Reflexology as the therapy we know today was developed in the twentieth century by a nurse Eunice Ingham, who divided the feet and hands into 10 zones which correspond to areas of the body. Therefore we can treat the whole body by working on reflex points on the feet or hands. Reflexologists work on these reflex points, with the thumbs and fingers, helping to put right any imbalances in the body.
The principles that reflexology is based on have been used for many thousands of years by the Chinese, Egyptians and native American Indians. The Chinese used a form of reflexology over 5000 years ago as one of their pressure therapies. Drawings in Egyptian tombs, shows foot work being carried out and the native American Indians believed that massage or manipulation of the feet helped to maintain, physical, mental and spiritual balance.
The main benefits of reflexology are:
Reflexology can often be used alongside conventional medical care but it is not meant as an alternative to it and does not diagnose conditions. Clients should still see their GP if they have undiagnosed ailments that they are concerned about. Certain conditions may require permission from a GP before a treatment can be given. This would be identified during the consultation. In general though reflexology provides a safe relaxing therapy for most people.
The treatment lasts for approximately 45 minutes, (excluding consultation which takes approximately 15 minutes). Shorter treatments can be given where needed, for example where an individual is frail. You will remain fully clothed apart from socks/tights and shoes. This means that reflexology is a very convenient treatment to have in a lunch break or straight from work or in cases where people are immobile or unwell and not able to move very much.
The treatment will be given on a treatment couch, footstool or reclining chair depending upon preference and circumstances. In most cases the treatment is performed on the feet but where that isn’t possible, the hands can be used instead.
Reflexology is a very flexible treatment and is easily accessible for most people. In cases where people are very frail or have mobility issues the treatment can be given in their bed or wheelchair if necessary. As mentioned above, the length of the treatment can be reduced where required.
Following the treatment, aftercare advice such as drinking lots of water will be given. Depending upon your needs, the therapist may be able to work with you on some basic, reflexology points, exercise or dietary issues that you can carry out afterwards and which will compliment the reflexology treatment.