Reflexology dates back to ancient civilizations. We know that foot treatments have been used in India, Egypt (about 2300 BC) and China (more than 5000 years ago) for thousands of years. Reflexology as we experience it in the West has its origins in the study of zone therapy in America (Dr William H. Fitzgerald). Eunice Ingham pioneered the use of reflex pressure techniques on the feet and hands; she is regarded as the grandmother of reflexology.
Reflexology is a natural non-invasive complementary therapy. It works very well alongside orthodox or conventional medicine and does not replace it. See the following article where a reflexologist works with doctors in a surgery.
A reflexology treatment provides a holistic treatment, that is:
A reflexologist is not a qualified practictioner and does not treat or work with a treatment orientation (as understood when going to a surgery). S/he treats the whole person (holistic approach) by stimulating the nerve endings on the soles of the feet or the palms of the hands. A reflexology treatment aims at the client reaching a holistic balance on his/her health.
A reflexologist cannot claim offering a cure for an illness as such is not her/his role. However, a reflexology treatment may help alleviating the symptoms of an illness/disease. More than one sessions might be required depending on the severity of the symptoms, on how the body gets back into balance.
A diagnosis is the art of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms, or a statement resulting from this. Medically qualified doctors do make diagnoses as they receive appropriate training for doing so.
A reflexologist does not diagnose as s/he is not a medically qualified doctor. Reflexology is not diagnostic tool and cannot used to diagnose. A reflexologist does not treat specific diseases and does not cure (only the body can do so).
What a reflexologist can do is describe an ailment in terms of energy imbalance. S/he uses what is called a differential diagnosis drawn upon signs, symptoms, observation of the feet, assessment of life-style, of stress, of mental well-being.
People react differently during a reflexology treatment. Most reactions indicate a release of toxins into the system and how the body copes with them. The reactions you may experience during a session include:
Reflexology works on:
A reaction is a positive sign that the therapy is working and is a natural outcome of the treatment. You may experience a range of reactions after a session:
All the above reactions are due to the body's own healing and elimination process. Reflexology does not cause illnesses . Indeed an illness is preceded by an incubation period (that may last a couple of days or longer) before the illness becomes apparent; a cold is not the outcome of a reflexology treatment.
For best results a reflexology session should be carried out 6 to 8 times weekly. Afterwards it is recommanded to receive a treatment fortnighly for a couple of treatments then once a month to help maintain the balance and to prevent problems from reoccurring.
However the frequency of a treatment also depends on the age, fitness, sensitivity and financial situation of the person. In some instances treatment times are reduced (Infants, toddlers for example).
Reflexology is excellent throughout pregnancy whether it be coping with everyday activities or whether it be coping with discomfort or fatigue. Maternity reflexology (or pregnancy reflexology) can bring relief and help, among others, with:
Most of the problems that occur during pregnancy are the result of hormonal changes within the body. Indeed, during pregnancy the body changes constantly according to the needs of the unborn baby. Having reflexology is relaxing and allows the mother to have 'me-time': the physical and emotional effects of the treatment assist in preparing her for the birth.
Follow also this link to find out what the NHS says about reflexology.
There are studies concerning the benefits of reflexology. Please click on the following links to read about research in reflexology: