An early form of Reflexology is believed to have been used by the Chinese more than 5000 years ago in their use of pressure therapies. In Egypt, early sixth dynasty, about 2330 B.C., a wall painting in the tomb of Ankhmahor (known as the physician’s tomb) shows foot and hand Reflexology being applied. The translation reads “Don’t hurt me” and the practitioners reply “I shall act so you will praise me”.
Reflexology has been used more frequently since the late 19 th Century when William Fitzgerald discovered zone therapy where 10 vertical zones travel the length of the body and identify that pressure applied to a particular zone would act as pain relief to the corresponding area within the body. This was then expanded on by Dr Joe Shelby Riley who also identified that vertical lines could be mapped of the body and these could correspond to the hands and feet. Following on from this, Eunice Ingham found that the feet were more responsive and sensitive to touch. Eunice Ingham developed the Ingham Method of Reflexology.
“Back in the 1920’s investigative studies regarding this concept allowed the first Western reflexology foot map to be produced. Since that time the other anatomical areas have been mapped allowing this model to be applied to the hands, ears and face.
The reflexologist simply works those reflected areas with their sensitive fingers, aiming to bring those areas back to balance and therefore aiding the body to work as well as it can. Reflexology very much works on an individual basis, the reflexologist provides professional facilitation of your body’s own potential for well-being.”
Reflexology not only brings about a deep state of relaxation, that improves the effectiveness of treatment, it also maintains the body’s healthy balance and general wellbeing. Relaxing helps reduce tension and aid circulation, increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen and aid removal of toxins.
Reflexology can also help in the management of chronic or recurring conditions that we may get used to over time as being part of normal life.
Reflexologists do not diagnose illnesses, nor prescribe nor treat any specific conditions, but if any irregularities are identified during the treatment, a visit to a GP for diagnosis may be recommended.
The client will be shown into the treatment room and, as part of the initial treatment, will be asked to complete a medical history form and give signed consent. Any subsequent treatments, the medical history will be revisited for any changes in health since last treatment. They will then be asked to take a seat on the therapy chair and remove shoes and socks. The therapist will then recline the chair ensuring that the client is comfortable.
Some Reflexologists, including Donna Travill, select and apply an appropriate wax to the feet. Other Reflexologists, including Sheelagh Dale, use an appropriate oil or powder, or work straight on to the skin of the feet.
Treatment then begins. It is positive pressure that is applied to the feet and the therapist will ensure that this is comfortable to the client. It should not tickle nor cause uncomfortable pain. The treatment generally lasts for an hour. If the client is attending for a specific condition, the therapist will devise a specific treatment plan for that condition and this will be used at following appointments.
Each treatment costs £40. This includes the initial consultation and any subsequent specific treatment plans.