Footcare and reflexology

PUBLISHED: 13:14 18 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:15 18 March 2014

Reflexology / Photo: Ditty_about_summer [shutterstock]

Reflexology / Photo: Ditty_about_summer [shutterstock]

Archant

Kim Jeffree introduces her friend, reflexologist Tracy Mortimer, who provides an insight into reflexology, its history and its potential benefits

ReflexologyReflexology

For this article, I have the great pleasure of being able to introduce you to a good friend of mine. Tracy Mortimer is a Qualified Reflexologist, and has kindly put pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keyboard) to give you an insight into reflexology.

Over to Tracy...

I am a local reflexologist working in the Herefordshire area. I qualified from Eileen Gilmour’s School of Holistics in 2011 with a Level 3 Diploma in Reflexology. This qualification then allowed me full membership to the Association of Reflexologists, Professional Reflexology and registration with the Complementary and National Healthcare Council. The Association of Reflexologists is the foremost independent professional body for reflexology in the UK, and a requisite for membership involves a need for the highest level of training and continuous development.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a non-intrusive, complementary therapy that is intended to help balance the body and promote healing. A reflexologist works on points (reflexes) on the feet, lower legs or hands. Reflexology is based on the theory that the hands and feet are a map of the body’s organs, glands and tissues, and that, by applying pressure to these points, homeostasis (balance) may be restored to the body.

The History of Reflexology

The ancient art of reflexology has been practiced for over 5000 years and is found in a variety of cultures, namely Ancient Egypt, China and India. The Chinese in particular promoted good health by massaging the feet and hands. Reflexology was introduced to the western world over 100 years ago by Dr William Fitzgerald who initially introduced it as Zone Therapy.

This was then further developed in the 1930s by Eunice Ingham into now what is referred to as Reflexology.

What happens when I go for a reflexology treatment?

Reflexology is an extremely simple treatment to receive as all that is required is that you remove your socks and shoes. A full medical history and consent form is required, but all information received is treated in the strictest of confidence. The practitioner will discuss your symptoms, lifestyle and any concerns you may have.

The reflexologist uses their thumbs, fingers or knuckles to apply pressure to the feet, lower leg and hands, dependant on the type of reflexology chosen. The client may feel areas of pressure or tenderness when reflexes are pressed, although overall the experience should feel extremely relaxing. The reflexologist, whilst working these areas, seeks to detect ‘imbalances’ and to ease them, which they believe can allow a free flow of energy to the area, aiding circulation and releasing tension.

How does Reflexology Work?

There are numerous theories as to how reflexology works and the most common is that by stimulating the mirrored organ/system reflexes in the feet, we may identify any imbalances in corresponding areas. The theory is that the process of stimulation allows any build-up of toxins that may have accumulated due to infection, illness, lifestyle and diet to be naturally released through the excretory organs such as the kidneys, bowel etc. In Chinese Medicine, particularly acupuncture, there is also a meridian theory that the feet contain lines (channels) of energy that can become blocked/stagnant, and that reflexology allows the energy channels to flow freely throughout the meridians.

Will Reflexology help me?

Reflexologists as holistic practitioners are there to support you as a whole person and are not equipped to diagnose, prescribe or cure. Reflexology is a purely individual treatment and we, as reflexologists, recognise that each person is unique. Reflexology works alongside and supports your medical practitioner’s advice and is not to be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice.

The possible benefits of reflexology are felt to be:

Stress, tension and fatigue release

Rebalancing and regulation of energy

Detoxifying

Endorphin release (pain relief)

Circulation of blood and lymph improvement

Increased joint mobility

Digestive disorder relief

Sleep issues relieved

Improved overall well-being

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and I will be more than happy to discuss them with you. For appointments and treatment plans, contact me on 07812 731995 or email me at tracyreflexology@outlook.com.

Back to Kim...

A big thankyou to Tracy - and now just a few words on looking after your feet.

We put our feet through an awful lot, and the truth is that caring for your feet now might help them in the future.

I recommend soaking them in warm water for around 20 minutes - a simple procedure that prepares your feet for removing hard skin.

Next, using your preferred brand of hard removal cream, rub the dry skin away in a firm manner, then clip and file your toenails taking care to make them short enough so they don’t hang over the toes and dig into your skin. Apply thick foot cream and massage it in.

That’s it. A really simple but very effective way of caring for your feet.

My top tip for keeping feet healthy, summer or winter, is to always keep a tin of Cuticura Talc or similarly slightly medicated talcum powder handy. It’s very effective at keeping feet sanitised and soft.

If you have any questions or comments, please email: kim@secretgardenbeautysalon.co.uk

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This article is by Kim Elizabeth Jeffree and Tracy Mortimer

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