Reflexology dates back thousands of years to foot therapies that were used in ancient India
In the early twentieth century, Dr William Fitzgerald, an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist from New England re-discovered this ancient therapy. Later, in the 1930s, Eunice Ingham, an American physiotherapist, developed it into the therapy we recognise today. One of Eunice Ingham's students, a British nurse called Doreen Bayley brought Reflexology to the UK in the 1960s. Since then many different forms of Reflexology have been developed and new forms are still evolving. It is an exciting and dynamic time for modern Reflexology.
Reflexology is guided by the principle that each organ and system of the body can be mapped onto the feet or hands (or even the ears!) at specific reflex points. Reflexologists make use of special pressures and massage techniques to stimulate these reflexes and this affects the body in positive ways encouraging its own healing capabilities.
Benefits of Reflexology
A reflexologist does not diagnose or claim to cure specific diseases, but people try Reflexology for many reasons for example if they have:
....and many more.
Many women are now also turning to Reflexology to help prepare their bodies for pregnancy, or if they have fertility issues. Some infertility clinics are suggesting that women try Reflexology as it can be helpful in reducing stress.
Reflexology has also been used by expectant mothers to help de-stress and relax during maternity (not during the first trimester); or if the baby is overdue. Some continue to have Reflexology after childbirth to help them to cope with all the changes they are experiencing in their lives.
New research is being undertaken each year and new discoveries of the benefits of reflexology are being made all the time. A guideline for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), says that there is evidence to suggest that some people with MS might benefit from reflexology.
A reflexology session also gives you time to confidentially and informally talk over with a caring listener any problems you may be having . It is often during these times that you make sudden realizations about what is happening in your life. Most of us are so busy that we do not take time out to look after ourselves. A reflexologist will assist you, by giving you their full attention and allow you the space and time to make positive changes in your life.
Important: When Should I Avoid Reflexology?
There are certain conditions which restrict treatment. These are:
If you suffer from a medical condition (including Multiple Sclerosis) and/or are already taking prescribed medication or receiving treatment from a GP, specialist, or another complementary therapist it is recommended that you first obtain their advice before having reflexology.
Ideas about cancer and complementary therapies treatment have changed recently, and the latest thinking is that it is fine to receive treatment as long as you obtain permission from your GP or specialist first - written if possible.
It is best to avoid a large meal just prior to having Reflexology. A light meal or snack is better, or leave at least an hour and a half between your meal and treatment if possible.
What to Expect from a Reflexology Treatment
At your first session I will ask you to tell me your current medical problems, your personal and family medical history, your general lifestyle and your diet. This information is noted in a confidential client record which you are free to see at any time. Nobody else will have access to this record without your express permission. This initial consultation takes up to 30 minutes depending on what you need to discuss with me. I will explain the treatment you are to receive and show you a reflexology chart to give you some understanding of what is entailed in the treatment. You will then be asked to remove only your footwear and be settled comfortably in a special relaxing chair. I use lots of cushions for your comfort!
I always work on the feet and will only use the hands if unable to work on your feet for whatever reason.
Reflexology is available at my therapy room in Exmouth, East Devon.
See further details under Precision Reflexology and Meridian Reflexology. In the main I use Precision Reflexology and may concentrate on certain meridians if your consultation reveals any obvious imbalances.
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