ARCHIVED INFORMATION: Tina initially trained in this area, but no longer offers this as a treatment.
What is Reflexology?
Like other complementary and holistic therapies reflexology works on the whole person rather than just one symptom. Reflexology is a natural theory and therapy that uses the feet as a map or mirror of the whole body. By applying pressure and manipulation of certain parts of the feet the whole body can be ‘re-tuned’ and brought back into balance.
Reflexology is a touch therapy which is centred around the massage of hands and feet and more recently the face, as means of treating the whole body. A theory and therapy that uses the feet as a map to treat the whole body.
The roots of Reflexology can be traced back to the Egyptians, where on the tomb of an Egyptians physician there are pictures of people having their hands and feet massaged. Feet have also been very important to American Indians as they believed massaging feet was a method of maintaining physical, mental and spiritual balance. Furthermore the Chinese have for over 5000 years used the application of pressure for healing the body.
In 1913 that Dr William Fitzgerald introduced his therapy to the West as ‘zone therapy’. This was further developed as modern foot reflexology by an American physiotherapist called Eunice Ingham and today her work is still being carried on by a nephew. In 1966 an English lady Doreen Bayly, having studied the methods of reflexology with Ingham, brought reflexology to Britain.
Hand reflexology can be used. This is a very useful alternative to feet reflexology as many people do not like their feet being ‘touched’. The hands reflect the body in the same way as feet but because they are not covered they are not as sensitive. The practitioner is nearer to client when using hand reflexology and there is a closer bonding with the Client.
There is constant further research and development going on with reflexology, for example in Holland reflexology is used for maternity and infertility treatment. Tina has trained in maternity reflexology which involved practical work building up to the birth and after with the mother and baby.
More and more people are turning to complementary treatment for several reasons. They avoid the side effects from drugs and they feel it’s a natural way for the body to repair.
- A scientific investigation into the use of reflexology was undertaken by Kunz and Kunz. They undertook a small scale study with limitations when they treated 12 British hospitalized patients. 6 patients had placebo reflexology and 6 received regular reflexology. The placebo group were given gentle massage that did not stimulate reflexology points, whilst other 6 received regular reflexology. From the results it was concluded that all patients received some comfort be it from reflexology or placebo reflexology. However, only 33% of the placebo group benefited from an improvement in quality of life compared to 100% of the regular group.
- Professor Leslie Walker undertook a randomised clinical trial of the effects of reflexology on women with early breast cancer, and was the first to demonstrate that reflexology produced statistically and clinically significant improvement in generic cancer-related quality of life.
- In Australia research has discovered that just a 5 minute session per foot can help the effect of patients perceptions of pain, nausea and relaxation.
The Benefits of Reflexology
Reflexology can be used to help restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium. This gentle therapy encourages the body to work naturally to restore its own healthy balance. Reflexology has been shown to be effective for:
- Back pain
- Infertility (read more)
- Sleep disorders
- Sports injuries
- Hormonal imbalances
- Digestive disorders
- Stress-related conditions.
Reflexologists do not claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe.
Who can benefit from reflexology?
Reflexology is suitable for all ages and may bring relief from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. After having completed a course of reflexology for a specific condition, many people find it beneficial to continue with regular treatments in order to maintain health and well-being.
While many people use reflexology as way of relaxing the mind and body and counteracting stress, at the same time many doctors, consultants and other health care professionals recognise reflexology as a well established, respected and effective therapy.
With ever increasing levels of stress, it is important people take more responsibility for their own health care needs .Reflexology helps us to cope on a physical, mental and emotional level thereby encouraging us to heal and maintain health in all areas of our lives.