The benefits of reflexology

Reflexology is an alternative and complementary non-intrusive health therapy that is widely based on the principle that various points on the hands, feet, face, lower leg and ears correspond to other areas of the human body.

The interactive footmap for reflexology that can be found in the AoR or The Association of Reflexologists website illustrates the reflexes or points and also shows the areas or organs that they are related to.

Reflexologists are properly trained to holistically work with clients and focus on allopathic healthcare in order to promote overall health and wellbeing.

How could reflexology help you?

• Problems that are usually responsive to reflexology are those that have a basis in stress, pain, and sleep issues.

• Research studies into how reflexology can have a positive effect with Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) sufferers, Multiple Sclerosis and cardiac patients has been undertaken. Additionally, many favour the positive wellbeing effects reflexology brings to Palliative Care and during pregnancy.

• Reflexologists do not claim to cure but aim to help the body help its self.

• Reflexology is a very individual treatment, each therapist will personalise the treatment to address what they feel in the feet of the client. And in return each client will react in an in individual manner.

• Usually you will feel relaxed after a treatment, tension may release and you may sleep better. You may also notice a feeling of improved mood and wellbeing.

How does reflexology work?

There are many theories and these are related to the subtle changes in philosophy behind a practitioners training.

• There are reflexologists that believe in the activation of meridians, rather like acupuncture, where the meridians are stimulated through the points in the feet releasing blockages in energy.

• Some believe in theories of autonomic and somatic integration- that the internal organs adjust to the sensory input of the therapeutic touch on the body.

• Other theories include the release of endorphin and encephalins – the body’s natural painkillers, or the release of lactic acid.

• There is a research paper from Japan that shows a link from the foot reflexology points to a brain reaction using functional MRI scanning. This small study goes some way towards explaining how reflexology might link feet to organs – through a blood flow reaction in the brain.

How to ‘Find a Reflexologist’

• The AoR has a find a reflexologist search facility on its website. This can help you find a suitably qualified professional reflexologist close to you.

Association of Reflexologists (AoR)

• The Association of Reflexologists is the foremost aspirational and independent professional body for reflexology in the UK. The letters MAR (member), FMAR (fellow) and HMAR (honorary) after a therapist’s name denotes their membership status – a sign of assurance that they have met the strictest standards of reflexology practice, they are insured to practise and that they are committed to continually developing their skills and knowledge.

• The AoR represents reflexology and reflexologists at the Reflexology in Europe Network (RiEN), The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), Parliamentary Groups and the Reflexology Forum.