Reflexology: For Mind, Body & Soul
Reflexology is more than just a massage. There are many ways that this wonderful treatment can benefit the mind, body and soul. It is non-invasive; perfect as a stand-alone treatment and also to have alongside other conventional treatments.
It is safe for adults and children and can be carried out on the hands, feet, ears or face. See contraindications.
THE BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY
Depression and Anxiety
Most of us feel stressed at some point or another. Illness, financial worries, feelings of isolation, and anxiety about the future can all have a negative impact on our body and mind.
Reflexology has long been used as a relaxing therapy and it can have a positive effect on our mood.
The hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal and adrenals are all involved in our emotional and mental health. Regular reflexology treatments have been shown to have a positive impact on our minds; reducing cortisol levels and having a balancing effect on our body. Reflexology works on the parasympathetic nervous system, halting the body’s flight or fight response, which allows the body’s natural healing process or homeostasis to kick in.
A study published in the European Journal of General Practice states that receiving reflexology 'can boost your metabolic rate and help your body’s energy-creation processes'. This can lead to more alertness, resilience and motivation.
The added potential of 'switch off' for an hour from the stresses of everyday life and enjoying some much needed ‘self-care’ is not to be underestimated. The feet, for example have over 7,000 nerve endings and human touch has been known to release the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, which in turn, can reduce anxiety.
Reflexology can be helpful in lowering chronic pain. Its effectiveness for treating different types of pain, including: headaches, migraine neck and back pain is gaining momentum - One study by the University of Portsmouth found that, in certain circumstances, ‘it may be as effective as painkillers’.
Dr Carol Samuel said “it is likely that reflexology works in a similar manner to acupuncture by causing the brain to release chemicals that lessen pain signals”.
For any couple, going through infertility can be an emotional and physical rollercoaster.
Around 1 in 7 couples in the UK experience infertility, sub-infertility and delayed conception*.
Reflexology helps by encouraging the body to work more effectively and reach natural homeostasis. Both men and women are encouraged to have treatments for best results. By working on areas of the body relating to the reproductive and nervous systems, treatments can:
Reduce stress and anxiety
Improve blood flow and circulation
Settle the nervous system
Promote restful sleep
Work with infertility-related conditions such as PCOS, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Endometriosis.
Essentially, having regular reflexology treatments throughout their fertility journey can empower a couple to take control of their own health, resulting in less stress and frustration.
Having regular reflexology treatments is also considered safe when undergoing assisted conception including IVF, IUI etc.
Around nine out of 10 women in the UK suffer with PMS symptoms*. These include bloating, headaches, fatigue, and mood-swings.
Similarly, menopausal symptoms can have a devastating effect on women in the years leading up to and after menopause. Regular reflexology treatments can have a beneficial effect on symptoms including depression, hot flashes and insomnia.
One small study concluded that foot reflexology can be effective for reducing a woman’s depression during menopause.
Overall health & Immunity
Toxic build-up is an inevitable result of living in a polluted world. Adding in our use of prescription drugs, consumption of processed foods and suffering with chronic, untreated stress, these can all have a lasting impact on our body and overall health.
Reflexology can aid in the removal of toxins and promote healthy digestion. By strengthening the immune system, our body will be in a better position to fight viruses and also recover from illness.
The benefits are numerous. Whether it is for a one-off treatment or a course of treatments, some much-needed ‘me-time’ or for preventative health, there are many more ways in which this wonderful therapy can be so good for us at any stage of our lives.
Contact the Association of Reflexologists' for a Therapist near you.