Reflexology can be used to help restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium.
This gentle therapy encourages the body to work naturally to –
Restore its own healthy balance, Improve nerve and blood supply and keep calm and relaxed.
Reflexology can – Help with relaxation, Improves mood, Aids sleep, Helps relieve tension and improves a sense of wellbeing.
Reflexology is suitable for all ages and may bring relief from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions.
‘Reflexology does not claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe’.
When you visit a Reflexologist for the first time, they will first spend some time talking with you discussing your past and present health.
This will help them to build up a clear picture of all your health issues.
Reflexology works on a holistic level, that is it works on the body as a whole.
During your first visit, it is natural to feel a little anxious. You might be worried that the treatment will be painful or ticklish or you could be embarrassed to discuss personal issues with a relative stranger. Be assured that all professional Reflexologists operate under total confidentiality and are fully trained to deal with all manner of health conditions.
It is really important that you tell your Reflexologist absolutely everything, no matter how insignificant a symptom might seem. If you are worried that you might forget something, why not make a list?
You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the treatment before and during the session.
You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks/tights. Don’t be offended if the Reflexologist wipes/clean your feet – this is standard practice.
You will be seated for your treatment. Most practitioners use a reclining chair or couch that supports the clients back and legs, or a special stool to support the legs. It is important for the Reflexologist to be able to see the clients face throughout the treatment to note any facial expressions etc. This is not possible if you lie flat on a massage couch.
The Reflexologist will then ‘meet and greet’ your feet. They will note the size, colour, shape, odour, texture, temperature, any hard skin, blisters, corns, infections or veins etc.
Your Reflexologist may apply a small amount of cream or powder to help them work their fingers and thumbs across the reflex points on your feet. They usually work on one foot at a time. The pressure should be firm but not painful (unless they are purposefully using a light touch).
A typical treatment starts and ends with some gentle relaxation techniques, then the practitioner will work from the toes down to the heel, covering each reflex point using a variety of holds, movements and pressures. They may then return to any areas where they may feel more attention is required.
Different reflexes spark different sensations, some might feel like a sharp pin sticking into the foot – this is not the practitioner’s nails (!), but crystal deposits under the skin where an area may be imbalanced.
During the first treatment, it is quite common not to feel anything, although the Reflexology will still be effective. Often it takes a couple of treatments to ‘awaken’ the reflexes. You may find that during subsequent treatments your feet will become more sensitive. Do tell your Reflexologist if and when you feel anything that is sore, tender or sharp, as they will be able to work this area in many different ways to rectify any problems.
Treatments generally last for about one hour.
If your feet are unable to be worked on or you feel uncomfortable having your feet touched then it is possible to perform the same procedure on your hands instead.
This treatment will relax you while stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms.
Article written by Ali Iles - Bristol
Ali Iles - Reflexology & Massage Therapist is based in Downend,Bristol and is available on Tuesdays at - 'The Old Rectory Clinic', Iron Acton, South Glos, BS37 9UQ.
Or provides a mobile Reflexology & Massage Therapist service, so you can relax at home in your own surroundings.
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