Reflexology uses pressure techniques on points called reflexes on the feet or hands which are believed to reflect or correspond to areas or organs of the body. This has the overall effect of promoting deep relaxation and the halting of the stress response which makes it possible for the body to function correctly and heal itself more easily. While we all experience some stress in our daily lives, problematic stress can be relentless and overwhelming, becoming a major risk factor for all kinds of physical, mental and emotional problems. A 2016 study highlighted and explained more about how stress causes inflammation in the body which can lead to poor circulatory function increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes for example.
After a reflexology session most people feel rested and relaxed. The treatment is aimed towards balancing the energy in the whole body and addressing any specific areas in which the client may have been experiencing imbalance before the session. Following the session the body may continue to go through a process of adjusting itself. To help the body complete its healing process it is important to:
- Eat lightly for the rest of the day
- Drink plenty of water
- Rest and get plenty of sleep
- Avoid alcohol and stimulants
Is reflexology for everyone?
Reflexology is a very safe therapy which works through the body’s own ability to rebalance itself and heal when necessary (this is known as homeostasis). However there are a few circumstances in which reflexology may not be advisable and I am happy to give advice before booking a treatment.
Some people experience one or more of the following after reflexology, increased or more frequent urination or change in bowel habits; tiredness or, conversely, increased energy and vitality; headache; appetite changes; emotional changes. These experiences should also resolve themselves and can be an important part of the thrapeutic process. I am always available to clients for post treatment advice or if they have any concerns.
How can reflexology help you?
Reflexologists cannot diagnose conditions or treat symptoms in quite the way that Western medicine understands. What we do is treat the person, not the illness, by analysing what we find in the reflexes on the feet and considering the client’s medical history, current state of physical and emotional health and lifestyle choices. Often the cause of a problem may lie within us, a stress reaction that is harmful and upsetting; an inflammation that causes pain or fever; a strong emotion that triggers a hormone imbalance. Even an illness caused by an external agent such as a virus becomes a matter of internal balance once the body responds to it and tries to cope with it. Your body is an amazing intricate being which can achieve and heal so much by itself, and often reflexology can provide the trigger which helps it to do that.
This approach of treating the whole person is of great help when conditions are complex. For example, a client experiencing migraines may have tension in their head, neck, shoulder and back muscles, low levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter), sensitivity to certain types of food or other triggers and possibly a hormonal imbalance. A reflexology treatment can work on all of these body systems and areas within the same session.
“I first started having reflexology with Lisa about 2 years ago. I have a chronic condition which affects my muscles and joints, and this gives me considerable discomfort. I have a treatment about every 2 weeks and I find this relaxes me and helps to manage the pain.” Sue from Chester
Reflexology is a very effective therapy for achieving proper relaxation and halting the stress response while the treatment is underway. Your body remembers how to relax properly and, over a course of treatments, this can help in lowering stress levels in your daily life. Stress that is overwhelming, relentless and difficult to deal with is well known as a major risk factor in many conditions such as:
- Cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, heart attacks and stroke
- Emotional difficulties, anxiety and depression, loss of appetite or overeating
- Thinking irrationally, irritability, low self-esteem
- Inability to properly concentrate, for example at work
- Difficulty sleeping – falling asleep, poor sleep quality or waking early
- Headaches or dizziness
- Muscle tension and increased pain
- Hormonal imbalances due to the release of high levels of adrenaline
I am always happy to discuss how reflexology might help new clients so please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like some advice.