Peace, tranquillity, quietness, rest, CALM COMFORT.
This popular Irish word encapsulates the sense of serenity that is much striven for in modern life.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy, based on the theory that different points, or reflexes, on the feet, hands and ears, correspond with different parts of the body. Pressure will be applied using fingers, thumbs and hands to stimulate energy flow, nerve function and the circulation of blood and lymph, with the aim of encouraging the body’s powerful own healing mechanism, placing it in a better position to rebalance itself and achieve homeostasis.
Our aim is to work holistically with our clients to promote better health and wellbeing. This is achieved by devising a bespoke treatment plan, which considers you as a whole, taking into account both physical and non-physical factors that might be affecting your wellbeing. Reflexology can be used by anyone at any time however there may occasionally be times when a treatment is not suitable and so if you have any questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.
Reflexologist's do not cure, diagnose or prescribe, however subjectively, it can have a positive effect on symptoms such as anxiety, stress and depression, boosting energy levels, balancing hormones, reducing pain and improving sleep. Objectively reflexology can improve the circulatory system which is essential for the transportation of oxygen throughout our body, carrying nutrients and hormones, removing waste products, regulating body temperature and carrying white blood cells and antibodies to help fight infection. Thus having a positive impact on your overall health, enabling you to feel healthier, energised and more balanced.
There has been some positive research carried out with reflexology, however, as yet, there is not a large enough body of evidence for reflexologists to make clinical claims of its effectiveness. Nevertheless, it can be a powerful form of preventative medicine and with the ever increasing stress in our daily life, reflexology can be one way to mitigate the negative effects this has on our physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.
Some people find it helps for them – some don’t. The best way to find out is to try it!
A brief history of Reflexology
Modern reflexology is based on an ancient form of therapy. There is evidence of some form of foot and hand therapy being practised in China as far back as 4,000 B.C. as well as in North American Indian tribes and in Egypt, as depicted in the tomb of Ankmahor. There is some confusion about the true origin of this powerful therapy, sufficient to say though is it has stood the test of time and has helped thousands of people to better health.
Reflexology as we now know it, was not introduced to the Western World until Dr William Fitzgerald (1872-1942) developed 'Zone Therapy' in the early twentieth century. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas of the body within the same zone. Dr Joe Shelby Riley (1856-1947) trained by Dr Fitzgerald, further developed zone therapy by adding eight horizontal divisions to the zones of the hands and feet. His work is believed to be the beginning of reflexology as it is known today with the recognition that reflexes found on the hands and feet correspond with the anatomy of the body.
In the 1930's, Eunice Ingham (1889-1972) worked with Dr Riley and continued to refine and improve on his work. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body and that by alternating pressure, rather than having a numbing effect, stimulated the healing process. Eunice began her career as a Nurse and Physiotherapist before becoming the pivotal icon for reflexology as we now know it. In 1938, she published her first book 'Stories The Feet Can Tell' and with this she travelled widely, attending health seminars where she spoke with medical professionals, which very quickly spread the word about the benefits of reflexology.
More recently, the world of reflexology is changing and the benefits are becoming more widely accepted and appreciated in the general public. For instance, in some Western countries, in particular Denmark, they have been using reflexology in the workplace to support stress management. Citizens in Denmark have one of the best work-life balances in all of Europe and they are most likely to use reflexology to support their health and wellbeing. Studies conducted of on-site reflexology in various work places, including Councils and the Danish Post Office, have shown that people take fewer sick days, have lower pain levels and staff report an increase in overall wellbeing, and feelings in morale and motivation in the workplace.
What is clear is that reflexology has ancient foundations that has developed and evolved into the modern form that we know now and it is becoming an increasingly popular way of improving and maintaining good health and wellbeing in a natural, non-intrusive way.
Articles of interest: