Reflexology is a complementary therapy that involves the application of pressure to specific points, known as reflexes, on the feet and hands to encourage the body to heal from within. The therapy is based on the principle that the feet and hands contain 'mini-maps' of the whole body and that by applying pressure using the fingers or thumbs a reflexologist can have a positive effect on the corresponding parts of the body.
Reflexology is a holistic therapy and treats the person as a whole rather than just focusing on a set of symptoms. Holistic therapies take the emotional and spiritual being into account as well as the physical.
Reflexology is so much more than a simple foot rub or hand massage - it is a powerful therapy which has been shown to have a very positive effect on health and well being.
Reflexology revitalises energy throughout the body by relaxing and opening up energy pathways.
Here are just some of the conditions that benefit from Reflexology:
* Back Problems
* Blood Pressure
* Bowel Disorders
* Frozen Shoulder
* Gynecological Disorders
* Hay Fever
* Knee Problems
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Muscle Tension
* Neck Problems
* PMS/Hormonal Problems
* Respiratory Problems
* Stress Disorders
* Thyroid Imbalance
Maternity Reflexology is non invasive and suitable at any time in pregnancy, during the 1st trimester it is beneficial for severe morning sickness, anxiety and headaches.
In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, Maternity Reflexology treatments can help with most ailments and discomforts brought about by your pregnancy (sciatica, constipation, heartburn, back pain, anxiety etc). Regular maternity reflexology treatments during pregnancy can relax you and prepare your body for labour and birth.
Maternity Reflexology is recommended from at any time but is particularly beneficial on a weekly basis from 30-32 weeks as this will encourage a natural labour.
LABOUR - WHAT CAN REFLEXOLOGY DO?
Research shows that women who have received regular reflexology treatments throughout their pregnancy will tend to:
Have more natural, unassisted births
Have comparatively shorter labours
Have faster recovery after surgery
From 37 weeks on, reflexology treatments are intensified in order to encourage the production of hormones and the activation of the processes of labour and thus bring on the natural onset of labour.
Please be aware that one isolated reflexology treatment might not in itself help trigger labour. It is advised to plan pre labour treatments if your intention is to induce natural labour. Weekly or fortnightly treatments are recommened from 30 weeks (if fortnightly this should be increased to weekly from week 37)
After week 39, two treatments a week might be needed. After 40 weeks, you may be advised to have a treatment every 2 or 3 days, even daily treatments if you so wish.
Reflexology can help with post-natal recovery by re-balancing your body's hormones and help with the production of prolactin that helps initiate and maintain the production of breast milk. It can also help strengthen the spine which is compressed during pregnancy. Most importantly it can relax you in the early weeks of a new baby.
Many couples can face fertility problems which may be as a result of ovulation problems, sperm quality or sperm count, clotting disorders and many, many more. Sometimes there doesn’t appear to be a reason at all.
Getting pregnant depends on many psychological and physical factors as well as lifestyle. Being relaxed is important because stress is a major block to becoming pregnant, more people get pregnant during holidays/vacations due to the lack of stress.
After a long period of trying to concieve, couples may be referred to a fertility specialist and undergo investigations and possible treatment to help them conceive.
Reflexology may be immensely beneficial to those undergoing assisted fertility treatment because it is so relaxing, balancing and calming.For couples under the care of a speacialist it is recommended that you discuss the possiblity of reflexology before booking a session.
How Can Reflexology Assist In Conception?
Reflexology can help with conception in many ways for both partners. Although it is more common for women to seek alternative therapies, men can benefit too!
Reflexology can help prepare a healthy, balanced environment for pregnancy
Reflexology can encourage ovulation
Reflexology can help reduce yours and your partner's stress levels
Reflexology can contribute to the restoration of hormonal balance
Reflexology can encourage healthy sperm production
The Association of Reflexologists report on their website that “… on average about 50% of clients seeking help through Reflexology for infertility, find themselves pregnant within 6 months of commencing treatment.”(www.aor.org.uk).
Reflexology During Assisted Conception
The process of going through assisted conception can also cause emotional and physical problems, which in turn do not allow the body to be in the optimum state for a successful procedure. The predominant issues are physical stress on the body from synthetic drugs, emotional stress and exhaustion from the whole process and the desire to conceive. The balancing and calming qualities of fertility reflexology help to complement the medical procedures.
It is recommended that reflexology and other lifestyle changes such as nutrition are started three months prior to commencing any medical procedures to reduces stress and to give your body the best opportunity to produce good quality eggs.
Reflexology can be very beneficial at most stages of the process which is explained below.
The process of assisted conception usually starts with drugs to regulate the hormonal system where the reproductive system is shut down. Reflexology can help with detoxing in this period and may help with reducing some of the side effects.
The next stage is the stimulating phase to ripen follicles for egg collection. I usually recommend a session within 2 days of egg collection as this is a really important time to reduce the stress hormone cortisone. Cortisone does not support a hospitable womb environment for implantation, so it’s important to be as healthy and relaxed as possible prior to the implantation.
At the stage of implantation, reflexology is usually stopped, but can be continued to help with stress reduction, leaving out the uterus and associated reflexes.