What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a gentle and effective form of therapeutic treatment that works by applying gentle pressure to the feet (and sometimes to the hand) to keep the body in balance and to help activate the body’s natural abilities to heal itself. Reflexology aims to treat the individual as a whole, in order to induce a state of balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit. Reflexologists work holistically with their clients and aim to work alongside allopathic healthcare to promote better health for their clients.
How does Reflexology work?
Clearing neural pathways
There are specific areas (reflexology points) on the feet (and hands) which correspond to different parts of the body. For example, the tips of the toes correlate to the head.
Each foot contains over 7,000 nerve endings, crystalline deposits can form on the nerve endings, disrupting nerve function and energy flow throughout the body. This can be due to factors such as, stress, illness, lack of exercise and poor diet.
The Reflexologist applies gentle finger and thumb pressure to the reflexes, sending a stimulation to the corresponding area of the body. This helps to clear the pathways, allowing the nervous system to work correctly and the body to function at it’s highest potential.
The practice of reflexology divides the body into reflex zones, which covers the entire body. There are 10 vertical energy zones on the body, five on each side. Each zone is represented by points on the bottom of feet. The Reflexologist focuses on these zones to release tension and restore natural balance to allow your body to achieve a level of equilibrium.
How can Reflexology help you?
Reflexology is a very individual, holistic treatment, taking into account both physical and non-physical factors that might be affecting your well-being. Every person is unique; what works for one person may not work for another. The best way to find out is to try it! Reflexology can help people in many ways, one common reason can be due to stress. The body has various acute stress responses activated by the sympathetic nervous system which helps to manage stress called the Fight or Flight Response, it can for example, increase the heart rate, slow down the digestive system and release Adrenaline and Cortisol.
If people experience prolonged stress it can affect their sleep, energy levels, skin health and increase illness. Reflexology helps to encourage homeostasis by relieving tension, increasing nerve and blood supply and allowing the body to normalise and balance.
Meet Yvonne Lockhart: Experienced Reflexologist and Tutor
Yvonne joined the Academy 6 years ago as a course Tutor and also runs a successful therapy clinic in Malmesbury, providing treatments in Aromatherapy, Massage and Reflexology.
Q. Do you have an example of how Reflexology has helped one of your clients?
“ In my own clinic, I’ve seen how the relaxing and calming nature of Reflexology can help clients who have issues starting a family. Research shows that stress can impact the endocrine system which has overall control of the reproductive system in both men and women. If your body is experiencing any kind of stress this could affect a couples’ ability to conceive, by giving treatment to the man and woman it supports the journey to pregnancy. I have been fortunate to see the positive results of Reflexology, babies are healthy and relaxed. I call them my Reflexology babies! ”
Q. Are there any myths surrounding Reflexology?
Yes there certainly are. The two most common myths I encounter are as follows:
Myth 1: Reflexologists can diagnose and cure medical conditions.
"We can’t diagnose or cure medical problems, but we can recognise patterns in the body and feel if different systems are out of balance, using specialist techniques to help to return the body's systems to a natural state of balance, encouraging the recipients’ own natural healing capabilities.“
Myth 2: Reflexology can induce labour.
“Reflexology can help to improve the process of labour and as a consequence help the mother to better administrate her energies towards this task, but we can’t be directly responsible for inducing labour that’s going to happen when the body is ready. The days leading up to childbirth can be quite stressful, so the most valuable thing we can do is to calm the mother.“