Ready for a micro history lesson? Reflexology is based on ancient Chinese and Egyptian hand and foot therapy, dating as far back as 4000 BC. Fast forward to the 20th century, when Eunice Ingham, a celebrated physiotherapist, created a series of reflexology techniques that helped thousands of people.
What to expect from foot reflexology?
Today, reflexology is an effective way of improving mental and physical well-being. Set in your choice of welcoming salon or spa, you'll start your treatment by filling out a quick form. To get the most out of the experience, be sure to note down any problem areas or aches and pains you’ve had lately. You’ll then head to a private room where the centrepiece is either a treatment bed or reclining chair. Remove your shoes and get ready for your reflexology treatment to begin. The initial aim is to search for any signs of imbalance. Your therapist will gently apply pressure to key points on your feet with their thumb. Reflexologists believe that certain points on the soles of your feet are connected to your organs, glands and energy pathways. Sounds intriguing, right?
Reflexologists believe that certain points on the soles of your feet are connected to your organs, glands and energy pathways.
Good to know
By applying healing energy to specific areas on your feet - known as reflexes - reflexology sends signals through the body which, in turn, release positive chemicals, like endorphins. The result? Reduced stress and pain. The treatment is also said to decrease toxins and increase blood supply, easing tension and inflammation.
And with thousands of nerves in each foot alone, it’s a real skill to know exactly where to touch! Therapists use reflexology maps, which enable them to see which specific part of the foot relates to different areas of the body’s nervous system. Take your toes for example, that correspond directly to your head. Or your lower back and intestines, and their link to your heel. That’s why the goal is to relax not just your feet, but your entire body from tip to toe.
Is it for me?
If you’re a bit squeamish about having your feet touched, fear not. You can have the exact same treatment on your hands if you prefer. Reflexology can help ease conditions including arthritis, headaches, migraines and PMS. Plus, the number of sessions you choose to have is entirely up to you. Many people find themselves feeling healthier and more energetic after just a few. So if you’re sore, stressed out or simply run down, give reflexology a go and start investing in your wellbeing.