Reflexology is an ancient therapy that can enhance relaxation and pick up on areas of stress and tension within the body
In our crazy world of frantic and continuous effort putting your feet up for a whole hour with no demands sounds like a pretty fantastic way to spend some time doesn’t it? We can spend an inordinate amount of time on our feet – so there is a lot of strain put on our tootsies on a daily basis and often we don’t have time to think about what we’re putting our feet through.
Did you know that your feet can be used to pin point areas of tension and discomfort? This is the theory behind the art of reflexology, which is a therapeutic application that uses compression techniques and massage to stimulate energy flow within the body. Energy is life and it is a belief in the alternative and complementary community that energy blocks eventually lead to illness and disease. A reflexologist cannot diagnose or cure you but they can help to identify areas in the body that may be under stress and in turn provide you with key pointers for improving habits and reducing stress levels.
The theory is that reflexology helps the body to restore its balance naturally. There are specific reflex areas on the foot that relate to certain parts of the body, for example, the pads of the small toes relate to the sinuses. The reflexologist is trained to pick up imbalances during treatment and they can offer suggestions to alleviate tension and this can work alongside allopathic medicine.
Following a treatment you might notice that you get more restful sleep, or that your mood and sense of wellbeing is elevated. There have been some positive research projects carried out with reflexology; however, as yet, there is not a large enough body of evidence for reflexologists to make clinical claims of effectiveness.
However, with a world that appears to become busier and more stressful on a daily basis, it is wise for us as individuals to take responsibility for our own health and look at ways that we can stay in balance and manage our stress levels. Reflexology is one tool in the armoury of complementary and alternative treatments that may be just the ticket.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF REFLEXOLOGY
My experience of reflexology was positive because it was unbelievably relaxing – not something I would necessarily have associated with having my feet compressed and massaged. I was warmly welcomed by the therapist Lisa in an enchanting conservatory, which was lightly scented with crystals dotted strategically round the room. I had a thorough consultation and Lisa completed a fairly comprehensive form asking about my general health and any ailments or issues that I was experiencing. The treatment was carried out on a reclining chair where I was covered in warm blankets and requested to relax and only chat if I felt like – this suited me as life is often spent life talking at length or with mindless chatter. I made the decision to zone out!
Lisa began by thoroughly cleansing my feet with scented wipes. The therapy itself felt like lots of little flutterings over my feet but it wasn’t in any way ticklish or uncomfortable. It was deeply relaxing and at times I drifted off. Periodically I experienced vivid colours in my mind’s eye – I mentioned this to Lisa afterwards who explained that this is linked to the body’s chakra’s (energy fields). The treatment lasted an hour and I have to admit I didn’t want it to end as my experience was a warm cocoon of requiescence. Lisa pointed out some areas where she felt there were some possible issues – my adrenals, my pituitary and the area between my shoulder blades and she made some suggestions for me to help alleviate any stress I was feeling. She also encouraged me to drink plenty of water following my treatment to continue the healing process, which she had begun.
On a personal note I am a fan of alternative and complementary medicine and I have had experiences through various treatments that have been hugely positive for me. However, what I would say is that even if you are not a fan of complementary therapies, reflexology is a superb platform for relaxation and for this reason alone it is something I would highly recommend.
My experience of reflexology was with Lisa Elmore BSc MAR. For more information: www.foresttherapiesandfitness.com
NB: Well-trained reflexologists do not claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe.
For more information: Association of Reflexologists www.aor.org.uk