Frequently Asked Questions
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is both a science and an art of ancient origin. Modern Reflexology is based on the principle that our organs and organ systems are mirrored on the feet, hands and ears and reflect the body anatomically. These micro maps enable treatment of the body holistically through reflex points located on the feet, hands and ears.
Over many years, Traditional Reflexology has seen a strong resurgence in the western world and is now well known for its positive therapeutic results.
What is the background of Reflexology?
The modality was first noted in the 19th century by western historians and archaeologists when they discovered hieroglyphics in Egypt dating back some 5,000 years which illustrated patients being treated on their feet. Such was their curiosity of this illustration and their dedication as archaeologists that they carried out appropriate research to interpret their meaning. Their research revealed that this procedure bore a strong resemblance to what we know today as Modern Reflexology.
How does Reflexology contribute to us today?
In the early 1900s Zone Therapy was introduced to the western world by Dr. William Fitzgerald, a pioneer in the field. He recognized that points located on the feet and hands were connected to corresponding organs of the body within the same zone.
By the 1930s Eunice Ingham known as the ‘Mother of Modern Reflexology’ identified specific points on the feet which stimulated parts of the body.
Fast forward to the 21st century where it is now clear that Reflexology on the feet, hands, ears and face is well established and is being practised in most countries around the world. The modality is well rooted in Jamaica where many Certified Professional Reflexologists or CPRs have established practices and are being sought out by clients who desire this non-invasive therapy.
What many people do not know, however, is that there are several types of Reflexology which have been developed in the last couple of decades. Dedicated Reflexologists who have treated the profession as a research tool as well as a practice observed that their clients responded positively to variations of Traditional Reflexology.
What are other immediate benefits of Reflexology?
- Reduces stress and induces deep relaxation
- Improves circulation
- Cleanses the body of toxins and impurities
- Balances the eight systems of the body
- Creates a state of homeostasis
- Revitalizes energy
- Is preventative health care
- Stimulates creativity and productivity
- Nurtures relationships
- Very rewarding to the practitioner
What are the types of Reflexology therapies practised?
Developed by Moss Arnold from Australia, Chi Reflexology is an extremely powerful method of Reflexology which incorporates Traditional Chinese Medicine and which involves meridians and linkage work. Meridians are energy pathways in the body which can be accessed by applying pressure to specific areas on the feet which link organ systems. This approach has the benefit of increasing the effectiveness of a treatment to bring about a state of “homeostasis” or balance to the body.
His approach uses a Balance Sequence which involves all the organ meridians which is effective in treating a range of complaints.
Moss Arnold came to Jamaica and taught his method 2003 – 2005 certifying our CPRs in his method. He also was a guest Presenter at the 2003 International Council of Reflexologists (ICR) Conference held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. His diploma is accepted around the world and by health departments in Australia.
Lynne Booth is an RN & CPR living and working in the UK, who developed VRT or Vertical Reflexology Therapy . She runs a home for the elderly in Bristol, England. VRT is a form of reflexology where the hands or feet are worked in a weight bearing position for short periods, providing an intensive level of treatment. Lynne has also developed a series of special techniques used on a client when lying in a conventional position. These involve new moves and synergistic work where hands and feet are worked together.
It was here that she discovered VRT or Vertical Reflexology Therapy. One of the resident’s of the home came to her with a chronic pain in the hip and asked her for a treatment. She explained that she was in the middle of dealing with another resident hence was unable to attend to the problem immediately. The person was in such pain that she insisted on being treated right away. In the essence of time, Lyn asked her to stand up and proceeded to carry out a treatment with her client in the vertical position. This involved tapping the instep (spine reflex), working the calf area as well as the dorsal (top) aspect of the feet. The treatment took about 15 minutes. The member returned the following day and reported that the pain had completely disappeared. This astounding result motivated Lyn to continue researching administering vertical reflexology treatments. Some two decades on, VRT is well established in the UK and practiced worldwide. It is particularly helpful with orthopedic problems, addictions and insomnia. Today, Lyn travels the world teaching VRT and has taught her course here in Jamaica.
Pauline Wills, Co-Founder of the Oracle School of Colour based in London carried out a course in Colour Reflexology in Jamaica. In principal, this method of Reflexology involves the integration of colour in a Traditional Reflexology treatment. As is the case in all types of Reflexology, the redistribution of the body’s energy for purposes of balance plays an important role in the healing process. Research has shown that each colour in the colour spectrum has an unique vibration which resonates when absorbed by us. A good example of this is the colour blue – when we look at sky blue, we feel very calm and peaceful. On the other hand, when we look at a fire engine red, we feel energized and active.
In this way, it has been observed that by applying the colour blue in a treatment to a client who suffers with headaches can bring about relief. Similarly, using the colour yellow has helped persons suffering from arthritic conditions.
As bringing about balance is the fundamental basis of all Reflexology, in the case of Colour Reflexology, it is important to use the same method. To achieve balance, it is essential that the trained Colour CPR determines the client’s general colour need and balance this with the complimentary colour e.g. general colour is Blue – complementary colour is Orange.
A general colour is determined by applying a number of methods for example by dowsing or by applying keniesiology. A more detailed colour analysis can be done which hones in on specific complaints.
What are some contraindications or precautions that must be adhered to before doing a treatment?
Although Reflexology is a safe, non-invasive therapy there are persons who should not have a reflexology treatment.
Contraindications exist in order to prevent the possibility of the Reflexology treatment causing deterioration of the condition itself.
Major Contraindications are:
- Blood clot
Other Contraindications are:
- Serious medical conditions
- Directly after surgery
- Pregnancy (in the 1st trimester)
- Infectious and contagious diseases
- Abnormal temperature
- After a heavy meal
MODERN REFLEXOLOGY – ZONING IN ON THERAPEUTIC CHOICES
Contributed By: Nicola Crosswell-Mair,
Certified Professional Reflexologist
CPR (Instructor & Practitioner)