What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the study of reflexes. The most common is foot reflexology where practitioners trigger stimulation in one body part or organ to enable another part of the body to heal. It can also be performed on the hands or ears.

How does it work?

The body has the ability to heal itself. Illness, stress, injury or disease, shifts the body into a state of “imbalance”. During recovery, vital body systems can be blocked, preventing the body from functioning optimally. Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body’s natural balance and facilitate healing.

The application and the effect of reflexology can be unique to each individual, just like other therapies. Reflexologists have sensitive hands that are trained to detect tiny deposits and imbalances. By working on these points, your reflexologist can release these blockages.

Reflexology is one of the safest and least invasive alternative therapeutic practices available. The World Health Organization has said it is economical, safe, and effective.

Why would someone see a reflexologist?

Reflexology is different from other therapies that manipulate bones or muscle tissues, in that it works with the body reflex that is causing stress by working on a body part that is not in distress. Thus it may feel more gentle. Reflexology is non-invasive and it can benefit many people: babies, aged, or ill individuals – although the session length and pressure will vary. Also, you don’t have to remove your clothing and it treats the entire body!

What symptoms would be addressed by a reflexologist?

Reflexology is a whole-body treatment. Stimulation of the reflex points on the feet, hands, or ears is researched to help self-regulate the body and encourage the body to move the organ or structure and its associated energy towards balance or better function. As such, individuals may benefit from:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved relaxation
  • Decreased insomnia
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Released tension
  • Decreased pain
  • Improved hormonal function
  • Improved circulatory function
  • Improved digestive function
  • Enhanced wellness
  • Increased strength
  • Increased mobility

Who are the Reflexology Therapists here at Safe Harbour?

Therese Anderson

Reflexology/Healing Touch/Wellness Coach

What would an appointment look like?

Like seeing other therapists, a reflexologist will have you fill out an intake form to get acquainted with your overall health history. After describing reflexology, a goal will be established to address the health issue identified in the history. Then a client will sit on a massage table, fully clothed, propped up against a wedge with pillows and a blanket to ensure comfort during the session.

A session usually lasts 45-60 minutes and a protocol will be followed to gently stimulate and balance the whole body, starting with the right side. During this process, specific points that need further work are identified. These reflex points are stimulated using gentle to moderate finger pressure (using lotions) in a number of different application methods (finger walking, thumb walking, rotating, pivoting, etc.).

Who developed this approach?

Reflexology can be found in ancient Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose, and throat specialist, brought it to North America in 1913. He built upon the zone therapy theory, where the body is divided into 10 equal zones running along the length of the body with each zone associated with a toe and finger. He postulated that manipulating one zone could impact the functioning of the body as a whole. He used pressure on the feet in different zones to affect different parts of the body. Eunice Ingham, a massage therapist, mapped the body onto the surface of the feet.

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