So, you’ve heard of Reflexology – great! It’s something to do with feet, right? Yeah.
There is so much more to reflexology than is perceived by someone who hasn’t tried it – more than just a nice foot massage. After all, it’s been around for thousands of years; the first pictorial evidence was found in a tomb, at Saqqara near Cairo, Egypt circa 2,500-2,300 BC, and things don’t tend to be around so long unless they’re something special. Going back further, our ancestors were believed to have walked on bare feet, which gave them natural stimulus to their soles.
Reflexology is a holistic therapy, and there are many different types, but in the UK you will mostly find the Western version, which has been adapted and refined by many learned people over the last hundred years or so. It is believed that there are energy pathways which connect to all the organs and systems in the body known as zones, which can be accessed via the feet, hands, face and ears. The most popular method is the feet, but many therapists also work with hands and face, not so much with the ears. Using specific thumb and finger movements to very precise areas, it is thought a connection is made via the zones to activate the body’s own self-healing processes. Some therapists work with energy, which is deeply penetrating and relaxing, some work with finding and breaking down crystals which are thought to manifest when disease is present. If you are concerned that you have tickly feet, don’t be. A positive touch is applied which does not tickle.
Potentially reflexology is suitable for almost anyone; men as well as women, young and the young at heart with wide ranging conditions. It aims to help the body’s self-healing and may act as a preventative therapy. The most commonly reported benefits of reflexology are a reduction in stress and promotion of relaxation. However, there are many conditions that people seek reflexology for help with, such as fertility problems, pain relief, relief to those with life threatening illnesses or possibly just having to cope with fast paced busy lifestyles, the list is almost endless.
Each treatment is tailored to the individual for every visit. The first appointment is usually a little longer as a full medical history is taken. The frequency of subsequent appointments is discussed and agreed between the client and therapist. Treatments usually last between 45 minutes to an hour, plus consultation time, but the very young, elderly or very sick may find a shorter treatment more appropriate. Some therapists offer home visits. Prices vary, but the average cost for a treatment is around £30-£40, with some luxury spas charging up to £70.
What can you expect during your treatment? After discussion about any conditions that you may be experiencing, you will be asked to remove your footwear (for foot reflexology) and made comfortable on a treatment bed or chair. A blanket or sheet is usually offered for warmth. During the treatment you may wish to chat, or you may elect to close your eyes and immerse yourself in the deeply relaxing, therapeutic, and sometimes spiritual, influence of reflexology. Some people report having unusual sensations as the body responds to the reflexes being stimulated, responses are individual. After your treatment you will be offered a glass of water and given appropriate aftercare advice.
So what should you look for in choosing a Reflexologist? To gain the best experience, find somebody who is qualified to Level 3 or above Diploma in Reflexology, with MAR after their name, and ensure they have professional insurance cover. A good place to search is Suffolk And Norfolk Therapists
Jan Parker, MAR
Find Jan Parker under the Bury St Edmunds
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