What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a modern western therapy, founded in the principles of an ancient art and is based on the premise that for every organ or organ system in the body, there exists a corresponding reflex or pressure point on the foot. In other words, the whole body is represented on the feet. It is both a science, based on physical and neurological principles and an art, of which the efficacy of the treatment depends on the skill of the practitioner and how he/she applies his/her knowledge. It is the treatment of ailments or diseases through the massaging of the feet to relieve stress and heal certain ailments. It is a holistic treatment which focuses on the overall well-being of a person and not only on the problem area.
How does Reflexology work?
Pressure applied to specific pressure points on the foot evoke definite, involuntary physiological responses in the corresponding organs, glands and organ systems via the energy pathways that connect these reflex points to the corresponding organs of the body. These responses stimulate the body’s own inherent healing power, which enables it to clear away any blockages or obstructions, enabling the body to maintain good balance and health.
What are the benefits of Reflexology?
It brings relief from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. The main benefit of reflexology is that of relaxation. It helps us to cope with the increasing levels of physical, emotional and mental stressors in our everyday lives. In reducing tension in the body, blood supply is improved, which promotes unimpeded nerve functioning and re-establishes the harmony and balance in the body and all its functions. It increases the flow in the lymphatic system thereby reducing the risk of infections. It increases energy levels, helps in post-operative recoveries and even has a positive impact on the birthing process, postpartum anxiety and depression. It can also relieve muscle cramps and constipation, just to name a few. Many of today’s diseases stem from the effects of stress and a reflexology treatment can therefore encourage our bodies to heal itself from these conditions and maintain our health and well-being.
What can be expected during and after a reflexology session?
Reflexology is done on a client’s bare feet while they are comfortably seated or reclining on a massage bed. The reflexologist, seated facing the client, will apply pressure on different areas of the feet and toes.
After a reflexology treatment there can be certain positive and negative reactions. The immediate effects should be calming, relaxing and feeling energized and rejuvenated. The cleansing process during which the body rids itself of toxins is referred to as a “healing crisis”.
Other reactions may include the following:
- Increased urination which may be darker and stronger-smelling
- Flatulence and more frequent bowel movements
- Aggravated skin conditions due to increased perspiration or suppression of conditions, eg pimples
- Improved skin tone and tissue texture due to improved circulation
- Increased secretions of the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth and bronchioles
- Dizziness or nausea
- Temporary outbreak of a disease which has been suppressed
- Increased discharge from the vagina
NB : These negative reactions are just temporary as the body rids itself of toxins.
What can I do after a treatment?
Drink warm / boiled water with the juice of an organic lemon or spoon of cider vinegar to assist the body in the rapid flushing of toxins from the system.
How long is a reflex session?
The first reflexology session takes approximately an hour and includes an assessment of previous illnesses, the nature of illness and reason for seeking treatment. Follow-up treatments are between 40-60 minutes.
Is reflexology painful?
Certain pressure points on the foot may be quite sensitive and a certain degree of discomfort or pain may be present. It should never be excruciating and if it becomes too painful, inform your reflexologist immediately. A painful pressure point may indicate an area of congestion. Treatment should be gentle yet firm, not painful.
How many treatments are needed?
The frequency and amount of treatments depend on the person’s condition. Standard treatment regimes consist of 6 to 12 treatments weekly until there is an improvement and then reduced to less frequent sessions. To stop treatment prematurely may nullify any positive effects, because the body will just resort to its pre-treatment state.
What personal information is required before a treatment?
The reflexologist needs a thorough medical history to identify problem areas. Even if the client only seeks help for a specific problem, the presenting symptom could be related to another condition or medical problem. Special care is taken with medical conditions like thrombosis, internal bleeding, insulin-dependent diabetes, pregnancy, phlebitis, lymphatic cancer, leukemia, osteoporosis and epilepsy. The effects of reflexology such as increased circulation could increase bleeding and the stimulation of the pancreas could increase insulin levels.
Will a reflexologist be able to cure or heal a condition?
Reflexology activates the body’s own healing potential and by stimulating the reflexes, reducing stress, increasing blood-flow and circulation, the body is stimulated to make small adjustments. Through these changes the body regains its balance and certain conditions may improve. Reflexology supports and supplements other forms of treatment.
Can a reflexologist diagnose?
No, a reflexologist is not a qualified physician and cannot make any diagnoses nor prescribe or interfere with a specific medical treatment or medication. It is advised to seek professional medical advice for any specific illnesses or medical complaints. Your reflexologist will be able to advise you on the discontinuation or supplementary continuation of your reflexology treatments along with other medical treatments.