background image
12th December 2017 

History of Reflexology

The precise origins of Reflexology are not known although it is thought to have been developed by the Chinese around 4000BC at the same time as acupuncture. There is also evidence of its use in Egypt about 2330 BC as shown in a wall painting in Ankhmar's tomb at Saqqara. The painting appears to show one person receiving foot therapy and one receiving hand therapy.

Eunice Ingham was responsible for "mapping" the feet. Her undaunting work, research and dedication have made Reflexology the wonderful and popular therapy we use today.

How does it work?

Reflexology is based on the principle that there are reflexes (or pressure points) on the feet and hands that correspond to all the organs, glands and parts of the body. The practitioner uses a special acupressure technique to stimulate each reflex point.

The touch is quite firm and does not, therefore, tickle. Pressure points may be tender but this should reduce as treatments progress.

Does Reflexology work?

We are all unique and react differently to treatments. Reflexology seems to have helped many millions of people across the world to cope with their health problems. It is not a cure for anything but the feeling of relaxation and wellbeing it gives seems to help people cope better.

What happens during a treatment?

At your first appointment, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your medical history, diet and lifestyle. The practitioner will then examine your feet and begin the treatment using special finger and thumb techniques to massage each reflex.

How many treatments will be necessary?

Everyone responds differently to Reflexology so the number of treatments varies from person to person. As a rule of thumb, we would normally suggest treatments at weekly intervals for 4 to 6 weeks. Treatments would then be spaced out further and further apart until we find the level at which a sense of wellbeing is maintained.

However, many people will choose to have treatments at 4, 5 or 6 weekly intervals for relaxation and to help them cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. Others just have treatments as and when they feel the need to. It is up to the individual to decide what feels right for them.

Most people find Reflexology relaxing and sleep very well following a treatment. Occasionally flu like symptoms appear or there may be an increase in bowel and bladder movement but this should only last 24 hours or so. Clients should, if in any doubt, consult their GP.

Can Cancer patients have Reflexology

Yes indeed. Whilst there is no research to confirm the effects, there are many anecdotal stories suggesting both reflexology and meditation may help both patients and carers cope at this worrying time.

Will you tell me if I am ill?

Reflexologists do NOT diagnose. If something requires medical attention you will be advised to visit your GP.

Do I still take my medication?

Medication should only be changed with the knowledge and approval of your GP. Should you feel any change in medication is necessary, you must discuss this with your doctor.

Will what I say be repeated to my GP?

Client confidentiality is of paramount importance. Nothing you tell your therapist will be repeated to a third party, not even your GP, without your written consent. However, if there is a safeguarding issue ie if you or someone else is in danger, the therapist is obliged to report the situation to the appropriate authority.