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Reflexology with Philip. Having studied Complementary Therapies full time for 5 years and specialising in Reflexology at Edinburgh Napier University where he gained his BA Honours Degree in Complementary Healthcare (Specialising in Refflexology), Philip knows the benefits Reflexology can offer on many levels. From pain management to stress relief, Reflexology is an effective treatment for many things.

 

Reflexology tends to be set in a collective with other therapies and then this collective is known as CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine), people look at this collective as the same when in fact each therapy offers different benefits to different people. Reflexology offers away of accessing the body through the feet allowing a level of privacy and dignity to be maintained. Reflexology is both gentle and powerful in supporting the body’s natural wellness and immune system. The body was designed to function in a specific way, and this is what Reflexology focuses on.

 

Many people seem to think it is a sore therapy, but this is due to bad experiences. Reflexology can be sore if there is an area that is out of balance, but the therapist should alter their technique so it is not too uncomfortable for the client. If the whole treatment is sore and the therapist is applying deep pressure this could cause imbalances. If in any doubt check the Reflexologists education background, also if they are registered with a governing body like the Association of Reflexologists. In all it should be an enjoyable treatment, here are some reactions you may feel after a treatment.

 

Typical reactions following a Reflexology treatment

 

(Many clients report feeling the following reactions after treatment)

 

More frequent desire to pass water as the kidneys react to secrete more urine.

Bowel activity may increase.

Mucous membranes of the nose, throat and lungs increase their secretion (coughing may increase).

Skin rashes may be aggravated in cases where medication has suppressed symptoms and perspiration may occur.

Sleep patterns may change, usually deeper sleep and sometimes reports of difficulty sleeping.

Flu-like symptoms.

Emotional response

All of these factors are to be regarded as positive

 

 

 

Research

 

In a case report Khan et al (2006) looked at the benefits reflexology could offer a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, would it improve their quality of life and reduce the pain? The study was too small to clarify the outcome as there was only one participant, although for the individual it was positive as they reported that a foot pain was reduced following the reflexology treatments. In an preliminary study by Otter et al (2010) looking at the effects of reflexology in reducing fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, it found that reflexology did aid the reduction of fatigue. This study although small, was blinded with half the participants receiving foot massage in place of the reflexology treatment.  These participants did not show the same improvement and did highlight the need for a larger study (Otter et al 2010). In a study carried out by Atkins and Harris (2008) looking at reflexology as a stress management tool, they found that reflexology was effective in the improvement of workers health and well-being. It noted that all four participants reported improvements in managing their stress levels (Atkins and Harris, 2008). This study used a range of outcome measures including MYMOP, yet again this was a small study and although none of them persuade the reader of their effectiveness it makes a case a  for further investigation.