What Is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a popular and relaxing holistic treatment based on the principle that reflex points on the soles, tops and sides of the feet and hands are connected to corresponding areas of the body. In this way, the feet and hands can be thought of as a ‘map’ and applying gentle pressure to certain areas are believed to bring health benefits to various areas throughout the body.
Reflexology aims to stabilise elements lacking or unbalanced in a person’s basic energy. The touch of the practitioner’s hand on a persons feet can also be thought to create a flow of energy between them. This particular technique has a great ability to calm and completely relax a person.
Where On The Body Is It Practiced?
Reflexologists practice that feet represent the energy of the body with specific areas of a foot correlating with a part of the body. For example, (and this is extremely simplified here), the big toe represents the head, reflex areas for the organs and structures of the right side of the body are on the right foot and those of the left for the left side of the body.
Pressure sensors on the feet communicate with the brain, internal organs, and other parts of the body. Since all the systems of the body interrelate, only one needs to be slightly out of balance to lead to disorders in other areas.
When and Why Should You Try?
Reflexology is great for promoting relaxation and general well being.
Blood and nerve supply to muscles improves, helping to relax muscle spasm and tension. Treatment can also promote good muscle tone through nerve stimulation, so reflexology may help to compensate for lack of exercise in cases of illness or of age.
Reflexology also helps relaxation (which in itself provides many health benefits) by reducing your heart rate and helping the flow of blood around the body. It assists better functioning of the circulatory system, improving blood flow and efficient transporting of nutrients throughout the body.
Stress and anxiety can trigger problems with sleep, headaches and stomach conditions. Tackling these symptoms with reflexology has produced some amazing results.
One of my clients from the emergency services had severe anxiety causing chronic insomnia. After a few treatments, he relaxed sufficiently to help restore his sleep pattern. Another client suffering stress and anxiety was experiencing the most awful migraine headaches. Over several treatments reflexology reduced, then stopped altogether the headaches improving her sleep and contributing towards reduced anxiety
Reflexology can assist with conception and during pregnancy but choose practitioners with the proper accredited training.
Who Can Offer Reflexology?
It’s important to identify a properly accredited practitioner.
I belong to The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), the UK’s largest professional association for complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists. The Federation has been developing and promoting the highest standards of education and therapy practice for more than 50 years.
The FHT runs the largest Accredited Register of Complementary Therapists to have been independently accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, a body accountable to parliament.
The Accredited Register programme is Government backed and ensures the public, care commissioners and employers can choose a non-statutory regulated health practitioner with confidence.
? – ever…
… and this is really important!
Reflexology is a complementary therapy so reflexologists cannot diagnose medical conditions. It should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice. We cannot claim to cure but reflexology can work holistically and possibly (subject to the nature of any specific diagnosed ailments) in support of conventional treatments.
Also, reflexology is an ancient technique derived from oriental philosophy. Even today there is no concise explanation of the rationale of how and why reflexology works. The terminology used by reflexologists such as balance, harmony and energy do not translate easily into Western physiological understanding.
Beware of researchers who may pour scorn on reflexology as they are generally from large medical companies or similar bodies who will never make, or seek to make, money from holistic therapy. This may explain why there are few independent, scientific studies on proven benefits of holistic therapies, but don’t be afraid to try it and find out for yourself.
Anything that helps you feel better has to be a good thing. Physical contact just on its own can help and being able to talk to another person on an emotional level can be very powerful.
Don’t take my word for it though! Visit my Facebook page and see for yourself some of the reviews and testimonials I have received!
© Liesl Borrett (2019)
If you are feeling anxious, stressed, not sleeping well or are having trouble relaxing, then why not give reflexology a try?
Visit Liesl’s Repose, Plymouth, Facebook page and discover a discount to celebrate National Reflexology Week!