What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a complementary health therapy. It is based on the theory that the feet and hands contain a mini map of the whole body. All body systems, glands, and organs can be found on parts of the feet or hands. These are known as reflexes.
The right foot or hand corresponds to the right hand side of the body, the left to the left hand side. Parts of the body which are only found on one side of the body, the heart for example , will only have a reflex point on the left foot or hand. Parts of the body which are found on both sides, such as the kidneys, will have corresponding reflexes on both feet. http://www.aor.org.uk/custom/footmap/
Reflexology is the technique used by applying pressure to the reflex points, in order to bring about a response in the corresponding part of the body.
By using a specific massage technique to stimulate the reflexes, the aim is to release any blockages and restore the free flow of energy and blood circulation to the whole body.
Reflexology is based on ancient Chinese theory that energy is flowing around our bodies. If the energy is restricted then illness may result. If the energy can flow freely then we are healthy and balanced.
A reflexologist aims to treat the whole person rather than only focusing on a set of symptoms. Emotional and spiritual wellbeing will be taken into account as well as the physical.
A short history of Reflexology
The earliest evidence of foot massage dates back to ancient Egypt. Some inscriptions, from Ankhmahor’s tomb at Saqqura, were found and dated circa 2150 BC.
It is possible that over the centuries reflexology travelled through the Roman Empire to Egypt, Greece and then to Europe. It has been written that Mark Anthony gave foot massages to the Egyptian Queen.
Foot therapy was also used in Ancient China alongside Traditional Chinese Medicine where it was used to find energy imbalances.
The Chinese discovered that by applying pressure to certain points of the body pain was alleviated in other locations of the body.
Pressure points are applied in acupuncture and shiatsu and play a major role in reflexology. In ‘Historical Records’, a book dating from the 2nd century BC, Sima Qian writes of a doctor called Yu Fu. Yu in Chinese means healing and Fu means foot. The healing foot doctor treated patients with no medicine only massage.
It was introduced to the western world in 1917 by Dr. William Fitzgerald who was an ears nose and throat specialist in America. Further research by Eunice Ingham, a Physical Therapist, who was interested in his work, started practising foot reflex techniques in the 1930’s. This became better known as reflexology.
Is Reflexology suitable for me?
Reflexology is suitable for men, women and children of all ages. However, occasionally, there may be times when it is not suitable. It is best to ring the reflexologist first and ask.
Reflexology may be effective for many conditions including:
- Stress and stress-related disorders
- Digestive problems
- Joint Pain
- Breathing Difficulties
- Fertility Problems
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Sleep Disorders
Will Reflexology help me?
Reflexology is a holistic treatment which works with you individually. It aims to encourage the body to work naturally to restore its own healthy balance. Many people find it can work for them but it doesn’t always work for others. The best way to find out is to try it!
Reflexologists do not claim to cure, diagnose, or prescribe.
What happens on your first visit?
A full medical history will be requested and you will be asked to sign a consent form. This information will be kept confidential.
The most clothing that will have to be removed will be socks and shoes.
The therapist will then use their hands to apply pressure to the feet or hands. You may feel slight discomfort to areas where there may be imbalances, but generally the experience should be relaxing.
A course of treatment may be recommended.
How will I feel after a treatment?
Usually after a treatment you may feel relaxed and your tension might be reduced. You may also notice that your sense of well -being is improved. Some other conditions may improve too. However this happens on a very individual basis. Sometimes people report feeling nauseous, lethargic, and tearful but this is usually temporary, and reflexologists believe it is part of the healing process. After one or two treatments you may find your body responds in a very noticeable way. It is useful to give feedback to your reflexologist as this in turn will help them to tailor a course of treatments to your individual needs.
If you wish to book an appointment you can contact me at Stillpoint or on 07941 313799