Reflexology – Emma Finch
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary therapy which focuses on a person from a holistic (whole) perspective. A reflexologist should not treat specific conditions, nor diagnose or prescribe, instead they will take into account any presented condition as well as such things as diet, lifestyle, emotional and medical history, and exercise. A consultation will be carried out at the first session to discuss these elements.
Reflexology methods are based on the principle that certain points or ‘reflexes’ in our feet and hands correspond with each and every part of our body. For example our big toes represent our head, the inner edge of each foot from big toe to heel represents our spine, etc.. Reflexologists will use differing pressures on specific reflex points with their hands, helping the body regain its natural balance, which the body continually strives to attain in order to feel ‘well’.
What is it good for?
Reflexology often helps relieve stress and tension, aids sleep, improves mood and enhances general well-being. If we are stressed or tense, the body can get stuck in ‘fight/flight’ mode, which over time can be very tiring for the body, often leaving us vulnerable and open to ailments or disease. By working specific reflexes, reflexology promotes good circulation of the blood and lymph systems, helps unblock and improve nerve impulses, and encourages the body to function well. Most importantly, reflexology gives us time and space to be heard.
Who is it good for?
Old, young, and anyone in between can receive reflexology, but there are a few exceptions, for example, those suffering from deep vein thrombosis. If you have any concerns please check with your GP, and advise your reflexologist when booking your appointment.
It is important to bear in mind that we are all unique and as such we will all react slightly differently to receiving reflexology. In some instances conditions may worsen before they improve. Lifestyle changes may also need to be made to increase ones chances of improvement.
A little History:
This wall painting details hand and foot therapy dating back to approximately 2330BC and was found in Ankhmahor, the tomb of a regarded Egyptian physician. The hieroglyphs translate: ‘Don’t hurt me.’ To which the practitioner replies, ‘I shall act so you praise me.’ There are recordings of other foot therapies dating back further than this in China and India, but reflexology as we typically know it in the west today was developed in the 1930’s by a woman called Eunice Ingham, from a reflex technique called Zone Therapy.
Zone Therapy (ZT) dates back to the 16th century, a method which considers the body in ten longitudinal zones. In 1893 Sir Henry Head developed earlier ZT research, proving direct relationship between pressure applied to skin and internal organs. It wasn’t then until around 1915 that William Fitzgerald put ZT on the western map. Fitzgerald writes of relieving pain using various pressure devices, such as rubber bands and combs, on parts of the body! It is said, that he attended a dinner party where a singer professed to having voice problems. Upon examining her foot he discovered she had calluses on parts of her big toes. He applied some pressure on the corresponding zone on her hands, and her voice was fixed!
Eunice took Fitzgerald’s rudimentary findings, worked tirelessly and under much opposition alongside physicians, and developed a map of the foot which outlined specific reflexes and how they relate to the body. This method has now been canonised in to what we know now as the Ingham Method. Nearly all variations of reflexology we know today stem from Eunice’s commitment, strong beliefs, and exacting research, which continued well in to her 80’s.
Where can I learn more about Reflexology:
Established in 1984, the AOR is the foremost independent professional body for reflexologists in the UK. Reflexologists must adhere to strict standards, demonstrate a notable level of proficiency, and continually develop their skills and knowledge in order to be accepted as members and have the right to use MAR after their name.
International Institute of Reflexology (UK)
The International Institute of Reflexology (IIR) is the only reflexology school licensed to teach the Original Ingham Method® of Reflexology. It is the combined work of the late Eunice Ingham and her nephew Dwight C. Byers, the world’s leading authority on Foot Reflexology.
Who to contact:
Emma Finch IIR MAR – Meaningful Soles – Intuitive Reflexology in Devon & Somerset
m: 07957 161748
I qualified as an ‘Ingham Method’ practitioner with the International Institute of Reflexology in 2012. In June 2013 I completed a postgraduate course in ‘Precision Reflexology’, a light touch approach focusing on the subtle energy flowing through our bodies, often quite noticeable when we feel tense, lethargic, or ill, when we/the energy gets ‘stuck’ in some way. In October 2013 I completed an introductory course in Advanced Reflexology Techniques, ‘ART’, and in January 2014 successfully completed a further intensive two day ‘ART’ postgraduate workshop. Following the clinical approach of an ‘ART’ based treatment, clients may well feel energised, vibrant, relaxed or even pleasantly sedated afterwards. In contrast to the Precision reflexology, ART techniques are strong and aim to restore the vitality of reflexes to an optimum level, either energising or quietening them through stimulation, helping the body to restore its natural balance, leading us to well-being.
Now in my forties, I’m very interested in people and how the body and mind influence each other. Having utilised various body therapies myself for many years, and found them very beneficial, particularly after the death of my father in 2002, and through my own cancer journey from 2007-2009, I finally decided to study reflexology in 2011 as a way of being able to connect with others and supporting them on their own healing journeys.
I work from the Healthy Living Centre by appointment. Please feel free to call me for an informal chat or to book.