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What is Reflexology?



                      It's all about the feet

                                    by Joanne Hill    



In my work at Amaranth, I often find that I am recommending reflexology to clients.  I really feel that this treatment promotes wellbeing and puts people on a path to good health.  A question I am often asked is 'but what is reflexology?' Good question and one that I have struggled to answer (I'm a nutritionist rather than a reflexologist so that doesn't help). My answer is usually something like 'well it involves manipulating/massaging parts of your feet to promote wellness'.  A bit of a vague answer that I'm not sure is that helpful.

So instead of trying to explain, here I'm going to share my experience of reflexology in the hope that it helps you decide whether you would like to give the treatment a go (and if you do, read on to the end for a special offer).

So what is Reflexology?

According to the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT - you want to make sure that your therapist is registered with them to ensure a standard and quality of training), reflexology is based on the principle that reflex points on the soles, tops, and sides of the feet correspond to different areas of the body. In this way, the feet can be seen as a ‘map’ of the body. By applying specialised massage techniques to specific reflex points - using the thumbs, fingers and knuckles – the aim of a reflexology treatment is to help restore balance to the body naturally, and improve the client’s general well-being.  Some therapists may also work reflex points on the hands, ears and face, however it is the feet that are most commonly treated in reflexology.

The FHT state that reflexology can help to relieve anxiety and tension, encourage relaxation, improve mood and aid sleep, though some people use it to help them cope with more specific health challenges. 

and what does that really mean?

For my reflexology session, I booked an appointment with our Amaranth therapist Jane DagnanLeach.  Jane is one of three FHT registered refllexologist and complementary therapist practitioners at Amaranth.  Clients have given feedback on so many positive improvements in their health since having the treatment but I was still unsure of how it may help me.  I'm fortunate that I don't have many health concerns but my life is a bit crazy (work, family, the usual), I don't sleep or rest anywhere near enough (always something better to do) and I've had previous hormone issues that can re-appear if life gets too mad.

The appointment started with a full consultation.  Jane asked about my health, health history and my goals for the treatment.  The room was set up as it would be for a nuturing treatment with dim lights and lovely aromatherapy oils so I was relaxed straight away.  I was asked to remove my socks and shoes ( note to self - remember matching socks and toe nails next time) and my feet massaged with hot cloths to prepare for the treatment.  Onto the bed and I was then treated to 45 minutes or so of a type of foot massage and stimulation of reflex points on my feet.

This has to have been one of the most relaxing experiences I have ever had.  I wasn't really sure that I liked having my feet touched before but I was very soon drifting off.  There were some strange sensations of popping and some tender areas.  I was not surprised later to learn that the tender areas responded to my adrenal glands (my poor adrenals get quite a hard time).  Normally I would opt for a massage if I had time for myself but I have to say that I actually found reflexlogy more relaxing. When the treatment came to an end, I was certainly a much calmer version of the person who entered the room.

Initially after the treatment I felt a bit tired but an hour or so later and I was so energised.  I knew that I was calmer and also more focused.  In the evening I actually felt ready for going to bed instead of finding one more job to do. The key for me now is to make time for regular treatments so that I can be calmer and more focused longer term.

Clients report benefits from reflexology for all sorts of health concerns.  Although we can't make health claims, it is easy to see how creating a deep feeling of relexation and working on specific reflex points could have all sorts of health benefits.  Many conditions - hormones, fatigue, sleep problems, thyroid, may have a stress connection so if reflexology can modify the stress hormones, which I believe it did in my case, then its easy to see how reflexology may benefit these and many other conditions

Give it a Go?

If you are tempted to give reflexology a go or want to find out more about how it may benefit you, call Amaranth to speak to our therapist Jane (0161 439 9856) or contact us and don't forget to take advantage of our offer below.

Reflexology Special Offer

Book a One Hour Reflexology Session with Jane during October and
receive £10 off

(Normal treatment price £47, promotion price £37.  Appointments available on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays through October)

Call 0161 439 9856 or contact us to book