. This reflex relationship was found to lie within certain longitudinal zones of which there were ten in the body. Fitzgerald called this the science of “zone therapy”.
In the 1930s a young physiotherapist called Eunice Ingham further developed the study of zone therapy into reflexology as we know it today. It was she who determined that the reflexes on the feet and hands are an exact mirror image of the organs of the body.
From The Irish Reflexologists Institute
It’s been around for millennia. Archaeological evidence points to reflexology-based medical practices in Egypt (2330 BC), China (2704 BC) and Japan (690 BC).
Did you know that there is hand, face and ear reflexology? Reflexology of the feet is considered to be the most effective, however.
Reflexology has many benefits:
- It is relaxing
- It reduces pain
- It ameliorates behavioural concerns e.g. aggressive behaviour in children
- It improves blood flow
- It aids post-operative recovery
- It impacts on physiological concerns e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol
- It enhances medical care
- It benefits mental health and treats depression and anxiety effectively
- It complements cancer care (reducing pain, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety, depression and stress for chemotherapy patients), lowering fatigue and resulting in improved quality of life
- It eases problems associated with pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects. It also has a positive impact on post-partum depression, anxiety, urination and bowel movements. In my experience, clients of mine who have had reflexology during pregnancy have easier births with quicker recovery, and their babies tend to be more placid than those who don’t.
- When practised on babies, it can ease colic, constipation and reflux
- When practised on new mums, it can aid the rebalancing of hormones
- When both mother and baby come for reflexology together, it can assist bonding – I show mothers a really calming technique to sooth baby at night time
How will I feel after a reflexology treatment?
Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. They may even feel sleepy. Occasionally, people feel nauseous, anxious or tearful, but this is only temporary and is considered to be part of the healing process. To get the most out of your treatment you should try to take it easy afterwards and drink plenty of water, which helps flush out toxins.
How long does a treatment last?
A treatment usually lasts approximately one hour.
How many will I need?
After treatment, any significant findings will be discussed with you. As the effects of reflexology are cumulative, many people find it beneficial to continue with regular treatments.
We also offer Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) which focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. To learn more about how we can help you see the section on our Lymphatic Drainage Massage page.
If you think reflexology could help you or you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact me on 086 3893413