Our feet can often take a real battering, bearing the brunt of a hectic and busy lifestyle. .
With ever-increasing levels of stress in everyday life, more people are looking for ways to take care of their whole mind and body, not just their physical health – and that’s where reflexology can come in
Today marks the start of World Reflexology Week and those who practise the ancient therapy say it can be a great way to deal with the stresses of modern life.
The non-intrusive complementary health therapy is based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body.
By targeting those areas, it might be possible to promote better health and a greater sense of well-being.
The theory is that reflexology helps the body to restore its balance naturally.
After a treatment, your tension levels may be reduced and you might feel more relaxed. You might also notice yourself sleeping better and find that your mood and sense of well-being improves.
After an initial consultation, a therapist will use their hands to apply pressure to the feet, lower leg, hands, ears or face, depending on the type of reflexology chosen.
Alison Pearce, who has been practising reflexology for eight years and runs A Touch of Serenity in North End, Portsmouth, says: ‘It’s a relaxation treatment. It can help with stress levels and encourages natural healing. I tend to say that it’s good for balancing the body.
‘I get different types of clients. Some people come for a specific problem and we concentrate on that area. most of them come for targeted relaxation.’
While the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, the therapy wasn’t introduced to the west until the 1930s.
But professional reflexologists don’t claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe.
Instead, they stress that reflexology is an individual treatment which will work with you holistically.
‘What we offer is a relaxation treatment and it can help improve your general well-being,’ explains Alison.
‘Reflexology is more for the whole person.
‘If you’re looking for something that will improve well-being and help de-stress, reflexology is for that. It’s a great stress reliever.’
She adds: ‘I asked one client what she gets out of it and she said “Happy feet”. Sometimes people want to tell you stuff during a treatment and sometimes they want to zone out and go to sleep.
‘A lot of people say they sleep well after a treatment.’