What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a form of complementary’ medicine and involves a method of treatment using massage to reflex areas found in the feet and the hands.
There are reflex areas in the feet corresponding to all the parts of the body, these areas are arranged in such a way as to form a map of the body in the feet, with the right foot corresponding to the right side of the body and the left foot corresponding to the left side of the body. By having the whole body represented in the feet, the method offers a means of treating the whole body and of treating the body as a whole. This latter point is an important factor of a natural therapy and allows not only symptoms to be treated but also the causes of symptoms.
The method has been used for several thousands of years and is known to have been practised in a similar manner by the Chinese and the Egyptians. More recently, Reflexology was described in the form in which it is now known by the late Eunice Ingham, an American lady, who based her method of treatment on work called ‘Zone Therapy’ which had been described some years earlier in the 1920’s by an American, Dr. William Fitzgerald.
The main pioneer of Reflexology in Great Britain was the late Doreen Bayly who introduced the method in the early 1960’s and whose great determination to stimulate awareness and interest in the method should not be forgotten.
Reflexology does not claim to be a ‘cure-all’ but many people have found they have been helped by reflexology. Surveys carried out by The British Reflexology Association showed benefits to those presenting with symptoms of stress, insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome. According to Nicola Hall in her book ‘Reflexology for Women’ help may be given for ‘ a wide range of disorders including headaches, migraines, sinus congestion, stiffness in the neck and back, digestive problems, hormonal problems’.
Most people who have experienced a reflexology session would agree that the method is a very relaxing therapy which may reduce tension and lead to an improved sense of well-being.