Here at the academy, we teach students how to do treatments that will help a client to look and feel amazing. But feeling amazing comes from not just looking good on the outside, but feeling good from the inside out.
That is one of the reasons why we teach holistic therapies, such as reflexology, which is not only relaxing, it’s great for your general wellbeing.
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a form of complementary therapy which involves using massage and applying pressure to reflex areas in either the hands or feet.
How does it work?
There are points on the hands and feet which are connected to certain organs and parts of the body, through energy channels.
By applying pressure to these areas, any energy blockages can be removed which can then bring about health benefits. The right foot is related to the right side of the body and the left foot corresponds to the left side. The whole body can be treated through the feet.
Here are some examples of reflex areas and their corresponding body parts:
- The tips of the toes are related to the head
- The ball of the foot is related to the heart and chest
- The arch of the foot is related to the liver, pancreas, and kidneys
- The area towards the heel is related to the lower back and the intestines
Why might someone get reflexology?
People might get reflexology for a range of conditions including:
Tension headaches and migraines
Digestive problems like constipation
The research behind reflexology
Surveys carried out by The British Reflexology Association found that people who had conditions like stress, insomnia and IBS benefitted from having treatment.
A review published in 2015 in the Integrative Cancer Therapies journal found that reflexology was effective for relieving cancer pain, especially post-operative pain.
What is a reflexology session like?
A typical treatment is 30 to 60 minutes long. The therapist will ask you to fill in a form about your health and lifestyle, and this information is used to personalise your treatment.
You will then be asked to remove your shoes and socks and get yourself comfortable on the massage table.
The therapist will assess your feet and apply pressure to certain points to find any areas which might be tender. Massage might be used to warm the feet, then finger and thumb pressure is then used to carry out the reflexology techniques. The sensitivity of people’s feet varies from person to person and the therapist will understand how to apply the correct pressure. The massage should not feel uncomfortable even if you have sensitive feet, and don’t worry about being ticklish; the therapist uses firm pressure.
How will I feel afterwards?
Most people will feel calm and relaxed after a reflexology session. You might notice that you feel sleepier than usual.
How safe is reflexology?
Reflexology is generally safe but as with any treatment, it’s not suitable for everyone. Make sure you give the therapist an accurate picture of your health, and if you aren’t sure about whether the treatment is suitable for you, it might be a good idea to ask your doctor before trying it.
If you have foot ulcers, a recent injury, any foot or ankle wounds, gout, diabetes, osteoarthritis in your foot or ankle, or a heart problem, reflexology might not be appropriate for you.
Reflexology is usually safe in pregnancy, after the first trimester. If in doubt, see your GP for advice.