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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a holistic treatment where the therapist uses pressure on different areas of your feet to remove energy blockages and get the energy moving along the nerve channels, to bring the body back into balance. It can be used to address certain medical problems, and is a relaxing therapy in itself; much more than just a foot rub…

Reflexology has been practised for thousands of years, and there’s evidence that it was even used in Egyptian times. The first recorded book about reflexology – also called zone therapy was written by two physicians called Dr Adamus and Dr Atitis, in 1582. The practice was introduced to the west in 1915 and developed by a physiotherapist called Eunice Ingram in the 1930s.

How does reflexology work?

Like many holistic therapies, reflexology is an energy therapy which works on the body’s energy channels. A more scientific explanation is that putting pressure on different areas of the feet sends endorphins around the nervous system to reduce stress and pain.

Reflexology uses specially designed movements to stimulate the reflex points on your feet, and increase energy flow. These points all correspond to different areas of your body, and if you have a problem in that area, you might feel discomfort when the therapist works on that area of your foot. The movements are tiny and precise, and designed to work together to bring your body back into balance.

How does it feel?

Don’t worry if you are ticklish – the pressure used in a reflexology session is firm, and shouldn’t make you squirm. Most people find a reflexology treatment relaxing, and any discomfort is worthwhile to release energy blockages. If you do find it uncomfortable at all, be sure to tell the therapist so that she can adjust the pressure – it’s supposed to be enjoyable.

Some areas may feel tender and these will be the areas the therapist spends more time on. As you have more regular treatments, the discomfort in these areas should reduce.

When should you avoid reflexology?

If you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to get doctor’s advice before a treatment, and make sure you let your therapist know in advance. If you have any foot or ankle injuries, or suffer from circulatory diseases or thrombosis, you should also consult your doctor first.