What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a non invasive complementary therapy which works on the principle that there are reflex points predominately in the hands and feet, which correspond to all the organs, glands and parts of the body.
When pressure is applied to these reflexes using specialist techniques it increases blood flow and nerve circulation, helps remove congestion in the body and ultimately aids the body to rebalance and heal itself by stimulating its own healing process.
Brief history of reflexology
The origins of reflexology date back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, India and China. The oldest known documentation of this therapy is a pictorial found in a physician’s tomb in Egypt (2,500-2,330 BC) depicting people having treatments on their hands and feet.
Modern reflexology was first pioneered by Dr William Fitzgerald who developed “zone therapy” in the early 20th century. He discovered that applying pressure to certain parts of the feet and hands caused an anaesthetic effect on other areas of the body and used this therapy during minor surgeries.
Zone therapy was further developed into reflexology as we know it today, by nurse and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham in the 1930s. Through her treatment of thousands of patients, Eunice mapped the feet with all the corresponding organs and glands of the body and devised a system of techniques to enable the reflexes to be worked effectively. As a result of all her work, she is known as the “mother of reflexology”.
Will reflexology benefit me?
Reflexology is a touch therapy which aims to balance the body, promote general well-being and encourage the body’s own natural healing process.
Research has found that it, amongst other things, relieves stress & tension, reduces anxiety and improves nerve & blood supply. It can also improve sleep, reduce pain and helps to bring about balance in the body. Reflexology may provide relief for people suffering from a number of conditions such as:
- Respiratory problems e.g. asthma
- Digestive problems e.g. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation
- Muscular skeletal problems e.g. back ache, neck pain
- Menstrual pain, PMS, menopausal symptoms
- Skin problems e.g. eczema
- Hormonal imbalances
It’s important to note that reflexologists do not claim to diagnose, prescribe or claim to cure but aim to work alongside mainstream medicine to promote better health for their clients.