Therapeutic Reflexology Sessions
Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to and massaging certain areas of the feet. The aim is to encourage a healing effect on other areas of the body, including organs, glands and muscles, and improve general health and wellbeing. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘zone therapy’.
It is based on the principle that certain areas of the feet, called reflexes, are linked to and correspond to other areas on the body. The arrangement of the reflexes has a direct relationship to the area of the body which they affect. For example, the right side of the foot corresponds to the right side of the body, the tips of the toes correspond to the head, the heart and chest are around the ball of the foot, the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot and the lower back and intestines are towards the heel.
Pressure is applied to certain reflexes to heal certain areas of the body, a particular illness or condition, stress, improve overall health, and help promote the body’s own natural healing process. Reflexology helps the body’s natural energy to flow better, identifying and removing any ‘blockages’.
Reflexology Can :
- Reduce stress and tension
- Increase energy and vitality
- Alleviate pain
- Improve wellbeing
Reflexology is around five thousand years old, and is believed to have been originally practised by the Chinese and Egyptians. Modern day reflexology was pioneered by Dr William H. Fitzgerald, and Eunice Ingham, who used the ideas of Zone Therapy. This developed the idea of other areas of the body being connected to the feet, eventually mapping out the whole body onto the feet.
Dr William H Fitzgerald divided the body into ‘zones’, and matched up the zones to the reflexes.
In Great Britain, Reflexology was developed and introduced by Doreen Bayly in the early 1960s.
What can reflexology help with?
Reflexology can primarily help with reducing stress associated with various problems, as well as improving the body’s natural energy flow, and healing process.
Reflexology can also be used to help with post-operative recovery or palliative care. For example, some patients may find that the relaxation aspect of the therapy helps with anxiety relief.
What to expect?
Reflexology sessions are fairly straightforward and an uncomplicated process.
You will be seated on a reclining therapy bed and asked/helped to remove your shoes and socks. The practitioner will then make an initial examination of the feet before beginning to apply pressure with the fingers and thumbs to certain areas.
Reflexology is not painful, however certain areas of the feet may feel more tender than others, depending on what area of the body they correspond with. Sensitivity will vary from person to person, and the practitioner will adjust the amount of pressure applied accordingly.
After a reflexology session your feet will feel warm and you will experience a general feeling of relaxation. Often people can feel sleepy as a result of being so relaxed.
How often and how long?
The length of the sessions depends on the needs/tolerance of the pupil.. The number of sessions required depends on the condition being treated, but our practitioner will discuss this with parents/staff/pupil. The relaxing effect of Reflexology will be felt after the first session, but noticing benefits on other parts of the body may take longer.
Misconceptions about Reflexology
Many people think that Reflexology will be ticklish, especially as feet can often be sensitive to tickling. However, the practitioner holds the feet in a firm manner, knowing the right amount of pressure to reply, so it is not at all like being tickled.
Reflexology is suitable for anyone, including all age groups. However, it should be avoided in the first three months of pregnancy, but specific Maternity Reflexology is available.
Whilst Reflexology is a form of massage, it is not simply a massage alone, as specific points on the foot are used and the whole body can be treated. However, people may also use Reflexology as a form of relaxation, rather than treating anything specific, in the way massage is used to relax.
Reflexology is not diagnostic. The practitioner is not able to diagnose conditions or problems, but can sense imbalances in the body’s energy flow.
Whilst predominantly practised on the feet, Reflexology is also only used on the hands, or ears.
What training and qualifications do practitioners need?
Reflexology is just one of the many alternative therapies currently unregulated in the UK. This means that there are no laws which state and detail the qualifications and level of experience someone must have in order to practise as a Reflexologist.
Despite this there are a number of professional associations with whom practitioners can choose to register with and become accredited. Currently we have a member of staff with an accredited qualification in Reflexology that the school has financed. She is also a qualified aromatherapist. Please see information from our practitioner below: