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Reflexology – Ancient Healing to Help Combat the Stresses of The Modern World

By Louise Bates, Holistic Therapist, Heathcote Health & Beauty


As a Holistic Therapist, whenever I treat clients, I understand the importance of looking at the whole person and the mind, body and spirit connection.  This ‘holistic’ approach to healing has been developed over thousands of years and continues to be used today.  A wonderful holistic therapy that my clients absolutely love is ‘reflexology’. 


Reflexology is an ancient therapy with its roots in several countries and cultures, including Egypt, China, Africa and North America.  In fact, the first documented medical reference to reflexology was found in an ancient Egyptian wall carving from around 2300 BC.


So what exactly is reflexology and how can this therapy help us in healing? 


Reflexology is a healing art that uses acupressure and massage on the feet, hands or ears to promote relaxation, alleviate pain, treat illness and to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself.  Reflexology utilises ‘reflex points’ on the hands, feet and ears that correspond to the structure and function of each part of the body.  Applying pressure to these reflexes using gentle pressure influences the state of the body in many ways; our feet and hands are primarily used because they contain over half of all the bones in our bodies, as well as 7,200 nerve endings and 107 ligaments.


Modern reflexology is based upon the understanding that good health depends on the circulation of ‘vital energies’, known as Qi (Chi) or Prana.  It is understood that vital energy runs throughout the body in a system of invisible, vertical channels called ‘meridians’.  Achieving the proper flow of this vital energy helps promote good health.  It’s believed that an imbalance or the blocked flow of vital energy can be one of the main causes of disease.


By applying gentle acupressure or massage to a meridian line and manipulating reflex points in the feet, hands or ears, I can affect the movement of a client’s vital energy by helping the body’s energy circulate effectively without blockages, stagnation or energy loss. Yet, unlike acupuncture, reflexology is non-invasive.


Reflexology is a complementary therapy - a deeply-relaxing treatment that works on many levels that can be taken alongside orthodox medicine, although you do not have to be unwell to benefit from this amazing treatment.


The massage is firm to stimulate the circulation and it does not tickle, as some people may think.  The massage stimulates the lymphatic system which helps to rid the body of toxins. It also helps calm the mind and this in turn relaxes the muscles and takes the body into a deep state of relaxation, restoring the body to a healthier state and so improving overall well-being.  It’s so relaxing that many of my clients have in fact fallen asleep during a treatment! 


Reflexology is not a cure for any health condition, although regular treatments do seem to help to alleviate the symptoms of ongoing problems such as Sciatica, menstrual problems, stress related disorders, arthritis, sports injuries - in fact the list is endless. Because it helps to restore balance back into the body, the body becomes better equipped to cope with most health conditions.


Other benefits of reflexology include reduced stress, increased energy levels, the release of endorphins (the body’s ‘feel good’ hormones) which can provide pain relief, an improved immune system and a sense that the whole body is better balanced and in harmony.


Reflexology is a very gentle treatment and it’s suitable for anybody from the very young to the elderly.  To ensure the clients’ well-being, all treatments begin with a consultation which enables me to make sure that reflexology is the right course of treatment for that specific client.  In some cases, Doctor’s permission may be required before treatments can commence, for example, for those suffering from diabetes.


The treatment usually takes about hour and a half, including the initial consultation, 60 minute massage and a little time to recover afterwards.  It’s important that clients take it easy for a while after the treatment and drink plenty of water.


As with most holistic treatments, the body is encouraged to release toxins and this can sometimes cause a ‘healing crisis’.  A healing crisis is a natural process and is usually short-lived; symptoms can include general tiredness, headaches, runny nose and frequent urination.  However, the client should feel the full benefit of the reflexology treatment if they follow the right advice and rest afterwards.


I usually like to incorporate crystals into my treatments - I am also a qualified crystal therapist and I love any excuse to play with these beautiful stones!  I always ask the clients if they are comfortable with this first and I explain the benefits of using crystal therapy.


The crystals work on the energy field surrounding the physical body, commonly known as the ‘aura’.  This energy field encompasses the chakra system within the body as well.  


Chakras are our body’s natural energy centres. They are the openings for life energy to flow into and out of our aura.  Their function is to re-vitalise the physical body and to bring about the development of our self-consciousness.  They are associated with all our physical, mental and emotional interactions.   Whenever the energy levels are flowing well in a person, they enjoy good health; however when the energy becomes sluggish or blocked, symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance can start to manifest.


Selected crystals are therefore placed around the body, or on the body depending on the needs of each individual client.  Crystals help to get the energy moving and clear any blockages in the subtle energy field and chakra system.  Some clients are very sensitive to the vibrational frequency of crystals and may feel different sensations ie. chills, warmth, tingling, waves of energy running throughout the body or palpitations.  Sometimes clients may feel nothing at all.


I always make sure that all of my clients receive the personalised attention they deserve in a relaxed atmosphere, and the combination of my reflexology treatment and crystals makes the treatment a truly mind, body and spirit experience.



Louise Bates is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and is fully qualified in Reflexology, Crystal Therapy, Aromatherapy, Hopi Ear Candles, Reiki, Beauty Therapy and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  To find out more please visit:



The above information should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.







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