October 6, 2008
Time to Bare Your Sole to Reflexology
By HELEN RAE
REFLEXOLOGY dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and China and was also used by Native Americans.The treatment involves direct pressure, small rotations and caterpillar-like movements on all parts of the foot and sometimes also the hands or ears.
Certain points are more tender than others. This is taken to indicate a build-up of crystalline deposits under the skin and imbalance in the corresponding body part.
Reflexology is thought to break down the crystalline deposits, remove blockages in nerves and energetic pathways, improve blood supply and aid detoxification.
A high success rate is claimed in the treatment of many common ailments including stress, pain, menstrual problems, headaches and insomnia.
For the past six weeks, mum-of-two Helen Glenn had been suffering a headache she just can't shake off.
The constant pain has always been there, both day and night, and despite repeated efforts, nothing has helped to dull the throbbing.
The 56-year-old, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, finally decided enough was enough and opted for alternative therapy.
In stepped Louise Bell, 33, a fully-qualified reflexologist at Matfen Hall Hotel, in Northumberland, who was keen to get to the root of the problem.
Helen, a secretary, said: "I've had a headache for weeks and it's so frustrating being in constant pain.
"Once it became clear all the medical avenues had been exhausted, I was willing to try anything and thought I'd give some reflexology a try.
"It was wonderful and I certainly feel the difference.
My headache is a lot better and my shoulders are much looser.
"I had never tried reflexology or any other complimentary medicine before, but it is definitely something I'd do again. The relaxation you get from the treatment is amazing and it makes you feel good.
"I wasn't sure if reflexology would be able to help my headache, but it has, and I'm delighted."
A reflexologist uses hands only to apply gentle pressure to the feet. For each person the application and the effect of the therapy is unique.
Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet.
And the benefits of taking time out and treating yourself is enormous.
Louise said: "Reflexology works in the same way as acupuncture.
"While acupuncture uses needles on various pressure points, reflexology puts pressure on the feet.
"The treatment can help with a variety of ailments.
"I think in Helen's case she's been suffering from a tension headache and the reflexology is so relaxing that it helps to relieve any stress."
Louise added: "Reflexology can also help with things such as hayfever, as it can help boost the immune system.
"The treatment is not for everyone, but there are very few people who could not have it. It is certainly worth everyone giving it a try at least once."
After a treatment most people experience a "healing response".
This is any of a wide range of symptoms that may occur during the course of healing.
It might appear at first as though treatment is not working or is making the client feel worse, but these symptoms signal healing is taking place.
Side effects in reflexology are not chemical in reaction, like those produced by conventional medicine, they are directly related to the problem and are caused by the body trying to rid itself of toxins.
For example, a healing response from a sinus problem may mean a running nose after treatment.
Typical aftercare advice is to rest and relax, avoid harsh stimulants like alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine and drink plenty of water.
Louise added: "The most important piece of aftercare is to avoid any over-the-counter medication.
"You should continue to take prescribed drugs as the doctor ordered. What you should try not to take is any additional medicine that you would normally take if you felt unwell, for example paracetamol for a headache.
"Medication suppresses the symptoms and prevents healing as it stops symptoms from being eliminated."
A reflexology treatment at Matfen Hall Hotel costs pounds 60.
For information contact the hotel's spa on (01661) 855 725.
I had never tried reflexology or any other complimentary medicine before, but it is definitely something I'd do again. The relaxation you get from the treatment is amazing and it makes you feel good.
What the treatment can do for you
The benefits of reflexology are that it:
Reduces stress and tension, inducing deep relaxation
Improves blood and lymph circulation
Brings about homeostasis (the body's natural balance)
Cleanses the body of toxins and impurities
Revitalises energy levels
Is preventative healthcare
Improves nerve supply
Improves the immune system
Is a non-invasive treatment
Is natural and drug-free
Works on 92% of people.
Cannot treat phobias, alcoholism, anorexia, schizophrenia or any psychotic illness.
(c) 2008 Evening Chronicle - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.