Definition of Reflexology

Reflexology employs the principle that the reflex points on the hands and the feet, when pressure is applied, will reflexively stimulate energy to a related muscle or organ in the body and promote healing.

By applying pressure to the reflex areas you may experience relief from, stress and tension, notice an improvement to the blood supply, promoting the unblocking of nerve impulses, and help your body achieve homeostasis - where the body is balanced and all the organs work in harmony with one another. This controlled pressure alleviates the source of the discomfort.

In the absence of any particular malady or abnormality, reflexology may be as effective for promoting good health and for preventing illness as it may be for relieving symptoms of stress, injury, and illness

Reflexology applied properly may alleviate allergy symptoms, decrease stress, decrease symptoms of back pain and other muscular aches and pains, help with symptoms of chronic fatigue, improve sleep patterns, reduce high blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of IBS and other digestive disorders, reduce symptoms of PMS, PMT and menopause. The techniques of reflexology can be performed conveniently on the hand in situations where a session on the feet is not practical.

Anecdotally, it is believed to have helped in the treatment of a variety of conditions and injuries. One condition is fibromyalgia. People with this disease are encouraged to undergo reflexology therapy to alleviate any of a number of chronic bowel syndromes associated with the condition. Frequent brief sessions of reflexology therapy are also recommended as an alternative to drug therapy for controlling the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia and for relieving difficult breathing caused by tightness in the muscles of the clients neck and throat.

The Origins of Reflexology

Reflexology is a healing art of ancient origin. Although its origins are not well documented, there are reliefs on the walls of a Sixth Dynasty Egyptian tomb (c. 2450 B.C.) that depict two seated men receiving massage on their hands and feet. From Egypt, the practice may have entered the Western world during the conquests of the Roman Empire. The concepts of reflexology have also been traced to pre-dynastic China (possibly as early as 3000 B.C.) and to ancient Indian medicine. The Inca civilization may have subscribed to the theories of reflexology and passed on the practice of this treatment to the Native Americans in the territories that eventually entered the United States.

In recent times, Sir Henry Head first investigated the concepts underlying reflexology in England in the 1890s. Therapists in Germany and Russia were researching similar notions at approximately the same time, although with a different focus. Less than two decades later, a physician named William H. Fitzgerald presented a similar concept that he called zone analgesia or zone therapy. Fitzgerald's zone analgesia was a method of relieving pain through the application of pressure to specific locations throughout the entire body. Fitzgerald divided the body into 10 vertical zones, five on each side, that extended from the head to the fingertips and toes, and from front to back. Every aspect of the human body appears in one of these 10 zones, and each zone has a reflex area on the hands and feet. Fitzgerald and his colleague, Doctor Edwin Bowers, demonstrated that by applying pressure on one area of the body, they could anesthetize or reduce pain in a corresponding part. In 1917, Fitzgerald and Bowers published Relieving Pain at Home, an explanation of zone therapy.

Later, in the 1930s, a physical therapist, Eunice D. Ingham, explored the direction of the therapy and made the startling discovery that pressure points on the human foot were situated in a mirror image of the corresponding organs of the body with which the respective pressure points were associated. Ingham documented her findings, which formed the basis of reflexology, in Stories the Feet Can Tell, published in 1938. Although Ingham's work in reflexology was inaccurately described as zone therapy by some, there are differences between the two therapies of pressure analgesia. Among the more marked differences, reflexology defines a precise correlation between pressure points and afflicted areas of the body. Furthermore, Ingham divided each foot and hand into 12 respective pressure zones, in contrast to the 10 vertical divisions that encompass the entire body in Fitzgerald's zone therapy.

In 1968 two siblings, Dwight Byers and Eusebia Messenger, established the National Institute of Reflexology.

What to expect at your treatment at The Human Touch

Before your reflexology treatment at The Human Touch, you will have a short preliminary discussion with Mary, the reflexologist, to enable her to focus accurately on your specific complaints and to determine the appropriate pressure points for treatment. During your treatment Mary will use massage and reflexology techniques to primarily warm, stretch and relax your feet, then apply reflexology to all reflex points, focusing on particular points relating specifically to your individual symptoms. She will finish the treatment using therapeutic relaxation techniques, stretching the feet and applying a short gentle massage to your feet ankles and calves. You will then be given a short time to settle after treatment and offered a drink of water

Follow up advice after your reflexology treatment at The Human Touch

It is classically advised that primarily reflexology should be given for 6  consecutive sessions

Be aware that during the first 24 to 72 hours after treatment you may experience an exacerbation of  the symptoms you came in with. This is a natural response from the body because of the stimulation of the reflex points. Feel free to call Mary if you have any concerns.

Drink plenty of water as this will encourage the body to flush out toxins.

What Reflexology is not

Reflexology is not massage

Reflexology is not a substitute for medical treatment

Reflexology is not a medical treatment

Reflexologists do not diagnose medical symptoms

People with serious and long-term medical problems are urged to seek the advice of a GP. Diabetic clients in particular are urged to approach this therapy cautiously. Likewise pregnant women are cautioned emphatically to avoid reflexology during the first and second trimester of pregnancy altogether, as accidentally induced labor and subsequent premature delivery can result from reflexology treatment. However it is deemed safe in the third trimester of pregnancy and can be used as a method of triggering the onset of labour when the pregnancy has gone full term or  the delivery date is overdue. It can also be used during labour for relaxation and pain relief.

Reflexology at The Human Touch

At The Human Touch our reflexologist Mary has had over 20 years experience. She is qualified in both reflexology and an advanced reflexology, so she can provide hand reflexology, foot reflexology, or a combined treatment of hand and foot reflexology. During her career in reflexology Mary has helped people of all ages with many different ailments including physical symptoms of back pain, arthritis, PMS, PMT, RSI,headaches, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains, psychological and emotional symptoms including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, fertility issues including support to conceive. She has also helped people who have problems around issues of addiction.

The cost of a treatment with a Human Touch practitioner

At The Human Touch we aim to keep our cost affordable. We have a concessions category which is based on your income. If your income is £10,000 a year or less you pay the concession price, if it is above that you pay the full price. Our concessions include unemployed, self employed and part time employed people, carers, students and retired people. The cost of the treatment is dependent on the amount of time spent with the practitioner. If you book for an hour and then because of your individual needs the treatment runs into extra time you will be charged per every 15 minutes extra. Treatment costs are 30 minutes £15 or £10 for concessions One hour treatment £30 or £20 for concessions



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