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Reflexology and Stress

The oxfords dictionary definition is –

Pronunciation: /ˌriːflɛkˈsɒlədʒi/



1A system of massage used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and head linked to every part of the body.

This definition is in part true. The theory behind reflexology is that the feet are a mirror image of our bodies (see diagram below) and by performing a pressured massage on certain points of the feet it can help restore the body’s natural balance.

Reflexology has been practised for thousands of years and has been found to have been cultivated as far back as 4000BC in both the Chinese and Egyptian cultures, with drawings depicted on the walls in the tomb of Ankmahor. The Native American Indians were also noted to have practised a form of foot therapy for their wellbeing.

So, how can Reflexology help you?

A.J Mc Vicar et als 2006 study suggested that with the connection between stress/anxiety and well-being, reflexology may have some beneficial outcome for patients as it reduced state anxiety and cardiovascular activity. I know myself that when I have had a reflexology session I feel relaxed, destressed and calmer and patients that I have treated have said themselves that they well relaxed and calmer also after their treatments.

Dr Carol Samuel, a trained reflexologist, under took research at the University of Portsmouth into reflexology as a method of pain relief for her PhD. She found that people felt 40% less pain and were able to stand pain for about 45% longer if they introduced reflexology as a method of pain relief. Thus suggesting that reflexology could be used to alongside conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions associated with pain such as osteoarthritis and backache.

The above are just a couple of ways in which reflexology maybe able to help. However, more research is still required in this field.

What can you expect from a Reflexology treatment?

As a therapist, I like to firstly soak my patients feet in a warm foot bath with tea tree and lavender solution to help aid relaxation and to clean the feet.

After the feet are dried, the patient is asked to lie down on the couch where I check their feet for any verruca or any other issues. The treatment begins with warming the feet up before I actually begin the reflexology. I use a foot lotion to make movement more fluid and begin the firm but relaxing massage of both feet. Some areas may appear tender to the patient and this often indicated an imbalance in the area of the body. The session is finished off with a relaxing foot and lower leg massage. The session can take 45 – 60 minutes depending on the session booked.

To gain the most out of a reflexology it is advisable to book 1 weekly treatment for 6weeks before going on to maintenance treatments every 4-8 weeks.

Therefore for the month of September I will be offering the following special promotion at Ocean Fitness:

Book and pay for 3 x 45min treatments in the month of September and get your 4 one FREE.

Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

A.J Mc Vicar, C.R Greenwood, F.Fewell, V.D’Arcy, S. Chandrasekharan, L.C. Alldridge. : Evaluation of anxiety, salivary cortisol and melatonin secretion following reflexology treatment: A pilot study in healthy individuals: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Vol13, iss3, Aug 2007, Pg 137-145

Carol A.Samuel, Ivor S Ebenezer: Exploratory study on the efficacy of reflexology for pain threshold and tolerance using ice-pain experiment and sham TENS control: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Vol 19, iss 2, May 2013, Pg 57-62.

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