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refkexologyWhat is reflexology?

Reflexology is a holistic therapy working on the whole person, in particular on weak or ill areas. The feet are used as maps for the body with points/zones corresponding to organs/systems within the body. By use of pressure on these points the whole body can be affected in a non-intrusive way making this a safe and relaxing way to help with many conditions.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

There are many benefits to reflexology and these may include reduction of stress, deep relaxation, improved circulation, clearing the body of toxins and impurities, balancing the whole system bringing about homeostasis and boosting of energy levels.

What happens during an appointment?

Prior to a treatment a consultation is carried out. After this you will be asked to remove your shoes and socks and sit on the treatment couch. You will be made comfortable and covered with a blanket to keep you cosy. Then all you need to do is relax whilst I work on your feet. At the end of the session you will be given a glass of water, home care advice and time to come round before leaving to get on with the rest of your day.

Where does Reflexology come from?

The use of massage on the feet is nothing new and has been around since ancient times and the tomb of Ankhmahor an Egyptian physician has a series of pictures which appear to show a foot massage being carried out and acupressure has been used in China for around 5000 years.

In more recent times it is Dr William Fitzgerald who noticed that by applying pressure anywhere on the body other areas are affected. He went on to use this as a way of anaesthetising parts of the body during minor surgery. Further research lead to him dividing the body into 10 longitudinal zones, which became the basis for reflexology as it is known today.

Dr Joseph Riley added 8 horizontal zones to Dr Fitzgerald’s 10 longitudinal zones. He was also the first person to produce a detailed map of the reflexes in the feet, as well as studying the reflexes of the hands and ears.

A physiotherapist by the name of Eunice Ingham, who worked closely with Dr Riley in the 1930s made a distinction between zone therapy and what she called Compression Therapy, this she later renamed reflexology. She worked with 100s of Dr Riley’s patients, noting that alternating pressure affected both stimulation and healing. She shared this concept with other health professionals and lectured on the subject for over 30 years. She also wrote 2 books titled ‘Stories The Feet Can Tell’ in 1938 and ‘Stories The Feet Have Told’ in 1951. Her work forms a major part of how treatment is seen today and her work was continued by her nephew Dwight Byers and niece Eusebian Messenager. A student of Eunice Ingham’s, Doreen Bayly brought reflexology to Britain in the 1960s.

Reflexology is classified as a complementary treatment because it is usually used along side more conventional medical treatments. These medical treatments usually treat a specific area of the body or the symptoms. Reflexology on the other hand is used by working on reflected parts of the body, therefore treating the whole body – physical, emotional and spiritual – helping to bring about balance to all three. This makes it one of the more accepted forms of holistic treatment and is recognised as ‘complimenting’ any other treatments being used.

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