Foot Notes – All about Reflexology

The Benefits of Reflexology.
Reflexology can have many beneficial and lasting effects. Some treatments are gentle in nature, aiming to restore body systems for better function while others are more specific, addressing particular needs. Reflexology is a treatment that can be safely used when it is not convenient to treat other body parts. As a non-intrusive technique, it acts indirectly. Reflexology can be a relaxing therapy that works on many levels, soothing, calming, balancing and boosting the entire body.

The general benefits of Reflexology may include:

Increased relaxation
Reduced stress and tension
Improved mood
Improved immunity
Increased body awareness

Reflexology may be successful in relieving many acute and chronic conditions including

Digestive problems
Bowel disorders
Pain and Mobility
Joint Pain
Female Health Conditions
Breathing Difficulties
Skin problems
Poor circulation
Sleep Issues
Nasal and head congestion
Blood pressure irregularities

Reflexology is a natural holistic treatment which although applied to the feet, has an effect throughout the whole body. It is a type of foot massage but it may also include treatments to the hands when appropriate.

Reflexology is based on the principle that congestion, or tension, in any part of the foot mirrors congestion or tension in a corresponding part of the body. These parts, known as reflex points, have a direct link with all parts of the body. Reflex points can also be found on the hands and other body parts such as the ear; however, the most commonly treated area is the feet.

Massaging the feet using certain techniques stimulates these reflex points, which in turn stimulate the organs of the body. There are thousands of nerve endings in the hands and feet and by applying pressure to a specific area, other parts of the body can be affected (for instance, pressure to the fingertips affects the head and sinuses).

The therapist can detect the tiny deposits, tensions and imbalances in the feet which cause energy blockages and lead to disease. By gently working on these points the therapist can remove the energy blockages, encouraging the free flow of energy around the whole body. Tensions are eased and circulation and elimination improved. Reflexology helps to restore the body’s natural equilibrium and encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace.

Stress can cause physical problems in the body that lead to injury or disease. Reflexology can trigger a relaxation response that reduces this stress and therefore benefits health. Reflexology can also release endorphins (our natural pain killing chemical) into the bloodstream to aid pain relief and give a feeling of well-being. Pressure to the hands and feet during the therapy can increase blood flow and with better circulation oxygen and nutrients present in cells move around the body aiding recovery. This process also removes waste products that may be causing damage.

On your first treatment a health consultation is taken to collect medical history, current symptoms, lifestyle and any other relevant information. You will lie down or sit in a reclining chair and be asked to remove your shoes and socks. Your feet will be examined for colour, appearance and condition, after which the reflexology treatment will commence.

The feet are then worked on with any problem areas being recorded. You may experience some discomfort or tenderness in certain reflexes but the overall sensation is generally one of comfort and relaxation. In certain circumstances the hands may be worked on instead. A course of treatments is usually recommended depending on your body’s needs and your specific health concerns.

MATERNITY REFLEXOLOGY is a branch of reflexology aimed specifically at women during
pre-conception, pregnancy, labour and the post-natal period. Maternity reflexology can support you throughout your pregnancy and help prepare your body for childbirth. Reflexology is a safe and supportive therapy for pregnant women.

During your pregnancy, your body will go through significant changes; these changes will affect the emotional, hormonal and physiological balance of your body. Reflexology can help to alleviate or prevent discomfort arising from this imbalance and restore the body’s equilibrium. Reflexology techniques are used which encourage you to relax and help to ease the uncomfortable symptoms that you may be experiencing at this time including morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia and back pain. Reflexology can assist with easing other pregnancy discomforts such as Backache and sciatica, Braxton hicks, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Groin / Ligament Pain, Oedema (swelling of the ankles, wrists or fingers) and Symphysis pubic pain.

Reflexology during pregnancy encourages relaxation, stress relief and reduction of those emotional “ups and downs!”

Research has shown that regular reflexology treatments during pregnancy can shorten the duration of labour, with subjects often requiring less pain-relief during the course of delivery.