Reflexology? That’s just a fancy massage Right??
What is reflexology?
Way more than a fancy massage, reflexology is about balancing the entire body (massage only works on the muscles). By stimulating pressure points in the feet, hands, face and ears, reflexologists aim to balance every organ, gland and generally upset tissue in your body.
These clever guys and gals work on your reflexes, clearing energy blockages (the physical problems caused by emotions, injury or diseases) and support your body’s own natural healing process. It’s a gentle treatment, reflexologists don’t delight in cracking joints or twisting your body into a pretzel, and it is very powerful.
But don’t let all this vague talk of energy blockages fool you, reflexology is one complementary therapy with its roots firmly planted in the scientific world. It has been the focus of more than a few medical studies and has over a century’s worth of research to back it up.
The history of reflexology
Thought to have been used in China and Egypt since 2500 BC, it only really came to the attention of the West at the end of the nineteenth century, when Dr Henry Head discovered that skin pressure had an impact on internal organs.
A few years later, Sir Charles Harrington found that pressure on the feet could improve the health of both the nervous system and the organs. The topic gained some notoriety within the medical profession, and the first two decades of the twentieth century saw some interesting research conducted, which culminated in 1917 with the invention of Dr William Fitzgerald’s Zone Therapy. Modifications to this technique in the 1930s and 40s produced the Ingham method of reflexology, named for Eunice D. Ingham, the nurse and physiotherapist who developed it.
The benefits of reflexology
The best thing about reflexology is that it works at all levels. It’s great at reducing physical pain (especially since the remoteness of some of the pressure points mean that practitioners can work to improve healing on an injured area without touching it) but it is also an effective treatment for emotional and mental stress, too.
Reflexologists are trained to read a ‘map’ of the body. We can pick up on subtle imbalances that you don’t even know about and help to heal them. This makes reflexology an excellent choice if you’re suffering from a random skin breakout, feeling under the weather or stressed for no apparent reason. It’s also pretty top notch at tackling these common conditions:
- Stress and tension
- Anxiety and depression
- Acute and chronic illness
- Asthma, hay fever and sinus problems
- Sleeping disorders
- Headaches and migraines
- Circulation problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Conditions of the nervous system
- Gastrointestinal conditions including IBS, gastritis, reflux and constipation
- Foot conditions including Plantar fasciitis, swelling and gait problems.
Ever heard of the African disease Bilharzia? Yeah, me neither. Not until a few hundred worms started eating their way through my internal organs. They wreaked havoc on my body and left me (ever so considerately) with a couple of keepsakes: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
I’m not one to return gifts, but these two had to go. The problem was that every treatment my doctor threw at me only seemed to make me worse and I left me bedridden for months. That’s when I turned to complementary therapies. I tried Kinesiology, Acupuncture and Naturopathy, and they did a better job than the hordes of chemicals I’d been swallowing up until that point. All three helped with my rehabilitation to some extent, but it was reflexology that finally got me up and about.
My reflexologists helped me get my digestive system (the worm’s favourite eatery) back on track. She then tackled my nervous system, tweaking my adrenal gland to help increase my energy levels, banished the anxiety and stress that being ill had caused, and even cured my chronic neck pain (which had been a problem long before I met my first flesh-eating worm).
So in 2001, all better and raring to go, I enrolled on a diploma course in reflexology and I haven’t looked back since. I love being the person helping other to get back on track (it’s also pretty handy to be able to self-treat when my own body gets a little out of whack), and I have successfully treated all kinds of problems...
For the past 3 years, I have been seeing Jo for treatment of a chronic disorder. I always feel amazing after a treatment, particularly for the first week following a session, and have noticed a real improvement, with my symptoms subsiding and my illness improving dramatically over this time. – Jennifer
Jo has been wonderful during my pregnancy. Reflexology has helped me to manage a variety of issues, including anxiety, reflux and swollen hands and feet. I only needed two sessions to heal the problems but continued with my sessions as they were so relaxing and I felt an overall sense of wellness and increased energy. – Jasmine
I have to say I was a bit sceptical about Reflexology, especially for my condition of high blood pressure, anxiety and digestive issues, but I was amazed at how well it worked! After the first session I felt a big shift in my ailments and after 4 sessions all areas of my health had improved dramatically. Now I have regular sessions as a means of preventative health and I recommend Jo to all my friends and family. – Annabelle
Reflexology has assisted with my migraines and neck pain from an old footie injury. It’s amazing that something so relaxing and simple can have such a profound effect on my overall health. Thanks Jo! - Jason