Images have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2500 B.C. that depict seated men receiving foot massages. The benefits of massage are well known, and have been around for centuries. Reflexology in its current form, however, is a fairly recent phenomenon, with the foot maps that are used by Reflexologists today, being designed in the 1930’s by Eunice D. Ingham. Although methods may change slightly, the basic principles are the application of pressure to various parts of the foot that have a corresponding part within the body, using a variety of thumb, finger and hand techniques. By massaging or applying pressure to these reflex points, the corresponding body part is actually being worked on.
A treatment usually lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. During the session, both feet are worked on, with the whole foot being covered, although the majority of the time will be spent on the soles of your feet. The treatment is often very relaxing, with your blood-pressure being lowered, your pulse slowing down and the mind and body experiencing a respite from the stress of daily life. A tremendous amount is happening beneath the surface though, as the body’s internal organs are receiving a massage of their own. During the treatment, any impurities or imbalances are being addressed. As with a massage of any kind, I always recommend that you drink plenty of water in the hours following the treatment.
Reflexology can be used purely as a method of relaxation. For some people, the thought of putting aside time in their busy schedule, without the pressure of constant phone calls, emails or family demands, provides them with an opportunity to “switch off” and can be a welcome retreat in itself. However, there are a growing number of people for whom it provides major relief from pain and suffering. I have had great success with people experiencing Migraines, Severe Back Pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Arthritis and Sciatica, amongst numerous other ailments. I believe Reflexology is a complimentary form of therapy, and can work effectively alongside a more conventional medicinal approach.