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Reflexology is a complementary therapy which works on the principle that there are reflex points, predominately in the hands and feet, which correspond to all the organs, glands and parts of the body.

When pressure is applied to these reflex points using specialist techniques it increases blood flow and nerve circulation, helps remove congestion in the body and ultimately aids the body to rebalance and heal itself by stimulating its own healing process.

Reflexology: a brief history

The origins of reflexology date back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, India and China.

Modern reflexology was first pioneered by Dr William Fitzgerald who developed “zone therapy” in the early 20th century. He discovered that applying pressure to certain parts of the feet and hands caused an anaesthetic effect on other areas of the body, and he used this zone therapy during minor surgeries.

Zone therapy was further developed into reflexology as we know it today, by nurse and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham in the 1930s. Through her treatment of thousands of patients, Eunice mapped the feet with all the corresponding organs and glands of the body and devised a system of techniques to enable the reflexes to be worked effectively. As a result of all her work, she is known as the “mother of reflexology”.

The benefits of reflexology

It’s important to note that reflexologists do not claim to diagnose, prescribe or claim to cure; they aim to work alongside mainstream medicine to promote better health for their clients.

Reflexology is a touch therapy which aims to balance the body, promote general well-being and encourage the body’s own natural healing process. Research shows that, amongst other things, it:

  • relieves stress & tension
  • reduces anxiety
  • improves nerve & blood supply
  • improves sleep
  • reduces pain
  • helps to bring about balance in the body

Reflexology may provide relief for people suffering from conditions such as:

  • Respiratory problems e.g. asthma
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Digestive problems e.g. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation
  • Back pain
  • Menstrual pain, PMS, menopausal symptoms
  • Skin problems e.g. eczema
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Muscular pain
  • Lymphoedema
  • Depression

How long is a reflexology treatment?

  • First appointment: 75 minutes (60 minutes for treatment + 15 minutes for the completion of a health and lifestyle consultation)
  • Standard appointment: 60 minutes

How many sessions might I need?

The number of sessions varies and is determined by your health and reasons for seeking reflexology. But as results from reflexology can often be subtle and cumulative, you are more likely to see greater benefits from regular sessions (for example, once every two weeks or once a month) than if you had a session once every six months.

What can I expect from a reflexology treatment?

The traditional reflexology we offer is bespoke to each client, and incorporates advanced reflexology techniques together with more traditional ways to stimulate and work the reflexes.

Each treatment is tailored depending on the presenting condition at the time and your specific needs. It always has the same objective – to improve your overall well-being.

At the beginning of your initial treatment, we carry out a health and lifestyle consultation. This provides details of your medical history and any past or presenting conditions: it will also highlight any contraindications. Naturally, all information in your consultation remains entirely confidential.
During the session, you will lie comfortably on a therapy table, fully clothed except for removing your shoes and socks or tights.

The treatment begins with some gentle relaxation techniques to ensure you are as relaxed as possible right from the start. Firm but gentle pressure will then be applied with the thumbs and fingers to specific points and reflex areas on your feet.

Whilst the treatment is undoubtedly extremely relaxing, some reflexes may be tender or painful when stimulated. After the treatment, many people report a feeling of deep relaxation and overall sense of wellbeing.

Healing response

A day or so after a treatment some people may experience what is termed a “healing response”.

Toxins accumulate in tissue throughout the body, but by stimulating the reflexes on the feet they are dislodged from the tissues and released into the bloodstream to be eliminated by the body.

This sudden release of toxins can produce symptoms of illness such as headaches, fatigue and digestive problems. However, this should only last a couple of days; it is the body cleansing itself.

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