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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the ancient art and science of promoting whole body therapy via the feet. Thought of by some as simply foot massage, it is in fact a great deal more than that although foot massage does come into it and is, on its own, beneficial and most enjoyable.

Known originally as Zonal Therapy, Reflexology is based upon the theory that the whole body is mapped out onto the feet. Although this may sound strange, its certainly not a new concept. More than 5000 years ago Indians and Chinese were using a similar technique and history suggests that the skill goes back still further to ancient Egypt and even beyond. Pictographs found in the tomb of an Egyptian physician dating back to 2,400 BC show a man being treated with a form of Reflexology.

It was Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat specialist who is largely responsible for popularising the therapy in the modern Western world and he coined the term Zonal Therapy in 1902. Fitzgerald first realised the importance of pressure on parts of the body when watching how pain could be relieved during surgical operations through pressure being applied to certain areas of the body.

His fellow American, Eunice Ingham was mainly responsible for the further research and development concentrating entirely upon the reflex zones in the feet and for the introduction of present day Reflexology.

Reflexologists are trained in the discipline of body zone mapping and that different areas of the feet and toes correspond with different body systems and organs - for example the big toe relates to the head and brain whereas the rest of the toes represent sinuses and the lungs are represented by an area across the ball of the foot. By applying alternating pressure to the relevant areas of the foot, the Reflexologist can relieve tension and blockages in the energy flow in the corresponding body area or zone.

The therapy is now widely respected and increasingly being used alongside orthodox medicine in hospitals as well as in general practice. In a more general way it is acknowledged as stimulating blood circulation and the action of the lymphatic system, increasing energy and assisting with the elimination of toxins.

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How is a Reflexology session conducted?

After a detailed consultation and assessment. The client removes all footwear and sits in a comfortable chair or lies on a couch. The practitioner works on both feet in turn using massage and application of gentle alternating pressure.

Reflexology can also be carried out on the hands instead of the feet, particularly in cases where the client has painful feet due to injury, operations or illness.

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How many Reflexology sessions will be needed?

Regular treatments are recommended, usually weekly or fortnightly, for around 5 or 6 sessions with occasional maintenance treatments being useful.

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What is the cost of Reflexology treatment?

Treatments cost £35 and sessions last 1hour.

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