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Reflexology is a method of bringing about relaxation, balance and healing through the stimulation of particular points on the feet, or sometimes on the hands. The therapy was known thousands of years ago in China, lndia and Egypt. But has only recently been practised in the West since it was re-discovered early this century by an American ear, nose and throat surgeon

He noted that pressure on specific parts of the body could have an effect on a related area. Reflex points on the feet and hands are linked to other areas and organs of the body. Tension or congestion in any part of the foot mirrors tension or congestion in a corresponding part, and treating the whole foot may have a deeply relaxing and healing effect on the whole body.

So how can applying pressure to the feet have an effect elsewhere in the body?

Each foot mirrors half of the body

Our ancestors walked and ran barefoot over uneven ground. The nerve endings and reflex points on the feet received regular, natural massage as they moved around. Nowadays we spend much of our time sitting down, and when we do walk, it is on hard, flat surfaces, wearing thick-soled shoes to cushion our feet.

Women sometimes wear high heels that alter the balance of pressure on the soles of the feet, putting extra pressure on some areas, and failing to stimulate others. It is very easy for gravity to cause a build-up of waste products and a general stagnation in the feet. Your body has the ability to heal itself. Correct stimulation of the feet may have a beneficial effect on the whole body. Following illness, stress, injury or disease, it is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning properly. Reflexology may be used to restore and maintain the body's natural equilibrium and encourage healing.

Reflexologists use their thumbs and fingers to apply gentle pressure to the feet. For each person the application and effect of the therapy is unique. Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet and by working on these points, the Reflexologist may release blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the whole body. Tensions may be eased and circulation and eliminations may be improved. This gentle therapy encourages the body to treat itself at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse. This can be an opportunity for you to give time to yourself, time to relax and to replenish your energies.

The brain and spinal cord encased by Vertebrae.

When you go for a treatment, there will be a preliminary talk with the practitioner. Then you will remove your shoes and socks and relax while the Reflexologist begins to work on your feet, (or hands if necessary), noting the problem areas. For the most part the treatment is very pleasant and soothing. There may be discomfort in some places but this is fleeting, and is an indication of tension or imbalance in a corresponding part of the body.

Treatment usually lasts for about an hour. A number of sessions will normally be necessary as the benefits of reflexology build up gently and gradually. Weekly treatments are often recommended to begin with, and the total number of sessions will depend on your own body's requirements.

Your Reflexologist will discuss this with you at the first session. After the first treatment or two, your body may respond in a very definite way: you may have a feeling of well being and relaxation, or you may feel lethargic, nauseous or fearful for a short time.

Longitudinal energy zones of the body

This is called a healing crisis and should be viewed as a positive reaction and is simply part of the healing process. Once your body is back in tune, it is wise to have regular maintenance treatments. Our modern lifestyle creates all kinds of physical, emotional and mental stresses. Often we are unable to release these in a natural way and they become "locked up' in our body, producing a wide range of different symptoms. It has been estimated that more than 75% of all illness is stress-related. Stress can lead to a weakening of our body's defence system so we become more vulnerable to illness and disease. When we are stressed we are tense. Tense muscles restrict the blood flow reduce the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to all the canals of the body and prevent the proper disposal of waste products. The whole system becomes sluggish and is unable to function efficiently. We may get muscle aches and pains, or we may develop problems in underlying organs. By helping to relax the muscles and by encouraging the process of circulation and the elimination of toxins. By simulating the production of natural chemicals in the brain, reflexology may ease pain and discomfort. As tension and irritation are soothed away, and as you become calmer, you may find improvements occurring in many different areas of your life:

Gain mental alertness and generally enjoy life more.
Handle work, or study more effectively.
Sleep better, throw off fatigue more easily.
Relationships become more rewarding.
Recent research suggests that reflexology may " reduce sick leave by 25% or more." Some firms are now beginning to introduce this therapy as a service to their employees, helping to maintain their optimum health and well-being. The benefits of reflexology can be enjoyed by anyone:
Young baby having sleeping trouble.
A 90-year old looking for relief from the aches and pains of old age.
The mother looking for a break from the demands of her family.
Those coping with the pressures of work or unemployment.
People in sedentary occupations, people on their feet all day.
The teenager coping with the hormonal see-saw of a growing body.
The sports enthusiast looking for balancing and conditioning and speedy recovery from soreness and injury.

Reflexology stimulates energy flow, and may help to produce a glowing skin and bright eyes, a clear mind, a renewed capacity for enjoyment, the appearance and feeling of positive well being. Reflexology may enhance your everyday life, keeping you at your peak. Regular preventative treatments help to strengthen the body and ward off illness and fatigue. An increasing number of people are using this safe, natural therapy as a way of relaxing. Balancing and harmonising the body.

Workplace Treatment Visits

We at Pathways2Health are also available for workplace vists, to provide treatments, as it helps to relieve stress and tension, which in turn productivity and the health of employees. Many companies are now finding this benefits both them and their employees. Please contact us for more details. Please note a quiet private area in which treatments can be carried out will be required.

Advanced Vertical Reflex Therapy

VERTICAL REFLEX THERAPY (VRT) is a new technique where the feet are briefly treated in a standing, weight bearing position. In a recent medically approved trial over 60% of the participants showed marked improvement in 6 weeks. It was originally developed to help orthopedic conditions but has since proved successful in treating many health problems. There appears to be a profound change in the body's receptivity to healing energies when the feet are standing, as deeper and possibly new reflexes are accessed. VRT is a very quick and effective treatment in it's own right but ideally VRT should be used either side of a conventional Reflexology treatment.

Synergistic Reflexology

SYNERGISTIC REFLEXOLOGY (SR) is a technique where hand and foot reflexes are worked simultaneously. This may stimulate and accelerate the body's responses and in some orthopedic cases increased mobility has sometimes been achieved in minutes. Synergetic Reflexology can also be used when you are sitting or lying down. VRT and SR appear to energise the zones in the body in a profound and immediate manner opening new avenues to treating and healing the body.

Endocrine Vertical Reflex Therapy

Endocrine Vertical Reflex Therapy helps to rebalance the Hormonal system. Whilst no guarantees can be given Endocrine VRT mixed with Reflexology on a personally devised plan gives the opportunity for positive results with fertility issues (male and female).

I will use Vertical Reflex Therapy to compliment any treatment which I think would benefit at my discretion at no extra charge.

Association of Reflexologists: http://www.aor.org.uk/



Postal Address: 62 Cumberland Way, Barwell, Leicestershire LE9 8HX
Phone: 01455 850915............ E-Mail: melanie@pathways2health.co.uk