What is reflexology?

Reflexology is based on the theory that different reflex points on the hands and feet correspond with different areas of the body. It is a non-intrusive complementary therapy that has been practised for over 5000 years, introduced to us here in the west just over 100 years ago.

In it’s simplest form reflexology is a specialist foot massage that uses specific thumb techniques to work “reflexes”.

What is reflexology good for? 

Things I have most commonly seen clients benefit from after reflexology treatments include:

  • Improved wellbeing. This is so much more than the absence of illness of disease, it can include better relationships, increased happiness and a more positive frame of mind.
  • Relaxation.
  • Better sleep (Interestingly, if you have a Fitbit that tracks your sleep, I would advise you wear it a week before treatment, the night of your treatment and a week after your treatment as this allows us to see any changes in your sleep after reflexology).
  • Mood improvement
  • Release of tension

My scientific research project.

As part of my degree in Complementary Healthcare, I chose to conduct a scientific research project for my dissertation, titled: “An exploration of the effects of reflexology on adults with chronic stress”.

I gave three participants with chronic stress (living with high-stress levels lasting longer than three months) weekly reflexology treatments and measured their stress levels on a Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and used the cortisol levels in their saliva as a biological measurement of stress. Without getting to “sciencey”, the results from my study showed that all three participants saw a reduction in perceived stress. They also reported an improvement in sleep and wellbeing and a reduction in headaches. Two saw an improvement in psychological conditions (depression and anxiety) with the other noting an improvement in her injured knee for a few days after a treatment.

However, it is so important to note that every person is unique and therefore it is not possible to know in advance how you will benefit from a treatment… but why not give it a try!? It’s the only real way you’ll know if reflexology can help you!