The origins of reflexology are thought to date from about 5,000 years ago from China and the East. There is also strong evidence of this form of treatment being used by the ancient Egyptians from paintings which have been discovered in the tomb of Ankmahor (2,500 BC). Over the years there have been all sorts of recordings of the use of holistic foot massage but the Westernised treatment of Reflexology was developed largely by Dr William Fitzgerald, an American Physician who mapped the human body into ten longitudinal zones that ran through the body from the toes to the head, he pioneered this treatment as Zone Therapy. It was then developed further in the 1930’s into the form that we know as Reflexology today, by Physiotherapist Eunice Ingham. Using the zone therapy principles she mapped them onto the feet (which were very sensitive and receptive having over 7,000 nerve endings) corresponding each organ and section of the body to pressure points or reflexes.
Your reflexologist will start with a detailed consultation asking you about any particular concerns or symptoms. You will then recline on the couch and they will start to work on your feet, by stimulating the reflex points through various techniques and pressure, the Reflexologist revitalises energy pathways, reduces blockages and triggers the body’s natural healing processes. Reflexology is a holistic treatment so, although we will always look to address the key concerns of the client and work on these areas, we will also treat the whole body each time the healing process and energy pathways to remain clear. The treatment should never feel painful, but sometimes can be a little uncomfortable in parts when stimulating some of the reflexes and releasing toxins and energy. Your therapist will always drain any toxins back through the lymphatic system, so drinking plenty of water within the first 24 hours after treatment is important to flush through the system and aid the healing process.
Reflexology is very relaxing and is excellent in releasing stress and tension. It may also help with conditions including migraine, insomnia, premenstrual tension, arthritis, digestive and respiratory problems. Reflexology is particularly good in aiding recovery after illness, it can help restore calm by balancing blood pressure and stress hormone levels (cortisol), boosts circulation and blood flow, can help with pain management*, aids mobility and can even be used to help with fertility. Reflexoloy is not intended to provide a substitute for medicine and should work in a complementary way.
(*2013 study by University of Portsmouth)