What is a reflexology treatment like?
A typical reflexology treatment takes about 50 minutes, although the first treatment may take up to 75 minutes to allow for consultation and treatment planning. If you have a serious illness it may be better to have shorter but more frequent sessions. At your first session Shirley will go through your medical history with you and discuss any current problems with your health. Please mention everything even if it seems quite minor to you. She will need to know what medications you are taking, so please make a list of these, or bring them with you. A bespoke treatment plan will be made just for you to encompass treatment for all your health problems. You will not need to remove your clothes except for your shoes and socks/tights. Please come to your treatment with clean, freshly-washed feet. If your feet have to be washed before the treatment there may be an extra charge, it will reduce the treatment time, and there may not be any facilities available for washing feet. You will be asked to sit in a reclining chair. Shirley will then examine your feet for any hard skin, corns and callouses, temperature and colour, bunions and arches, and toe nail condition. If you have a foot infection it is best to speak to Shirley before booking the appointment as your reflexology may have to be postponed until the condition has been treated. Your treatment will commence with some relaxation techniques. The treatment involves using finger and thumb techniques to put pressure on reflex points on your feet. Some of these reflexes will be tender. Shirley will spend extra time on tender reflexes hopefully to work out the tenderness, so there may be some discomfort. You may ask Shirley at any time to reduce her pressure to ensure that the treatment stays in your comfort zone. The tenderness sends a signal to the brain to kick-start your body into healing mode. ‘Reflexology is not massage, it is a specific pressure most commonly applied to the foot. The thumb-walking motion across the reflexes located on the foot provides a ‘good hurt’ with firm pressure.’ Gwen Wyatt, PhD, RN, Professor, College of Nursing, Michigan State University. Your treatment will finish with some more relaxation techniques.
After your treatment you will feel extremely relaxed. Shirley will ask you to drink plenty of water for the rest of the day to help to eliminate released toxins. It is best to avoid alcohol and too much caffeine also. Occasionally after reflexology it is possible to experience a ‘healing crisis’. This means that your symptoms may get worse. This is actually a good sign that the treatment is working and it is usually short-lived. It mostly happens after the first treatment when the body is trying to eliminate more toxins than it can deal with. It is a reaction to previously sequestered toxins being systemically released. Such poisons can be stored in all kinds of tissues, primarily muscle, fascia and adipose. During reflexology these poisons are mobilised out of the holding body tissue into the bloodstream. This sudden increase in blood toxicity causes a toxicity reaction, until the body is able to effectively process and eliminate the poisons. While not a pleasant experience, a healing crisis signifies that a cleansing and purifying process is underway. If you experience this kind of reaction don’t worry it won’t last long but please contact Shirley if you are anxious about it.
The length and frequency of your treatments will depend on your health problems. To get well it may be better to have frequent short treatments once or twice a week, but for maintenance of good health a 50 minute treatment once a month may be sufficient. This is individual and will be discussed at your first treatment. You do not have to sign up to a series of treatments. Some people notice the effects of their reflexology immediately, but for others the effects may not be felt until they have had a few treatments.