Reflexology is a holistic treatment done on the feet. I tend to work from the knee down as there are many important areas on the legs that work on the whole body.
For those of you who like a good foot rub, then reflexology is NIRVANA. Reflexology, however, is much more than a lovely, relaxing foot rub. Reflexology is also a holistic treatment that has a wide-ranging effect on your whole body.
I know, some of you may think – how much can a fancy foot rub do?
Well, I was a bit skeptical myself, but now as an old hand at feet, I can tell you that the following occurred after reflexology treatment:
- Started contractions in a pregnant woman leading to a healthy delivery with no interventions. (Okay she was 39 weeks and a v. healthy mum! But still….)
- Detected a UTI hours before it was symptomatic. (I was blamed for causing the UTI, but hey its only a foot rub right?)
- Dramatically eased chronic headaches in a patient who had suffered for 25 years with said headaches
- Calmed a chronically colicky baby
Now I am convinced that reflexology does help improve health and relaxation. But the more exciting thing (for me) is that now, with my acupuncture knowledge, I have a clearer understanding of why reflexology works and as an acupuncturist I can use it more effectively to help my patients.
Six of the major meridians in Chinese medicine end or begin on the foot. In Chinese medicine, the further from the trunk the point is, the more powerful it’s effect. For example, the first point of the Kidney meridian was/is often used to wake people from a comatose state, (that may be because it is insanely painful to stick a big needle in the thin skin in the middle of your sole, BUT, hey, it can wake people from COMAS!!)
So now that I know my acupuncture points and their functions (nearly three dozen on one foot alone), my reflexology is completely different to how I was initially trained.
- I work a lot more on the top of the foot as most points are here, not on the sole.
- I also work above the ankle and use acupressure on some points just below the knee.
- I do more manipulation of the entire foot to create space in the complex structure of the foot.
The real reason reflexology works is because it accesses the power of the body’s meridian system. The body’s healing power is stimulated through acupressure to these points. By using reflexology techniques along the meridian lines or on specific points, I can tailor my treatments for more effectively.
Other fascinating stuff about reflexology…
There is also a lot of information in how your feet look. Do your toes bend outward? If so, do you have a tendency to look back in life? Or do you have bunions, which might indicate a tendency to take on too much on behalf of those you love? Or could indicate an early addiction to Jimmy Choos… Where do you tend to get calluses? All these can tell me things you might not want me to know (just kidding). I don’t take these things very seriously, but find them interesting. And I don’t expect my patients to put too much stock in them either.