When people hear 'reflexology' their first thoughts are either "What?" or "Ah! Feet!". However, there is so much more to reflexology than just feet. For a start there is hand, face and even ear reflexology! I practice foot reflexology with occasional inclusion of hand reflexology, if appropriate. However, the different types of reflexology are not what I mean when I say that there is far more to reflexology than feet.
Reflexology is a holistic complementary therapy; it is about your whole body and your mental wellbeing. It is far more than feet.
Does it work?
Yes! Well, more truthfully, it depends what you mean. Reflexology cannot cure diseases. However, the body and mind are both excellent at healing themselves. Reflexology has been proven to promote relaxation (ref) and this rested state gives your body the chance to heal and re-balance. Reducing your stress levels can help with managing chronic conditions, allowing your body and mind to experience some restful calm, some peace and some time to restore.
How does it work?
As a scientist I wish I had a straightforward answer to that but, unfortunately, I don't. There are many theories and they range from clearing energy imbalances in the body to nerve stimulation. I find this an exciting time to be a reflexology practitioner; improvements in medical technology are beginning to help us unlock the mystery of what happens within the body during a reflexology treatment. This is an area of research which I continue to follow, and blog about, with interest.
How do I find a good reflexologist?
Here in the UK, it is a good idea to look for practitioners who are registered with a professional body such as the Association of Reflexologists (AoR) or the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). To join one of these organisations the reflexologist must have a proven minimum level of training and be actively continuing their professional development. I am a member of the Association of Reflexologists (https://www.aor.org.uk/).