What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary therapy which is believed to help activate the healing powers of the body. The early Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Russians and Egyptians are known to have worked on the feet to promote good health. Today, many of the same techniques have been developed into a modern science called Reflexology, There is a long established principle that there are energy zones that run throughout the body and that there are reflex areas in the feet that correspond to all the major organs and body parts.
In the early twentieth century, Dr William Fitzgerald developed modern zone therapy and suggested that by applying pressure to one area anaesthetized the corresponding area. In 1930s, Physiotherapist Eunice Ingham concluded that zones ran throughout the body and could be accessed anywhere. The feet, however, appeared the most responsive and therefore, she mapped out the entire body onto the feet and discovered that applying pressure on various points had far better beneficial effects than previous zone therapy, namely the reduction in pain. Hence, Reflexology was born.
What are the Benefits of Reflexology?
Reflexology should not be seen as an alternative to medical advice and treatment but could be used as an adjunct to such treatments. Reflexologists are not qualified to diagnose or prescribe and do not claim to cure. However, although there have not been sufficient research trials to prove clinical effectiveness, there have been some very positive results.
Reflexology is believed to reduce stress and induce relaxation. This, in turn helps to allow an improvement of the cardiovascular system, allowing the blood to flow more naturally, therefore, improving circulation. It is said to stimulate more than 7,000 nerves and there are long established beliefs that Reflexology cleanses the body of toxins. Deepening relaxation, could result in benefits to all the body symptoms, helping to restore balance and encouraging the body to heal itself. Additional benefits may include revitalisation of energy and prevention of ill health.
What to expect
Reflexology should be performed in a calm, relaxed environment. A brief medical history will be taken. There are occasions when Reflexology is not a suitable treatment or when a Doctor's consent may need to be sought.
The only parts of the body that need to be uncovered are the feet. The Reflexologist uses hands and fingers to work on the feet using relaxers and a thumb walking technique. The whole of the foot is worked upon, therefore, offering all the advantages of an holistic approach, treating the body as a whole.
How will I feel during and after treatments?
Every client is unique and may react to treatment in different ways and clients may not react the same way each time they have a treatment. However, most people experience deep relaxation and tranquility. Some people fall asleep during a session.
The Reflexologist may pay more attention to areas that correspond to parts of the body that are related to ill health or injury. Those parts of the foot may be tender to the touch. However, with a course of treatment, the problems could ease and the corresponding areas of the feet often become less tender.
For further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact Alison Tyrrell, AT Ease Reflexology and Indian Head Massage, who will be happy to answer any queries.