There are a few standard responses I get when I tell people that I am a reflexologist; the first is a blank stare and the words “reflex-what- ogy?”
The second is a look of utter horror when they realise that I touch people’s feet for a living!
And the third response is shoes off, feet in my lap and the phrase “make me feel better.”
I’m not offended by any of these responses, I love opening people’s minds to new experiences and ways of understanding themselves better. Equally I’m not offended by sceptics who delight in telling me that reflexology is “airy-fairy nonsense,” because I know that reflexology helps people and I quite like the idea of being the reflexology fairy!
So I thought I’d write this article about reflexology, what it is, how it helps people and why I am so fascinated by people’s feet!
How does reflexology work?
I came to reflexology completely by chance, I had heard of it and even read articles about it, but I was definitely one of the reflex-what- ogy type people before I tried it. I didn’t really understand how touching the feet could effect a person’s entire well-being. But once I’d experienced reflexology myself and questioned my reflexologist endlessly about “What’s that bit? Why does that hurt?” I
quickly became interested.
The theory behind how reflexology works is linked to energy and zones on the feet. These zones run vertically and horizontally across the feet and a block in any of these areas can indicate an imbalance in that particular part of the body. As a reflexologist I try to clear all of the zones of any blockages in order to allow the body to rebalance and heal itself.
I do not claim to ‘cure’ people or diagnose people, I am simply a facilitator to help your body to relax and heal itself naturally.
Where’s the evidence?
So, where’s the scientific evidence to back this up? Well, currently most of the evidence is not quantative data, it’s thousands of people, myself included, saying that they felt better and that their health has improved after they had undergone reflexology treatments.
However, the Cardiff Metropolitan University is currently undertaking a lot of research into the effects of reflexology on a whole range of conditions including fertility issues and Lymphoedema. Sharp et al looked at the support of cancer patients where reflexology was found to have “a clinically worthwhile effect on quality of life.” (AOR Reflexions magazine December 2017).
In my current training I am seeing a significant positive impact on women’s fertility, where reflexology seems to be regulating cycles and improving hormone balance, this is identifiable on temperature charts. There also appears to be an impact on male fertility.
But of course I would say that the best way to learn about the benefits of reflexology is to come and try it for yourself!
What happens in a reflexology treatment?
When you come for a reflexology treatment we will first complete a questionnaire which gives me some basic details about you and your general health.
Next you can remove your shoes and socks and jump into the Lafuma chair or onto the couch and make yourself comfortable. I will take a moment to study and clean your feet. This is the part when everyone apologises for their feet! Please don’t feel embarrassed by your feet, they work hard supporting you every day. I clean everyone’s feet, it’s part of the treatment, not because I think you have dirty feet.
I see your feet as a reflection of you. When I look at a pair of feet I am looking for changes in colour, areas that feel hot or cold, dry skin, injuries, how your feet fall on the pillow and lots of other things. Essentially I am ‘reading’ your feet and asking questions to gain an understanding of how you are currently feeling.
After this I will apply some beautiful reflexology wax to both feet, and then wrap up your left foot whilst I start working on the right. All you need to do is sit back and relax. I will work through all of the reflex points on both feet and make notes on a foot chart.
Once I start working reflex points on the feet I am feeling for areas of tightness, grittiness, and even slightly painful reflexes which I can gently work and clear. Sometimes it can take more than one session to clear a reflex, but it can gradually improve.
You are very welcome to close your eyes and drift off to sleep.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits of reflexology, but I would say that the number one benefit is that it helps you to combat stress. Our lives are so insanely stressful that dealing with stress alone can help improve our sleep, our digestion, fertility, headaches, anxiety and overall well-being.
As well as this reflexology improves circulation, so our blood is cleaned by the lymphatic system faster, toxins are removed from our system and we begin to feel better.
I hope this article has answered some of the questions you might have. If you do have any other questions or you want to book a treatment to see how reflexology might help you, please email me:
Thanks for reading!
You can get some more information about Sarah and Reflexology on her page.