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Reflexology

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What is Reflexology

Reflexology is a form of bodywork that involves applying pressure to the hands and feet to produce changes in pain and other benefits elsewhere in the body.

How Does Reflexology Work?

The underlying theory behind reflexology is that there are certain points or "reflex areas" on the feet and hands that are connected energetically to specific organs and body parts through energy channels in the body.
By applying pressure to reflex areas, it removes energy blockages and promotes health in the related body area.
Some examples of reflex areas and their corresponding body parts are:
 
  • The tips of the toes reflect the head
  • The heart and chest are around the ball of the foot
  • The liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot
  • Low back and intestines are towards the heel
Although the roots of reflexology go back to ancient Egypt and China, William H. Fitzgerald, an ear, nose, and throat doctor, introduced this concept of "zone therapy" in 1915. American physiotherapist Eunice Ingram further developed the zone theory in the 1930's into what is known as modern reflexology.
Reflexologists apply pressure on the reflex points to help  balance the nervous system and stimulate the release of endorphins that help to reduce pain and stress.

Who Benefits from Reflexology?

People whom experience the following:
  • Stress and stress-related conditions
  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • Digestive disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Sports injuries
  • Menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Back pain
Reflexology is also used for post-operative or palliative care. A 2015 review published in Integrative Cancer Therapies found that massage was effective for the relief of cancer pain, especially for surgery-related pain.
Of the various types of massage, foot reflexology appeared to be more effective than body massage and aromatherapy massage.

What Is a Typical Session Like?

A typical treatment is 30 to 60 minutes long and begins with a health history form and consultation about your health and lifestyle. This information is completely confidential and used to customize the therapy.
You may then be asked to remove your shoes and socks and sit comfortably in a reclining chair or on a massage table.
I will then assess the feet and stimulate various points to identify areas of tenderness or tension. Brisk movements and massage may be used to warm the hands and feet. Finger or thumb pressure is then applied to the foot using reflexology techniques.
Lotion, oil or talcum powder may be used, and in some circumstances instruments like balls, brushes, and dowels.

How to prepare for a Reflexology Session:

  • Drink plenty of water before and after
  • Clean feet morning of your session
  • Eat a light meal if eating within 2 hours before or after a session

Reflexology vs. a Foot Massage

While a foot massage may feel the same as a reflexology treatment, reflexology works to  target areas to promote a healing response in the corresponding organs.

What Does Reflexology Feel Like?

Most people find reflexology, for the most part, to be very relaxing and shouldn't be painful. If you feel discomfort, be sure mention it and I will work within your comfort zone.
Some areas may be tender or sore, and may require me to spend some extra time on these points. The soreness should decrease with pressure.
If you're ticklish, don't worry, just let me know and I will be sure to apply firm pressure to the feet.

How Will I Feel Afterward?

Most people feel calm and relaxed after a reflexology session. On rare occasions, some clients have experienced some nausea, sleepiness, and mood swings. This is normal as the body rids the toxins. Increasing your water intake will help eliminate these affects quicker.

Possible Side Effects and Safety

Be sure to provide a complete and accurate health history. In some incidences, I may request you consult your primary care provider for approval before Reflexology session commence. This is rare and more common in clients that have a life altering medical condition where it is necessary to make sure that session do not interfere with their current medical treatment plan. If you are unsure, if your health will require a primary care providers consent, please contact me prior to booking an appointment and we can discuss your needs ahead of time.

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