Reflexology is a complementary therapy based around the theory that there are energy channels running through the body. By stimulating reflex points on the feet and hands, which correspond to parts of the body, we can stimulate this energy flow. Imbalances in the energies of one area of the body affect all other areas, which is why treating at a holistic level is so important. Reflexology offers a way of connecting to this energy system, balancing it and stimulating the body's own healing forces. It does not treat symptomatically, but rather treats the whole person.
It is important to note that reflexology does not claim to diagnose or cure, but rather stimulates the body's own healing forces to restore equilibrium and encourage it to heal itself from illness.
History of Reflexology
Reflexology is believed to have originated in China approximately 7000 years ago, and there is evidence of it being used in ancient Egypt in 2500-2300BC.
Modern reflexology was developed by Dr William Fitzgerald at the turn of the 19th century. He discovered 'zone therapy' whereby he showed how pressure applied to one area of the body anaethetised a corresponding area. He went on to use his findings in the management of pain.
Reflexology was pioneered in Great Britian by Doreen Bayly in the 1960s, and has grown since then to become increasingly popular as a complementary therapy.
How does reflexology work?
There are a number of different theories as to how the effects are achieved:
- Doreen Bayly believed that an electrical type impulse is created when a reflex point is stimulated which in turn produces a subtle flow of energy, bringing with it a return to balance.
- The nerves of the body are similar to an electrical circuit and stimulation of the reflex points release tension in the circuit (Eunice Ingham, 1884).
- The Eastern approach believes reflexology works by balancing the chakras (energy points) in the body.
What to expect
At the first reflexology session, a detailed medical history will be taken to enable me to best tailor the treatment to your needs. This is of course completely confidential.
You will then be seated in a reclining chair without footwear and offered the use of a blanket as many clients feel that their body temperature drops as they start to relax.
I will begin to apply pressure to the reflex areas of your feet using my thumb and fingers. There is a specific technique that I use and the initial treatment of the feet is done in a set order, and I will treat all areas of the feet. I will aim to detect areas of imbalance as these reflexes feel 'gritty' or 'crunchy' to me and may feel slightly tight or tender to you. After I have treated both feet thoroughly I will re-treat the imbalanced areas to give them a thorough working.