How can Reflexology Help me?
For any specific health problems or concerns, I would obviously still recommend my clients to consult with a doctor; however reflexology can potentially help a number of health conditions and benefit people in a variety of different ways. It is a very individual therapy, which can be tailored to treat the whole person and will encompass both physical and emotional factors that may be affecting the client's wellbeing.
The following is just a small list of conditions which
can be potentially helped through reflexology:
Stress & Anxiety
Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Pregnancy related conditions
Preparation for childbirth
What to expect?
The session will last around one hour, although the first session will be a little longer to take account for a pre therapy confidential consultation. The consultation will include a medical history and general lifestyle which will help us jointly to develop a treatment plan. After the consultation you will be invited to remove your shoes and socks and lie on the couch. Once you are comfortable your feet will be refreshed and then the therapy will commence using a variety of techniques.
How will it feel?
Some people are wary about how comfortable it will be and whether or not it will tickle! The pressure used is firm but should not be painful and it will definitely not feel like you are being tickled. Some areas may be a little tender depending on what reflexes they correspond to and it is useful if clients inform me of this during the therapy. During the therapy some clients can feel the following:
Sensation of being cold (I always have blankets on hand)
Perspiration of hands or feet
Emotional (crying, laughing etc)
Sleepiness (many of my clients enjoy a little relaxing snooze!)
After the therapy I always recommend my clients drink lots of water, avoid caffeine and alcohol and eat light balanced meals and if possible to relax for the remainder of the day. All these help with the detoxification process within the body and should aid in the prevention of negative side effects.
Are there any side effects after the therapy?
After the session clients can experience a variety of different reactions, many of which are positive, all the below reactions are part of the body's healing process as it tries to return to a balanced state. They show that the therapy is making a difference to your body. All the following reactions are entirely normal and are common after the first session, they tend to last for 24-48 hours:
Relief from pain
More mobile joints
Drowsiness (increased sleep will help the body to rest and heal)
Spots which are due to the elimination of toxins
Increased urination and more frequent bowel movements which again are due to the elimination of toxins
Flu-like symptoms (a runny nose and coughing are common if the lung reflex was congested)
Emotional or psychological release (e.g. crying)
How many sessions will I require?
Every client I meet is treated as an individual so it is hard to define an ideal number of sessions. Some clients like to see me every week and others may come once every couple of months for some relaxation time. If there is a specific condition that we are working with together then that may have its own timeframe e.g fertility issues. From experience I find that around 5 - 6 weekly sessions enables us to identify areas of concern and by this point my clients tend to feel the benefits of the therapy. If everything is going well after this time then I think a "maintenance" session every 1 - 2 months is the ideal option.
Can anyone have reflexology?
The joy of reflexology is that it is a non invasive and gentle therapy which is generally suitable from babies right the way through to the the elderly. There are certain factors that may make it an inappropriate therapy, which I am happy to discuss in detail prior to making an appointment.
The following conditions are just a few that may mean that the therapy could either not take place at all or may have to be adapted, for instance hand reflexology could be offered in some cases.
Infections of the foot
Severe contagious illnesses
History of deep vein thrombosis
Trauma to the foot (e.g. broken bones, open sores / wounds)
If you are under the care of a consultant then I would advise my client to speak to him/her to ensure that they felt that reflexology would not affect their treatment plan. Please feel free to call and discuss this with me prior to the appointment if you are unsure. If you are under the age of 18 then you will need to be accompanied by a parent / guardian who will need to sign consent on your behalf.
Can I have reflexology during pregnancy?
Reflexology is often popular in pregnancy as it helps with many of the aches, pains and hormonal issues and is considered to be very safe. However, for some women I advise against having reflexology in the first trimester if it is a high risk pregnancy or if there is a history of miscarriage, as the most important thing to avoid in pregnancy is anxiety so if in doubt then let's wait! If you are a new client then I would insist on waiting until the second trimester before booking an appointment.
* See Maternity Reflexology for more details