Reflexology

A non-intrusive, natural and safe therapy working on the soles of your feet and palms of your hands that promotes gentle relaxation, enhances your body’s functions and promotes your well-being in a holistic way.

 

What is it? 

Reflexology is a system of healing using reflex points on the patient’s feet and hands through mirrored- maps of the whole body.1-3 Gentle, therapeutic controlled pressure, placed on certain points along energy zones (5 on each side of the body), which is thought to release energy blocks enabling harmonisation of the reflected area.1,3-4  

(Foot Reflex Maps adapted from Cross 2008)

Uses:

Reflexology has been known to reduce stress and induce deep relaxation, improve circulation, help to clean the body of toxins and impurities, revitalise energy and generate balance.6-9 Reflexology influences bodily functions to support health care and promotes metabolic homeostasis.1-3, 6-9 Especially beneficial during pregnancy for swollen legs and feet, and to prepare for labour.11   Clinical evidence shows positive results superior to a placebo in premenstrual symptoms, chronic lower back pain, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome .

 

Treatment Time + Approach:

Reflexology is a non-invasive and non-diagnostic holistic therapy.5-6 The therapist makes a full holistic assessment and observes the patient’s feet. Treatment lasts approximately 1 hour and incorporates relaxation techniques. You will need to remove your socks or tights, but no other clothing. Occasionally, there may be tender areas, or different sensations that may be felt through the course of a treatment, and sometimes the process may make you drowsy or sleepy.

 

History:

Reflexology originates from ancient times in Egypt, China and India pre 5000 BCE. Further research from Dr William Fitzgerald (1872–1942) and Chiropractor Dr Joe Shelby Riley (1899-1959) influenced the development of zone therapy. Physiotherapist Eunice Ingham published during the 1930s and Doreen Bayley introduced Reflexology into the UK in the 1960s.6-9

 

Recognised Body + References:

Association of Chartered Physiotherapists In Reflex Therapy                                                                                           

Promotes the skills of Reflexology within physiotherapy, reflecting clinical responsibilities as laid down by the Health and Care Professions Council. Adheres to stringent standards and Guidance for Good Practice. Publishes evidence-based material, encouraging further research and development in Reflex Therapy to enhance physiotherapy.

Chartered society of physiotherapy

 

1          Cross JR (2008b) Reflected Energy Pathways: A Practical Workbook For Physical Therapists. Chichester, UK: Lotus Publishing.
2          Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (2012) Reflex Therapy – Complementary Health: http://www.csp.org.uk/director/members/groupsandnetworks/clinicalinterestandoccupationalgroups/complementarytherapygroups/reflextherapy.cfm (accessed 121103)
3          Deutsch JE (2008) CAM Use in Illness and Wellness. In: Deutsch JE and Anderson EZ (Eds). Complementary Therapies for Physical Therapy: A Clinical Decision-Making Approach. United States: Elsevier.
4          Smith-Oliver J and Skellam LJ (2000) Reflextherapy. In: Charman RA (Eds). Complementary Therapies for Physical Therapists (Eds). Somerset: Butterworth Heinemann.
5          Reflexology Research (2010) Updated Research Page : http://www.reflexology-research.com/updatedresearch.htm (accessed 121103)
6          Poole H, Glenn S and Murphy (2007) A Randomised Controlled Study of Reflexology for the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial, European Journal of Pain, 11(8):878-887.
7          Woodward S, Norton CS and Gordon J (2009) Reflexology for Treatment of Constipation (Protocol). The Cochrane Collaboration, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008156/pdf (accessed 121103[BG1] )
8          Quattrin R, Zanini A, Buchini S, Turello D, Annunziata MA, Vidotti C, Colombatti A and Brusaferro S (2006) Use of Reflexology Foot Massage to Reduce Anxiety in Hospitalized Cancer Patients in Chemotherapy Treatment: Methodology and Outcomes. Journal of Nursing Management 14, (1): 96-105: http://0-web.ebscohost.com.serlib0.essex.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=9&hid=13&sid=7d969754-c317-4277-b298-b6c80f5baafc%40sessionmgr14 (accessed 121103)
9          National Health Service (2012) Reflexology Uses: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/reflexology/Pages/Common-uses.aspx (accessed 121103)
10      Smith CA, Levett KM, Collins CT and Jones L (2012) Massage, Reflexology and other manual methods for pain management in labour. The Cochran Library. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009290.pub2/full(accessed 121103)