Reflexology. Never had it before, well actually I lie, I did once have a treatment at work many years ago basically lying on a bed in the stationery cupboard, on one of those ‘wellness in the workplace’ drives, but it was all a bit odd. So when the Association of Reflexologists got in touch with me asking me if I’d like to try out a treatment with a local therapist to find out more, I was definitely game. As a fan of acupuncture, I was definitely interested to understand more about this complementary therapy and especially if they were offering to come to my own front-room to explain more. Winner.
If you’re considering reflexology and want to find a therapist local to you, visit the Association of Reflexologists website, which as well as having lots of useful info also has a ‘find a reflexologist’ section where you can put in your postcode and discover a well trained and insured reflexologist in your area. I was paired up with a lovely local therapist called Natalie, who runs her own freelance reflexology business – Treat Your Sole – in Richmond (Surrey) and the surrounding area.
Natalie arrived at my house on a Wednesday evening at 8pm, the kids were still awake but luckily the husband had just arrived home, so he was dispatched upstairs with them for dealing with bedtime, while the lovely Natalie prepped things in my lounge. This involved her putting a very comfortable reclining chair in the middle of the room, popping on some relaxing music and inviting me to take a seat and put my feet up on a comfy pillow that she then rested on her lap.
We had an initial chat and I filled in a form about myself, so she could understand any health issues or concerns I might have – no major ones essentially, but just the usual… tiredness, feeling a bit stressed out… as well as ongoing niggling issues I have with hip, leg, back pain on my left side (just started seeing a chiropractor about those). Anyway, once that was all discussed, Natalie set about explaining more about reflexology, the philosophy of it and her own journey with this fascinating alternative therapy.
Natalie first came to reflexology as a child/young adult, when she suffered particularly badly with eczema and allergies. Her mother was already a great fan of reflexology and so she brought Natalie to a therapist to see if it could help and it did. Over time, it totally helped her to clear up and manage the skin problems she was suffering and she was so impressed by the impact it had, she decided a little later in life to pursue the reflexology path herself and eventually trained and qualified under the prestigious London School of Reflexology in Regent’s Park. Natalie then did further training at the London School of Reflexology to specialise in fertility and maternity reflexology and has a diploma in Pre-conceptual, Pregnancy and Post-Natal Care. You can read more about that here and here.
So, back to my treatment, which lasted about an hour and a quarter in total. Reflexology essentially is a technique of applying a light and gentle pressure to certain reflex points and areas on the feet and the pressure applied aims to stimulate the body’s own healing processes and help a person’s body regain balance and well-being. To begin with, I felt a bit self-conscious and apprehensive, I also suffer from particularly ticklish feet so wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out! But, Natalie was great at helping me feel at ease and surprisingly, the way she applied pressure to my feet, was neither ticklish nor painful (although certainly was firm in places!) and I genuinely felt able to relax.
After ten minutes I was eyes shut and more or less drifting away and by the end, I certainly felt calm and relaxed. Natalie highlighted a few things she’d picked up along the treatment, particularly that my adrenal glands were a little inflamed, my ovaries a little congested (!) and she also noticed the tightness and stress I’ve been feeling in my left-side with neck/hip/joint pains. It was really fascinating.
I certainly felt wonderful, if a little sleepy, after the treatment and would definitely like to have further sessions in the future, for general wellbeing, but after hearing Natalie talk about her work in the fertility/maternity area that’s what really amazed me. I think if you are trying to conceive, then definitely consider reflexology, it was incredible to hear about the number of women that Natalie has helped and who, after a series of treatments (you’d definitely need more than one of course), have gone on to fall pregnant.
But of course, even if getting pregnant isn’t the goal, consider reflexology for general health and wellbeing – apparently Natalie has a client who’s an actor in LA and whenever he’s in town he wants treatment every day! She has advised this is a little excessive!
World Reflexology Week will take place this year from the 18th-24th September, so if you’d like to treat yourself to a session then visit the Association of Reflexologists to find out more and find a therapist: www.aor.org.uk Prices vary, but to give you a guide – an introductory session with Natalie costs £65 and follow on treatments for general reflexology are £60, fertility and maternity reflexology are £65.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary reflexology session with therapist Natalie from Treat Your Sole in exchange for writing this review, but all comments and opinions are honest and my own.