What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a holistic therapy involving massage to the hands and feet. It works on the principle that there are 10 lines or zones of energy running through the body beginning and ending in the toes of the feet and fingers of the hands. As these energy lines pass through the body organ, tissues and systems they can be affected by application of pressure to mapped out areas represented on the hands and feet. Through reflexology massage any blockages of energy caused by injury, illness or disease can be dissolved, and the body’s natural homeostasis resumed.
What is the history of Reflexology?
The earliest evidence of Reflexology in the ancient world can be found in the tomb of Egyptian physician Ankmahor dated 2500 BC. The picture inscribed on the tomb shows physicians working on the hands and feet with the inscription ”Do not let it be painful”. There is much more evidence of Reflexology having been used all over the ancient world including China, Japan and India. In more modern times an American ENT physician William Fitzgerald, 1872 -1942 developed a pressure massage technique similar to reflexology called zone therapy based on 10 zones or lines of energy that he found running through the body beginning and ending in the fingers and toes of the hands and feet. He noticed that his patients suffered less pain and were more relaxed when pressure was applied to the hands or feet during operations. Other doctors such as Jo Shelby-Riley and Eunice Ingham took the work of William Fitzgerald further and created the first maps of the body based on the 10 zones of energy formerly identified by Fitzgerald. Today Reflexology is practiced in all countries of the world and more recently has been practiced in the NHS due to scientific research that has clinically proven the powerful healing effect it can have within many of the body systems.
What does a reflexology treatment involve at The Therapy Room?
On your first visit to a reflexologist you will be asked a few questions on your general health and will have the opportunity to discuss fully any health concerns that you have. To receive your treatment you may either sit in a reclining chair or lye down on a massage couch according to whichever you feel more comfortable with. After removing your socks and shoes powder will be applied to your feet to allow ease of massage. Your feet will be massaged individually for about 30 minutes each. The treatment should be relaxing and not painful. The therapist will be able to feel any imbalances in your feet and will be able to discuss which area of the body these correspond to. After the treatment is complete you will be offered a drink and will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Further treatments can be discussed and booked at your convenience.
How many treatments will I need?
It is variable depending on the nature of the symptoms you are presenting with. Problems which are chronic or recurrent or involving many of the bodies systems can require more treatments than acute, one off problems. Reflexology is a holistic therapy and therefore works on the principle of working on the cause of the symptoms rather than just trying to relieve the acute symptoms. Problems that have been going on for some time usually have a more deep rooted cause and therefore require more treatments in order for full healing to occur.
Do you need a doctor’s referral to receive reflexology treatment at The Therapy Room?
To receive reflexology treatment on the NHS you will need to be referred by your GP or hospital consultant. To attend a private reflexologist you do not need a referral as you can just ring up and make an appointment.
How do I find a qualified reflexologist?
The letters MAR after someone’s name indicates that they are a member of the Association of Reflexology. This shows that the therapist has undergone an approved examination and training process in reflexology and is maintaining a high level of practice and standards as outlined by the association.
What can a reflexologist treat?
Reflexology aims to restore the body’s natural homeostasis by balancing energy within the body. It does this through its effects on:
The lymphatic system - boosting the immune system if depletion has occurred following a disease or illness. It is also known to calm the immune system in conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis when the immune system is overactive and fights to destroy the body’s joints.
The circulatory system – restoring good circulation in an area damaged by injury or disease. It can have a relaxation effect on the smooth muscles which line blood vessels and can therefore help to reduce high blood pressure.
The muscular system – causing a relaxation effect on skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles found in the body, heart, organs and blood vessels.
Detoxification of organs - Reflexology is particularly helpful in eliminating waste more effectively. Toxins may build up as a result of poor nutrition, excessive alcohol, smoking or caffeine. Excessive toxins in the body may lead to conditions such as headaches and migraines, digestive problems and IBS, infertility, skin problems and systemic illnesses such as arthritis. Through balancing organs such as the liver, large intestines and kidneys reflexology is a powerful tool at helping to eliminate toxins from the body
Hormonal systems - Reflexology works to balance hormonal production and secretion within the body and has been shown to balance hormonal levels and thereby helping to balance symptoms of PMT, hyper or hypothyroidism, diabetes and many other conditions where a hormonal imbalance is contributing to a clients symptoms.
Nervous system - Reflexology works primarily to calm the nervous system and therefore has a positive effect in situations of acute and chronic pain.
How long does a reflexology treatment last at The Therapy Room?
An initial consultation will last for about 75 minutes as it will involve a full treatment and an assessment where a full medical history and discussion of any medical problems. Follow up treatments will last for 1 hour. Reflexology that is applied to the hand tends to be a shorter treatment lasting for about 40 minutes. Hand reflexology is used rather than foot reflexology either through the clients personal choice, or if for some reason foot reflexology is inappropriate e.g. The patient has a foot ulcer or has arthritis in their toes making the treatment painful in this area.
How much does a reflexology treatment cost at The Therapy Room?
Both an initial consultation and follow up sessions of 1 hour costs £40.
What do I need to bring to a reflexology session?
The therapist will need to massage your feet so it is usually easier to wear footwear that you can comfortably get on and off. It is often easier not to wear tights. If you have any cuts, varrucaes or warts on your feet it is good to cover these up with a plaster before attending treatment. It is also helpful to bring a list of your present medications and the names of any other medical personnel you are currently receiving treatment from.