An Introduction to Reflexology

Where my interest in Reflexology first came from and what I've learned about this complimentary therapy so far...

As some of you may be aware, I am undergoing a Diploma in Reflexology for 1 year. It may seem like a complete jump in careers from being a Social Care Worker, working with people with Autism and Schizophrenia, which it is, but let me explain how I got here...

I have always had an interest in complimentary therapies, though I didn't always vocalise it, a prime example of how the stigma of these Eastern medicines still strongly exists today.

It was only at the age of 27, through my healing and recuperating post Oncology treatment that I first started experimenting with complimentary therapies.

I began by trying out CBD oil, acupuncture and reiki. To my astonishment, the combination of these holistic aids completely diminished the chronic pain I suffered from, caused by taking oral steroids for over 15 years for my Cystic Fibrosis treatment. They also immensely improved my mental and emotional wellbeing which had taken a massive toll due to my Cervical Cancer diagnosis in 2019.

As I had to cocoon for 17 weeks due to the global pandemic, I became quite stressed, anxious and tense. I could feel these emotions throughout my body from head to toe, causing daily muscular pains and migraines. Having no access to acupuncture was taking a massive toll on my overall health. As I was unable to have physical contact with anyone I lived with, I had to learn how to self-sooth. I tried out some self-massage and realised that I responded quite well to it. This heightened my interest further and eventually I discovered the power of Reflexology.

The rise in interest of holistic therapies is a sign of the times. We are now becoming more in tune with our bodies, realising the need for the connection between our minds and bodies to be balanced. The official term for this is homeostasis. In order for our bodies to work effectively and provide us with the best health and functionality, everything must work together. When I envision my body being in a state of homeostasis, I see and feel myself being grounded, light and bright, calm and at one with myself and above all, having optimum health.

How it works...

In short, Reflexology involves applying a steady even amount of pressure to certain areas of the feet. The pressure points are quite precise, making it much more than its common misconception of a foot massage. This pressure causes the body to relax, inducing homeostasis. Our body does the majority of it's healing when it is relaxed and in a state of homeostasis. This is why sleep is so important when people are unwell. We can see and feel the difference in our mind and body when we are well rested from a good nights sleep, versus when we are not. Therefore, reflexology helps to activate the healing powers of our bodies.

Reflexology involves applying a steady even amount of pressure to certain areas of the feet...

Through historical artifacts, it is evident that the feet have been worked for medicinal purposes for centuries. There is even evidence proving that Ancient Egyptians engaged in some sort of foot work as a medical treatment. Today, we have established that different energy zones are most accessible and responsive through the feet, as they are so sensitive. In the 1930s, a psychotherapist by the name of Ingham mapped out the entire body onto the feet, discovering that the application of pressure to different points had strong positive effects on the corresponding areas of the body. Thus, Reflexology was born.

Benefits of Reflexology...

There are several general benefits of Reflexology, some including;

  • A reduction of stress and cortisol through relaxation

  • Cleansing the body of impurities and toxins

  • Inducing homeostasis

  • Preventing illness

  • Improving circulation

  • Revitalizing energy

  • Simulating creativity and productivity

It is worth mentioning that Reflexologists work almost like doctors do in that some are qualified in General Reflexology Practice, and some specialise in precise areas such as;

  • Pregnancy & IVF Treatment

  • Cancer & Oncology Treatment

  • Hormonal Issues e.g. Menopause, Endometriosis, Menstruation related issues

  • Chronic Pain Conditions such as Fibromyalgia

  • Reflexology & Athletics

  • Diabetes

  • Inflammation

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Lymphatic Drainage -boots immune system by flushing toxins and moving lymph fluids around the body

  • Reflexology for Children & Babies

  • Respiratory Illnesses

  • Reflexology for Elderly

  • Bowel Issues

  • Managing Addictions

If you fall into any of the categories above, it is essential that you attend a Reflexologist that is knowledgeable of your ailment.

There are so many areas of interest for me personally that I think I will struggle to choose just one to specailise in. At the moment I am leaning towards chronic conditions as a whole. I feel very strongly that all individuals with chronic illnesses should incorporate complimentary therapies alongside their medical treatments, as I have found them to be life altering for my chronic lung disease Cystic Fibrosis, and also through my recovery from Cervical Cancer.

I would love to open up my future home to individuals with chronic ailments and host a holistic event or weekend retreat for them. I would use all of my wonderful connections in the complimentary therapy world to show and teach individuals what they can do themselves to obtain homeostasis on an ongoing basis, regardless of their health difficulties. That is my ULTIMATE dream.

One day...

Aoife P R

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