There’s a week for everything these days, isn’t there? This week (19th-25thSeptember), it’s the turn of World Reflexology Week. I’ve always been more than a little curious about reflexology, but have never got around to treating myself… until now, that is. On Monday, I managed to start my week off in a somewhat more relaxed style than usual, due to a fabulous invitation that I received from The Association of Reflexologists.
Now, I’m not much of a foot fanatic. In fact, I actually can’t stand touching the things. Moreso other people’s than my own, obviously! There’s no denying, however, that they are pretty practical and highly useful though so treating them right will naturally only reap rewards. This is why I jumped at the chance to give it a go.
So, what on earth is reflexology?
In a nutshell, it’s a form of massage which is used to relieve stress and treat (but not heal), illness. The theory is that different points on the feet and lower leg correspond with different areas of the body, and the massage stimulates thousands of nerve endings on your feet. This is said to kick-start your body into responding to biochemical changes, therefore promoting better health. Complimentary therapists also work on hands, face or ears, but you’ll have probably heard more about people having the therapy on their feet, as it’s the most popular.
What was it like?
Relaxing… oh, so relaxing. My session was organised with a lovely lady called Nicola, from Nicola Warren Reflexology in Beckenham, just a 20-minute walk from my house. The setting was very calming, and Nicola was more than welcoming. I was asked questions about my health and what I might hope to achieve from having a session. I was also asked if any aspects of my health were concerning me. “Well, since you mention it, since having chemo I’ve had a lot of aches and pains from being pre-menopausal (damn you cancer), as well as a sore hand that no one has managed to diagnose just yet. Other than that, not much at all at the moment”. Hurrah!
Reflexology is popular with those suffering from stress, anxiety, insomnia, sinus problems and many more symptoms. It is also very popular with pregnant ladies and those trying to conceive. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about trying it out when I was having treatment for breast cancer because I’ve since heard that it is a great option during chemo. Having had a session now, I can totally see how this would be the case.
After my initial consultation, I was told to sit back and relax and for the next 40-50 minutes or so ( I’m not going to lie, I lost all track of time), while Nicola worked her magic. I tried really hard not to fall asleep because I did that once in a sound therapy session and felt like I’d missed the all good stuff! Once it was all over (sad times), Nicola mentioned that even though I seemed very relaxed, my feet were telling me I was a little stressed, which most probably had a lot to do with it being the week before a festival I was working on, and she also felt tension in the ‘liver point’ on my foot – Most probably down to the fact that I’m partial to the occasional gin or two ;)
Is reflexology for you?
Why not!? I left Nicola feeling on top of the world! Seriously. It was a glorious day outside, and as I walked through the park to get home, I was beaming and feeling totally relaxed. In a very unlike me move, I even decided that work could wait a little longer, so I sat down for an extra twenty minutes and basked in the sunshine.
What did reflexology do for me?
Aside from total relaxation during the session, I also had the best night’s sleep I’d had in a long time. One thing that may (or may not if you’re a cynic) be linked to my time with Nicola, is that my hand pain left me for a whole week. It’s sadly back again now, after a long day of working outside in the cold over the weekend – I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence, but I hope to do more research to see if it was in fact reflexology that helped.
As the Association of Reflexologists say “Some people find it works for them – some don’t. The best way to find out is to try it!”
I’m certainly hoping to go back for more.
*Update – I have also just noticed that I didn’t have a hot flush (one of my chemo side effects) for 7 days!
Until next time! x