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.
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
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.