WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY

WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY?

"Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy based on the theory that different ponts on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body." [The Association of Reflexologists]

Although reflexology can take place on various parts of the body, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on the feet.

Your feet carry you through life and have quite a story to tell! With areas of tension, soreness and lack of circulation; plus solidified urate and calcium “crystals” that can accumulate, your feet can be a map of your body as a whole.

Reflexologists will work over the feet paying attention to any areas that may feel tense or sore.  If any crystals are found, they are gently worked to disperse. 

There are examples from antiquity depicting people working on the feet of other people (eg. the tomb of Ankamahor in Egypt). It is hard to say whether this is an example of early reflexology or some other healthcare practice of the time. However, the importance of caring for one’s feet, and their use in the treatment of other areas of the body (eg a foot soak to address a head cold) has been recognised for a very long time!

There are a number of basis for the theories that underpin reflexology. These include the inter-connectedness of the body as a whole and the philosophy of the importance of a free flow of energy (or life source).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)  calls this ‘life force’ Chi or Qi.  In Ayurveda, it is called prana.  The manipulation of the reflexes is said to facilitate the better flow of this energy around the wider body. Depending on their training, reflexologists may incorporate elements of TCM or Ayurveda into their practice.

THE INTERCONNECTED BODY

The inter-connectedness of the nervous system is generally recognised. Early in the 20th century, Sir Henry Head, a doctor interested in neurology, demonstrated the neurological relationship between different parts of the body.  He observed that pain from an affected area could manifest in another area of the body entirely.  He also demonstrated the relationship of different parts of the body to specific parts of the spine. Sir Charles Sherrington (1857-1952) was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1932 for his work demonstrating the reciprocal nature of the nervous system and the function of neurons.

Studies like these put a more conventional spin on some of the rationale behind reflexology.  More recently there has been growing research looking at the potential benefits of reflexology and massage.  I occasionally share research on my Instagram and Facebook pages.

"Reflexology can help to relieve anxiety and tension, encourage relaxation, improve mood and aid sleep, though some people use it to hep them cope with more specific health challenges.  [It is] often used alongside conventional care in hospices, hospitals and other healthcare settings, to help support pateints with a variety of conditions." Federation of Holistic Therapists.

WHAT CAN REFLEXOLOGY DO FOR ME?

One of the key aims of reflexology is to support the body to maintain homeostasis (body in balance).  It aims to support the body’s systems and stimulate its own healing processes.  This gentle, non-invasive therapy can be used to “complement” more conventional medicine, potentially addressing any possible imbalance before it fully manifests.

IMPROVING CIRCULATION

Our feet are the most prone to lack of good circulation due to the often prolonged periods of sitting or standing that we experience in modern life.  Thus there are many benefits to encouraging the flow of:

  • Blood (carrying vital oxygen and nutrients) and
  • Lymph (that helps to maintain our fluid level, clear away any waste and is key to the healthy functioning of our immune system).
"A small study has shown that foot reflexology can be effective for reducing women's depression during menopause." Mahdavipour F, Rahemi Z, Sadat Z, Ajorpas NM. (2019) The effects of foot reflexology on depression during menopause: A randomized controlled clinical trial.

MANAGING STRESS, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Reflexology and massage encourage the release of endorphins. Endorphins help to give an overall feeling of wellbeing. They help you to relax and reduce stress, anxiety and tension.  This can be particularly useful if you are struggling with your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Regular treatments can be bolstered by the use of self-help techniques at home.  In times of stress, eg when stuck in a traffic jam or in the office, points on the hand can be manipulated without drawing much attention.

MANAGING CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS

Reducing stress, anxiety and tension can also be beneficial if you are living with a chronic health condition.. Complementary therapies can also help to improve quality of life and improve overall experiences of palliative care (including experiences such as chemotherapy).​​

"Working alongside conventional medicine, complementary healthcare methods are often used to help support the body's natural self-healing mechanisms, to ease of alter a patient's perception of pain, and to support patients through periods of anxiety and fear, associated with their illness.
People with chronic or life-limiting conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, mental health problems (ie mild depression and anxiety), weight problems, musculoskeletal problems, or a history of substance misuse (including alcohol and drugs), can be greatly supported using complementary therapies alongside conventional care." Federation of Holistic Therapists.

REFLEXOLOGY FOR EVERYONE!

Reflexology is easily accessible. Taking place either laid down, or seated and clothed it makes it a great choice for people whose mobility may be limited..

What’s more, reflexology can also be performed on the hands, face and ears.  So where it may not be appropriate, or comfortable, to have foot reflexology, you can still enjoy a treatment!

Reflexology is also a popular choice through pregnancy and as part of postpartum recovery.

Simple reflexology techniques can be also be used to soothe baby and through childhood.  In addition, the importance of modelling self-care cannot be under-estimated. It’s a fantastic pre-bedtime wind-down (as my own children will attest!)

TAKING TIME FOR YOU!

It’s so very important to take some time for yourself to relax and recharge. In an ideal world, we’d all be able to access a safe space to simply relax and “be”!

Reflexology in Doncaster - link to page

REFLEXOLOGY – 1 HOUR – £45.00

Treat yourself to an hour’s nurturing foot reflexology.

Treatments take place clothed and either seated or laid back. They include the use of hot towels, plus Weleda’s wonderful Skin Food Body Balm (vegan, with organic shea and cocoa butter with wild pansy, calendula and chamomile and essential oils of sweet orange, lavender and benzoin.

STRESS BUSTING FACIAL & FOOT REFLEXOLOGY – 90 MINUTES – £60.00

Save £15.00 by booking these two treatments together and enjoy 90 minutes of relaxation.

Facial Reflexology in Doncaster - link to page

ADVANCED FACIAL REFLEXOLOGY £48.00

This treatment includes a gentle facial cleanse and tone, followed by hot towels and either Weleda’s Firming Facial Serum, or the brand new Prickly Pear Hydrating Facial Mist.

You then have a choice of Weleda’s divine Pomegranate Firming Facial Oil or the organic, Sweet Almond Soothing Facial Oil (with extract of blackthorn) or a bespoke aromatherapy blend creating inhouse for you.

Because the results of reflexology are cumulative, I offer a series of packages to support you attending regularly.

2 Replies to “WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY”

    1. I certainly recommend it! I’ll email you as, if you’re local, you’re welcome here. Alternatively I may be able to suggest someone local to where you are.

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