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About Reflexology

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a holistic gentle and non-invasive touch therapy based on the theory that there are points on the feet linked to every part of the body. Feet are essentially like ‘mini-maps’ of your body. Each point is called a ‘reflex’ point, hence the name ‘reflexology’.

Reflexologists work these points as shown on the reflexology foot chart areas (see below), aiming to bring those body areas back to balance and therefore aiding the body to work as well as it can. Reflexology will enable you and your baby to deeply relax, improve your blood and lymphatic circulation, uplift your mood and rebalance all systems in your body so they can work more efficiently. Reflexology has a cumulative effect, therefore the more treatments you have, the greater the effects you are likely to experience.

Reflexology cannot diagnose, treat or cure medical conditions, but during a treatment I may identify specific areas of sensitivity on some of the accupressure points on your feet, and I will discuss them with you at the end of your treatment. It does enable you to deeply relax, improve your blood and lymphatic circulation, uplift your mood and rebalance all systems in your body so they can work more efficiently.


The origins of reflexology

The origins of reflexology can be traced back around 5000 years to China. At this time, it is thought that Taoists developed healing practices using pressure to heal patients. These pressure-point treatments developed into acupuncture, Shiatsu massage, and support the theory behind the origins of reflexology. Reflexology is also traced back to Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphics found in a pyramid in Egypt dating back to c. 250330 BC show reflexology as part of Egyptian culture at that time. 


Pictograph from the tomb of a physician called Ankmahor (dating from c. 2500BC) carrying out a foot and hand massage. Source of picture:

Modern reflexology developed in the early 20th century largely due to the works of Dr William Fitzgerald and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham, who are considered the father and mother of reflexology. Their works greatly increased understanding of how reflexology works. They built on the theory of zone therapy by mapping the entire body into “reflexes” on the feet, leading to the first reflexology foot chart.

Is reflexology suitable for me and my baby? 

Reflexology is a therapy which can be received by anyone at any age. However, there may occasionally be times when it is not suitable to provide a treatment (e.g. first trimester of a pregnancy) and your reflexologist will let you know if this is indeed the case in advance of the treatment. Please note that : reflexology should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice.

When it comes to babies, according to the Association of Reflexologists, reflexology is totally safe and suitable for them. They are incredibly receptive to ‘touch’ so they can gain benefits from the shortest of treatments. Due to their tiny feet and hands, reflexology techniques normally used for adults will be adapated, the pressure applied will be much lighter and the treatment time much shorter.

The importance of ‘touch’ is now undeniable with the results of numerous studies showing that regular positive touch releaes the hormone oxytocin which, in turn, helps to increase bonding between parent and baby, reduce stress levels, aid brain development. [1]

A sudy looking into the effects of reflexology on infantile colic concluded that “reflexology application for babies suffiering from infantile colic may be a promising method to alleviate colic severity’.[2]


[1] Self-soothing behaviours with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation. Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg, Linda Handlin and Maria Petersson. Front Psychol. 2014; 5:1529.


[2] Effect of Reflexology on Infantile Colic. Icke S, Genc R. J. Altern Complement Med. 2018 Jun; 24(6): 584-588.

Source: Association of Reflexologists. 

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