I often get asked by my clients “why choose reflexology?” or “how does it work?”. So I thought I’d answer both those questions now.
Reflexology is a complementary health therapy that dates back for thousands of years, and can be traced back as far as the ancient civilisations of Egypt, India and China. The earliest known evidence of this is a pictograph found in the tomb of an Egyptian physician at Saqqara near Cairo, which shows patients having treatments on their hands and feet.
The more modern reflexology, as we know it, was actually pioneered by a medic! An ear, nose and throat surgeon in the late 1800s-1900s, Dr William Fitzgerald. He discovered that by applying pressure on parts of the toes or fingers, corresponding parts of the body became anaesthetised and so minor surgery could be carried out.
It was then a physiotherapist Eunice Ingham, who further developed reflexology and produced the map of the body on the feet. As a result of Eunice Ingham’s foot charts, reflexologists use different types of pressure and techniques on certain points of the hands and feet, known as reflexes, to stimulate the corresponding parts of the body. Modern reflexology aims to restore balance to the body.
How does reflexology work?
The main theory behind reflexology is that it works with the central nervous system. When specific pressure techniques are applied to the feet, messages are sent from the peripheral nerves in the hands or feet, signalling to the body to bring about an optimum state of functioning, increase blood flow and eliminate toxins in the body.
Another theory that sits alongside this is that there is “vital energy” in the body and that stress or illness can lead to congestion of energy. Reflexology works by keeping the energy flowing, unblocking the energy fields and bringing the body back into balance. “Disease” is the body being at “dis-ease”.
Research has shown that reflexology can have an impact on specific organs, be associated with positive changes in symptoms, create a relaxation effect and help pain reduction. More specific studies have found that reflexology can help various different health conditions.
Exciting new techniques are being developed and faster results can be achieved in promoting the body’s own healing response.
At foothills, we use a method of reflexology called Duopody. This is a very effective technique, during which both feet are treated at the same time, working methodically through the systems of the body to restore balance and encourage the body to self-heal. Reflexology is a holistic therapy treating the mind, body, spirit and emotions. It can not only bring about a deep sense of relaxation but bring relief to a wide range of conditions. Try it – it really is amazing.