The Art of Reflexology

Reflexologists work on the principle that working on various parts of the body can have a beneficial effect your wellbeing.

The body has the ability to heal itself, but following illness, stress, injury or disease it becomes imbalanced. This can lead to vital energy pathways becoming blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively.

A reflexologist will use hands to apply gentle pressure to the feet. These hands will detect tiny crystallised deposits and imbalances in the feet. It will also help to release the blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the whole body, so tensions are eased, circulation and elimination is improved, and the body's natural equilibrium is restored and maintained, which encourages healing.
It can help to alleviate pain and discomfort from ailments such as migraines, backache, sinus congestion, arthritis, monthly periods, constipation and cold and flu symptoms, as well as general stress and tension that may be caused throughout the day.
This gentle therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse.

Step by step, sole by sole

What the treatment involves

The treatment is non-invasive and non-obtrusive. It involves working only on hands or feet, making this one of the best introductions to complimentary body treatments, as you only have to remove your shoes and socks.
When consulting a reflexologist, a 20-30 minute consultation will be given. You will be able to relax in a specially designed chair/couch and made as comfortable as possible.The treatment takes about an hour.

Depending on the practitioner giving you the treatment, you may be encouraged to let them know of any changes felt in the feet, such as increased pressure or slight pain. This gives the therapist an idea of where the imbalances in the body seem to be.
During the treatment, you may experience some changes in yourself, such as deep relaxation, loss of tension or pain or even shedding a few tears through a release of emotions. After the treatment, you may encounter a healing crisis or cleansing process such as the nose running, going to the toilet more often, sweating, or a sensation of exhaustion or stimulation.

The charts impression

Although reflexology is most associated with the feet, there are many other areas on the body that may also enable us to either make a diagnosis or allow a similar healing effect totake place. The most well-known being the hands, but it can also include the ears, tongue, scalp, face and eyes.

A walk through the past

The ancient healing art of reflexology has been known to man for many thousands of years. It was thought to have first been practised by the early Chinese, Indian and Egyptian nations.
In 1913, American ear, nose and throat surgeon William Fitzgerald introduced Reflex Zone Therapy to the West. He noted that pressure on specific parts of the body, could have an anaesthetising effect on another related area.
Developing this theory, he divided the body into equal vertical zones, ending in fingers and toes. He concluded that pressure on one part of a zone could affect everything else within that zone. Thus, reflex areas on the feet are linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
In the 1930s, Eunice Ingham, a therapist further developed and refined the zone theory into what is now known as foot reflexology. She observed that tension or congestion in any part of the foot mirrored tension in a corresponding part of the body. Thus, when you treat the big toes, there is a related effect in the head and treating the whole foot can have a relaxing and healing effect on the whole body.

Remedies and care of your feet

Use nail varnish remover to clean an area about the size of a 50p around the verruca. Then paint clear nail varnish over the area and cover with a plaster. Repeat two to three times a day. After two or three days the verruca will be suffocated and you can pull it out, roots and all. Ensure that you keep the area clean until it's completely healed.

Hard callous
Grind five or six aspirin tablets into a powder and mix into a paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and water. Apply this to the callous and then stick the foot in a plastic bag and wrap a warm towel around it for 20 minutes. Rub callous with a pumice stone and rinse. Use for extremely stubborn hard skin.

Water retention
Take a handful of washing soda crystals and crush to the consistency of coarse salt. Use natural cloth such as a linen or cotton handkerchief and fold around the crushed crystals to create a packet 2" square. After, protect any open cuts with an application of Vaseline. Place packet against the lower half of the swelling and tie loosely in place. Wrap in a towel to absorb the moisture and leave overnight. Repeat three times. (WARNING: soda is caustic, not to be placed directly on skin).

The addition of one cup of Epsom salts to bath water is a good preventative measure against the calcification on joints.

Black nails and bruises
Cover any cuts with Vaseline to prevent stinging. Soak a flannel in cider vinegar, place on the injury and wrap all in cling film. You can leave this on for a while and can be topped up with vinegar if desired. This is good for deep-seated bruises.

Putting your best foot forward

Footprints in the sand
Throughout the ages, man has found different means of fortune telling and discovering more about themselves, from the use of tarot cards and crystal balls to newspaper and magazine astrology columns.

Here we introduce another.

Toe and foot reading
This is a revival of an ancient art. By studying the size and shape of your feet, the way the toes spread or overlap one another, the condition of the nails, even the way we hold our feet as we stand or lay in bed for the night, it's possible to pick up on our character and personality traits and how we liaise with friends, family and work. Our feet resemble our bodies in many ways, physically, emotionally and spiritually, and the way we walk reveals how we walk through life in general.

Leaving footprints in the sand
This fascinating talk takes us on a journey through our past and present and unravels the intricacies of the 26 bones, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments that will allow us to step into an extraordinary world that only our feet can reveal.
Find out whether or not you have an Aphrodite Appeal, a power toe with an artistic bent or whether you look to the future or dwell in the past.

Let your feet do the talking
For more information like this, please be sure to check out our Expert Zone, which is packed with hints and tips on everything from beauty to health.

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