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What is reflexology?

Reflexology, which is believed to have very ancient roots, works on the principle that every organ and system of the body has a corresponding point or zone in the feet, the hand and the ear. For example, the spot in the centre of the big toe corresponds to the pituitary gland, and on the ball of the foot underneath the big toe there is a point that corresponds to the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

How does reflexology work?

Reflexology practitioners use light pressure to massage each of the points in the toes, feet and ankles to release tension, remove energy blockages, disperse accumulations of calcium and uric acid, stimulate circulation and promote healing of both body and mind. Each of the points massaged sends an energy message through a channel known as a meridian to the organs and systems of the body, and this flow through the meridian acts like a flushing process to remove toxins and thus promote harmony in the affected area. Reflexology is related to other practices such as acupuncture which are based on the same principles, use the same meridians but use different techniques.

What does reflexology involve?

The practitioner will begin by taking details of the client’s medical history and lifestyle. The client will be asked to remove only their footwear and clothing up to the knee. The client, fully clothed apart from their feet, will lie on a massage couch whilst the practitioner works on their feet and ankles.

Gentle pressure is applied to each pressure point and, where there are corresponding physical problems, the client may experience some slight discomfort and/or the therapist may feel some blockages in the area. For example, when the practitioner touches the reflex point that corresponds to the gall bladder, if the client has a problem with that organ, then some discomfort may be felt in the foot.

Generally, most clients report that a reflexology treatment is wonderfully relaxing and soothing, and many people fall asleep. Each session will last about an hour and, in most cases, a series of sessions are necessary to resolve any problems. Some clients book a regularly weekly or monthly session as a preventative measure, to keep their systems balanced and in good working order.

What is reflexology good for?

Reflexology can be used to treat a wide range of problems including skin and respiratory conditions, migraine, PMS and menopausal problems, chronic fatigue, stress, depression and anxiety, eczema, bronchitis or insomnia even fertility issues.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

Reflexology can be used both to help with conditions which the client is seeking immediate treatment; or it can be used to keep the body’s energy flowing and the body mind balance in harmony.

What are the side effects and when should reflexology be avoided?

Reflexology should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. As part of the balancing process, some clients find that reflexology encourages the elimination of toxins from the body. Therefore, as this could interfere with any medication you are taking, it is very important to inform the therapist if you are currently taking medicine.

Also, be sure to tell the therapist if you have a pacemaker, kidney stones or gallstones. If you have a health problem such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease or diabetes; or you have a foot injury, phlebitis, thrombosis or blood clots, have a chat with your doctor before booking a reflexology session, and be sure to let your therapist know when she takes your medical history.

Some clients report that, immediately after a reflexology treatment, they feel very relaxed and sleepy and just want to go home and lie down. Reflexology is suitable for everyone, except those people who dislike having their feet touched.

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