• Balance and normalization of the body
• Improves circulation
• Delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells
• Reduces Stress
• Relaxation & Well Being
Your Time to Relax
Your Time to Relax
At your first session, I will take a brief health history to help me understand what you are trying to achieve from reflexology. Your session will be experienced fully clothed while lying on a massage table with your feet elevated. A soothing neck warmer will be placed under your neck. After washing your feet with warm water, I begin with some relaxation techniques on the feet, followed by gentle pressure to each of the reflex points. You are encouraged to close your eyes and relax. Music and aromatherapy add to the experience.
There may be some sensitivity or slight discomfort in places. This is usually fleeting and could be an indication of congestion or imbalance in a corresponding part of the body. In general, the sensation is pleasant and calming. Notes will be taken during your session so that improvements can be noted at future appointments and we can discuss your experience. Immediately after the session, most people feel relaxed with a sense of well-being.
This foot chart shows some common reflex points on the plantar (bottom) side of the foot. Note the pictures of the organs to see where the the corresponding reflex point is located. Working these areas of the foot stimulates the nervous system and corresponding area of the body.
What is Reflexology?
Our feet have over 7,200 nerve endings or receptors that send signals to the brain via the central nervous system when pressure is applied to the feet upon standing, walking, or running. The placement of nerve endings in the foot form a representation or map of the entire body. Reflexology involves application of pressure using knuckles, fist, thumb, and finger compression techniques, which stimulate points on the foot. This activates electrical and chemical impulses and a reflex response occurs in the related body organ to which the foot is being stimulated. The reflexologist is simply a facilitator. Your body achieves balance through the relaxation process. This technique helps restore balance and harmony to the body naturally. All systems of the body are positively affected. Reflexology increases circulation in the feet, relaxes muscles, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system which calms the body. Deep relaxation occurs during a treatment so the body can rest and repair. Reflexology is helpful for all ages, from infants to golden-agers.
As stated by the American Reflexology Certification Board, reflexology is not massage, and is defined as:
""A method of manual techniques, such as thumb and finger-walking, hook and backup, and rotating-on-a-point applied to specific reflex areas involving reflex maps resembling the human body found predominantly on the feet and hands. The techniques applied stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems and supporting the body's efforts to function optimally."
Contraindications include deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins which are dilated, knotty and irregular-shaped with incompetent valves, severe edema, unstable epilepsy, open wounds, warts, fungus, bruises, fractures on feet, stroke or heart attack in first four weeks. Reflexology can trigger contractions and therefore is helpful in assisting the body to prepare for birth at the end of third trimester.
Techniques used During Session
There are several techniques used to wake up the feet, stimulate the nerves, and then calm the feet. After washing the feet with warm cloths, I like to begin with some gentle stretches of the foot and ankle, wringing of the foot, and then address the spinal reflexes. Beginning at the top of the toes and working down to the heel, top and bottom of feet and medial and lateral sides are all part of the treatment area. This covers all of the reflexes on both feet. If the client has any discomfort, such as headache, or backache, those reflexes will be worked for an extra amount of time.
Lotion is used intermittently during treatment. There are times when it is best to have more friction, so no lotion is used. This creates a different sensation for the client. The pressure is more of a deep press and release while thumb walking over the reflex points. When using lotion, there is more of a glide, similar to massage. This is used for areas where there is increased congestion of nerve tissue, (referred to as deposits), which need to be worked repeatedly, causing a breakdown of the congested area, thereby allowing blood flow and oxygen to return to the area. The nerves located in the dermis layer of the skin are the key to the entire treatment. It is through the nervous system that reflexology works.
The treatment ends with gentle pressure on the lower legs, which stimulates the lymph drainage, thereby assisting toxins to be moved out of the body. Gentle raindrop touch is used, soft percussion on bottoms and sides of feet, peppermint wake-up lotion and a final wrap with towel closes down the session.