Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT)

Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT)

Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT) is a highly effective reflexology technique where the feet are briefly treated whilst the client is in a standing, weight-bearing position, rather than in a more conventional reclining position. It appears that the body is more responsive to a healing and energetic stimulation when treated briefly in a standing position. It has been suggested that VRT can reach deeper, possibly new, reflexes, allowing homeostasis or balance to be achieved in a shorter time.

Anatomically, the nerves in the hands and feet remain desensitised when passive or reclining and those same nerves become sensitised when the feet are standing or the hands are pressed down on a flat surface. The general premise of reflexology is that the reflexes in the hands and feet can be triggered to send a message to a specific organ or gland in the body which will help to trigger a healing response. When a reflexologist stimulates the feet, an energetic response must be carried through the body to a particular target. It appears obvious that, in the reflexology concept, the response is transmitted in some way by the nerves and, if this is the case, then there is a possibility that the sensitised weight-bearing reflexes may enhance the response of the stimulated reflex.

VRT treatments are much shorter than standard treatments and are usually combined with traditional reflexology. When combined with another treatment, VRT is used at the beginning or end of the treatment for a maximum of 5 minutes. The response of weight bearing reflexes is much stronger and the effects are felt more quickly by the client. Sometimes immediate improvement is observed with only three minutes of VRT at the beginning and/or end of a conventional reflexology treatment.

It was originally developed to help orthopaedic conditions but has subsequently proved successful in treating many health problems.

In a VRT/conventional reflexology study at the St Monica Trust, Bristol in 1997, a 60% improvement in mobility among elderly residents was shown in 7 weeks.

Back, hip and knee pain respond particularly well to VRT as do a number of other conditions including IBS and ME. Excellent results are obtained by treating clients once per week with VRT combined with conventional Reflexology. Self-help can be used several times a day with great success.

The therapeutic response from VRT is often quicker, especially with orthopaedic problems. VRT is a useful adjunct in treating sports injuries as it can help accelerate recovery time and may bring about increase in mobility and decrease in pain.

Advanced VRT techniques can often help intransigent conditions. VRT can also be used as a brief first-aid treatment or as part of a comprehensive 25 minute treatment for hospices, the workplace, schools, sports centres, etc. Clients can be taught simple self-help hand or foot reflexology techniques to aid recovery between treatments.

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