Smith, Tracy Image 5Reflexology is a gentle therapy which aims to restore balance and harmony to the whole body.  It involves using the fingers and thumbs to apply pressure to the feet and/or hands.  There are points on the feet that relate to specific organs, glands and systems of the body, these points are known as reflex points: a reflex is when stimulation at one point brings about a response in another.

The feet can be thought of as mirroring the body and so the organs and glands can be mapped onto the feet.  The left foot mirrors the left side of the body and the right foot reflects the right side of the body.  Reflexology is also based on the principle that there is energy that flows through and around our body that keeps us healthy, when this energy flow is blocked for some reason emotional or physical ill health can follow.  By working over the reflex points on the feet it is anticipated that blocked energy is released and homeostasis restored to the body.

Reflexology is a holistic healing technique, which means the individual’s mind, body and spirit are taken into account when giving a treatment.  A thorough consultation is given to ensure that it is safe for the treatment to go ahead.

The Treatment

A Reflexology session usually last about 45 minutes to one hour and for the first session an extra 15 minutes may be required to take a full consultation.  Calming music is played throughout and most people find the experience very relaxing or even fall asleep.  You are seated in a reflexology chair and tilted backward, covered with a soft blanket, only having to remove your socks and shoes.  At the start the feet are cleansed and a gentle foot massage is given to ease into the treatment during which certain reflexes may feel tender or make you flinch slightly.  You may have other sensations such as tingling, feeling hot/shivery or have digestive noises (tummy gurgling).  Feedback & discussion can take place following the treatment if the client wishes.

Healing Reactions

Some people can experience a “healing reaction” following a treatment which may include:
• Headaches
• Detox symptoms – increase in urination and/or bowel movements
• Feeling emotional
• Resurfacing of old symptoms
• Skin rash

These are normal reactions and usually subside within 24 hours.

Contraindications

There are very few conditions when treatment should not be given but many conditions where care should be taken.

Treatment would not be given if someone has:
• Acute infectious disease
• Fevers, very high temperature
• Deep vein thrombosis, phlebitis, aneurysm
• Pregnancy – early stages
• Severe osteoporosis
• Directly after replacement surgery – new hip, heart valve
• Severe mental illness
• Under influence of alcohol or drugs

Care is required if someone has:
• Heart condition
• Epilepsy
• Diabetes
• Asthma
• Arthritis in feet
• Varicose veins in feet
• Following surgery
• Cancer
• Conditions where medication is being taken