Reflexology is a science based on the premise that the entire body (glands, organs, systems) is mirrored on the bottom of the foot (as well as hands and ears). The method of relaxation techniques along with specific finger and thumb pressure is applied to corresponding reflex areas on the foot.
History of Reflexology
Reflexology has been known since ancient times in Egypt, China and India, but was rediscovered in the United States in the early 1900’s to which Dr. William Fitzgerald came up with alleviating pain symptoms through his theory of “zone therapy.” Zone theory states the body can be divided into 10 imaginary longitudinal zones that run the length of the body, five on each side — the right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and the left foot corresponds to the left side of the body, which runs from the tips of the toes to the top of the head. In zone therapy, affecting an area that falls within a zone, will also affect any other part of the body that falls within that particular zone. Therapist Eunice Ingham who was also fascinated by the effectiveness of the zone theory further researched and expanded the work to develop the Ingham Method of Foot Reflexology. Today, there are many schools of Reflexology. My training as a certified reflexologist is attributed to The Academy of Ancient Reflexology with Karen Ball. For more information about reflexology, you can visit the ARCB (American Reflexology Certification Board) website at www.arcb.net or www.academyofancientreflexology.com.
How can Reflexology help you?
A great STRESS RELIEVER, our bodies are constantly working to maintain a constant internal balance or homeostasis, combating many different stressors, whether physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. Benefits of this powerful modality encourages the body back to a level of harmony by:
- improving circulation, both locally and systemically
- helps eliminate toxins that stagnate at the feet from gravity
- relaxes the central nervous system, inducing a deep state of relaxation
Many who receive a reflexology session liken it to “having your internal battery recharged!”
What is a Reflexology session like? What can I expect?
During your first visit, I will ask you to fill out a health history form so that I can set up a treatment to best address your needs. A normal session is usually an hour long, lying face up on the massage table propped with pillows under your knees and head for better comfort. I encourage you to wear comfortable clothing, since only access to your feet is required. During our reflexology session, I may also incorporate the use of therapeutic-grade essential oils appropriate to your current situation and emotional and physical health.
Who can benefit from a Reflexology session?
Anyone can benefit from a reflexology session since it strives to treat the body as a whole during both acute and chronic conditions. Reflexology encourages and assists in the healing process during any situation, and can treat the body safely when massage is not preferred.
Is Reflexology ever contraindicated and/or are there any cautions?
Yes, it is contraindicated if the foot presents with any open, bleeding, or oozing wounds, sores and ulcers; recent fractures, sprains, and strains in an acute condition, contagious infections like athlete’s foot or plantar’s wort; ingrown toenails, or corns; unexplained edema.
Cautions to be mindful of during a reflexology session are during pregnancy in the first trimester, specifically avoiding certain reflexes, like the reproductive and the lower portion of the spine reflex. In general, it is wonderful for pregnant women to help with sore, swollen feet through the pregnancy.
Is Reflexology painful?
No it should not be painful. Communication is key, I encourage feedback during the session about pressure, and welcome questions, comments, queries about my work or the reflex area being worked. It is most effective to work within your pain threshold. LESS IS MORE! Deeper pressure does not mean it is more effective. (This is supported by Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Edgar Adrian and his theory which is based on the concept that “the electrical intensity of a nerve impulse is dependent upon the size of the nerve rather than the strength of the stimulus.”)
If you find a tender spot on my foot that corresponds to a specific reflex area, does that mean there is something wrong with that area in my body? Should I go see a doctor? No it does not. I do not diagnose. Tender spots can also be attributed to poor footwear, or the structural alignment of your foot. If you feel persistent pain or soreness to that area, you can use your discretion about seeing a doctor since you know your own body best.
- Duration is usually an hour except the first time as this includes detailed discussion about your health and lifestyle (standard charge still applies). Treatments for the young or very frail may be covered in half-hour sessions.
- Comfortable, loose clothing is recommended.
- You need to remove shoes and socks (for both therapies). I clean your feet before treatment; so please don’t be concerned about this.
- Sometimes an area may feel tender or sensitive and this is used as part of the energetic diagnosis but many of the sensations involve tingling, warmth, coolness or a buzzing sensation which all suggest that something is happening to the energy in the body.
- Every client responds to a therapy in a different way but I suggest an initial consideration of 4 treatments to allow us to make a proper assessment of the potential benefits. For those suffering from chronic ill-health, it can take some time for the body to re-balance but improvements may still be seen in the early days.
- To sustain a feeling of well-being, clients often decide to have maintenance treatments at 4 to 6-weekly intervals. Others return when a problem occurs.