Reflexology is foot massage, deriving from Chinese medicine. This approach connects different points on the feet with different areas of the body. Applying pressure to and stimulating those reflexes on the foot releases vital energy which may be blocked within the body, bringing release of mind and body tensions, while circulation and elimination are improved.
What to expect
You will be seated while both bare feet are massaged. You may talk or remain quiet as you wish.
A foot doctor at work: the male patient is seated on a bench and smoking a pipe.
Watercolour by Zhou Pei Qun c.1890 Source: Wellcome Collection
Many stress-related illnesses may be improved. You will achieve great relaxation and deeper breathing. Many of my clients subsequently become interested in massaging their own feet in order to maintain and balance their health
Reflexology may help with the following conditions
Reducing stress and anxiety
Improvng mood and general well-being
Clearing up sinus issues
Improving sleep patterns
Improving nerve functions
Eliminating the body’s toxins
Boosting energy levels
Some people cannot bear to have their feet touched
Some people cannot bear to have their feet touched according to reflexologist Christianne Heal. That, I assured her, was not my problem. Indeed I was looking forward to a gentle foot massage.
This, however, was not quite what happened. To my surprise some areas of my feet reacted with pain to her touch, while others were distinctly uncomfortable. Since she claimed to be using the same pressure over the whole of the foot, and then proceeded to link the areas of discomfort to the parts of my body I knew were my weakest I became increasingly impressed. She even pinpointed a vertebrae slightly out of alignment.
I had gone to see Christianne because she had written for Healthy Living about her work. Having trained with the International Institute of Reflexology she later spent four years in Italy working with an orthodox doctor. So far she has found no similarly open-minded GP in this country, so runs a private practice in Waterbeach near Cambridge and in Islington in north London.