Reflexology – it’s all in the feet!
When the Association of Reflexologists asked if I would like to try one of their treatments, I jumped at the chance! I love having my feet massaged and have an interest in complementary medicine.
The AOR’s definition of reflexology is:
‘Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body. Reflexologists work holistically with their clients and aim to work alongside allopathic healthcare to promote better health for their clients.’
My session began with a chat with Claire Collins who was my practitioner for this session. Her calm, gentle approach soon had me chatting away as she put together my profile to enable her to treat me as fully as possible. I was surprised that the conditions people come to her with include trying to get pregnant, suffering from headaches, wanting to lose weight and a general ‘under par’ feeling. Reflexology is not a replacement for seeing your doctor but a therapy that can compliment what else is going on in your ‘health’ life.
Having established that I was a very busy lady which, at times causes me stress, we began my treatment. It was lovely not having to take anything other than my shoes off and of course, lying down in the middle of the morning was a special treat. My feet were massaged as a violin concerto playing softly in the background. Claire encourages clients to have some quiet time during this part of the treatment but accepts that for some, not talking is very hard. As a teacher, I’m not good with silences in conversations but did manage to keep reasonably quiet.
I become aware of stronger movements that bordered on slight, if fleeting pain as Claire worked on the area where my big toe joins my foot. This is the area that links to the neck and she could feel a tightness and bumpiness. Having visited a chiropractor for a number of years for neck and back problems, I wasn’t surprised that this was an area to be worked on for me. The theory is that the reflex areas on the feet can be linked to other areas of the body.
Claire explained that often people come to her ‘when the wheels have come off’. When they are extremely stressed or completely at the end of their tether. Her view is that, ideally, reflexology should be seen as part of a general health programme that looks at prevention rather than crisis management. Initially, clients come weekly for an intense 6 week course then move to a monthly / 6 weekly appointment. She was very open and honest however, that the financial commitment this requires is not possible for all her customers. If she had her way, reflexology would be available on the NHS and this maybe why she runs classes for mums and babies to learn how to use some of the techniques that can help with teething, sleeping and keep the baby healthy.
As for me, I loved the massage and felt calm for the rest of the day. It is not for everyone especially if you are like my husband and hate having your feet touched. The Association of Reflexologist recognises that until there is a large clinical trial undertaken, they cannot claim the effectiveness of reflexology. However, anything that helps balance you and reduce your stress even for a while gets my vote!
Are you a fan of complementary medicine? Have you had treatments and if so, with what sort of practitioner? Did it work for you? Do share your experiences below.
Addition to post 10.08.15 Claire has been in touch and explained that none of her clients have used reflexology for weight loss. Apologies.