Reflexology is a complementary therapy offered on many of Health Shield’s Health Cash Plans as part of the health and wellbeing benefit, but do you know what it is all about?
18th-24th September is Reflexology awareness week – so let’s take a closer look.
What is reflexology?
Based on the theory that feet are the window to the body, reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy that works with legs, hands, face and ears. Therapists do not claim to cure; they will simply assist. They enhance the natural healing mechanisms of your body by stimulating more than 7,000 nerve endings in one session.
Reflexology is a treatment process that restores the body’s natural balance, and you can normally feel quite relaxed after a treatment. However, you should note that a therapist will not heal you but will help your body repair itself for your whole wellbeing including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
There are many stresses in everyday life today, so taking time to calm your body is a must. The relief of stress is just one of the advantages of receiving reflexology treatment.
What will happen during an appointment?
Your chosen therapist will apply pressure to specific points on your feet that relate to where you may be suffering issues.
There are 10 zones to the body and different areas of the feet relate to each zone. When this pressure is applied, a message is sent to your central nervous system and an overall relaxation sensation happens which helps organs function at their best.
It is generally recommended that you should receive treatment once a week for 5 weeks at any one time.
How will reflexology help me?
Aside from relaxation and stress management, reflexology can have a number of other benefits too, including:
- Cancer – reflexology is regularly used on those suffering with cancer. It is known to reduce symptoms caused by chemotherapy including nausea, pain, constipation and diarrhoea. It can also help with sleep and anxiety.
- Arthritis – reflexology has also been used to treat for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, with patients reportedly feeling up to 40% less pain.
- Hypertension – a common risk of heart disease, reflexology is thought to assist with the reduction of hypertension.
- Anxiety and depression – the two most common mental health problems. The relaxation side of reflexology can extend to the mind to calm and aid any signs of depression and anxiety.
- Multiple sclerosis – this is a disease of the nervous system and it’s suggested that reflexology decreases the fatigue felt with multiple sclerosis, and that it may reduce the tingling sensations experienced.
- Circulation – receiving foot reflexology is known to improve your blood circulation to vital organs. This in turn can result in quicker healing and regrowth of any damaged cells.
- It can also be useful during pregnancy and even reduce the risks of post-natal depression.
If, however, you suffer with varicose veins, ingrown toenails, bruises, cuts, foot fractures, athlete’s foot or a foot sore then you should avoid receiving reflexology treatment.
Reflexology has an ability to stimulate nerve functions that help your body increase your energy levels, circulation, central nervous system, prevent migraines, clear urinary infections, sleep disorders and depression.
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, whether that’s through work or recreational reasons, you are putting your feet under a lot of pressure and this can cause a lot of stress throughout the rest of your body.
Many Health Shield members have access to the health and wellbeing benefit which covers 21 complementary therapies, including reflexology. To check if you are covered please refer to the Members’ Area and view your plan. Always refer to the accepted qualifications to check your practitioner is covered before booking your appointment.