Reflexology teaches that there are 10 energy zones running lengthwise down the body, ending in the hands and feet. All the organs and areas of the body lie along one or more of these zones and by applying pressure to any zone in the feet, with the thumbs and fingers, it stimulates the flow of energy along the entire zone throughout the body.
Reflexology can help relieve fatigue, digestive problems, tension, pain, sleep problems, breathing problems, headaches etc. The number of treatment sessions required will depend on the condition.
Reflexology can also be used as a preventative treatment.
No one is sure where reflexology originated but a form of foot massage using pressure points called zone therapy was known in India and China 5000 years ago. There is also evidence that the ancient Egyptians and Incas practiced a form of foot massage.
More recently it was Dr William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat Specialist who was responsible for introducing zone therapy to the west in the early 20th Century. He found that by applying pressure to certain parts of the body it had an anaesthetising effect on the corresponding area in the body. This led him to divide the body into 10 equal longitudinal energy zones which ended in the hands and feet.
In the 1930's Eunice Ingram took zone therapy a step further and found that the whole body could be treated by applying pressure to the zones found in the hands and feet (the feet being more sensitive) and this form is what is know as reflexology today.
At the start the Reflexologist will take some details of the client's medical history and her reasons for wanting a treatment. She then examines the client's feet, looking for problem areas. The client lays or sits back and is encouraged not to talk and to close his eyes.
Each foot is worked on, by applying pressure, walking her fingers and thumbs along the foot and then towards the end of the session she will apply a soothing lotion and essential oils to the feet and massages them and then she finishes with some healing.
This process is usually very pleasant and the client will often go into a deep state of relaxation. Occasionally the client may feel mild discomfort in an area of the foot which relates to a part of the body which is out of balance – this feeling is fleeting.
After the first treatment or two the client's body will respond by eliminating toxins, which can sometimes result in a temporary feeling of tiredness, lethargy or nausea.
The treatment lasts approximately 1 hour.