I have always been an avid spa-trekker, trying everything from vampire facials and fish pedicures to fat zapping, but somehow the more holistic side to health and wellbeing has always escaped me. After a tiring and stressful 2014 that would keep Dr Hilary Jones on his toes, I decided to finally try reflexology.
Reflexology is a holistic therapy focused mainly on the feet (as well as lower legs, hands, face and ears). This ancient practice dates back over 5,000 years and sees the feet as a map of the body, with various points correlating to those around the body. Stimulating these points is thought to aid health problems and is also incredibly relaxing.
The Association of Reflexologists has a great website that, as well as containing lots of information, can help you search for quality reflexologists in your local area. I was quickly put in touch with a lady called Karen, who arranged to visit me for a home treatment.
As it was my first consultation Karen spent the first half hour finding out about my lifestyle, health issues, concerns and aims. As I catapulted an A-Z of injuries and illnesses at her she absorbed them with ease and took them all on board—it is really refreshing to have someone take the time to look at you as a whole in order to create the perfect, bespoke treatment plan.
Karen specialises in helping couples having trouble conceiving—not something at the top of my agenda! Having been recently diagnosed with epilepsy, relaxation was my main aim and as I reclined into the special reflexology chair that she brought with her and chose my selected balm (lavender) I let go and let her masterful hands do their work.
At first it can be hard to relax completely: you almost feel naked, knowing that with every touch of a toe or sole they are discovering something new about you and your health. However, after ten minutes of me asking what every tiny piece of my foot stood for and why some bits were more sensitive than others, I dropped into a peaceful trance as the sun streamed through my lounge windows, relaxing under the blanket in the world’s comfiest chair amidst the heavenly scent of lavender.
Over an hour later I awoke, feeling completely snug and relaxed and thinking how lovely it was that I was already in my home and not having to drag myself away from a spa treatment room.
“Karen, what is the big toe?” I asked, intrigued.
“Why, was it sensitive?” she smiled, knowingly.
“Yes, very,” I admitted.
“It is your brain,” she said.
Well, that makes sense. Who needs a Jeremy Kyle lie detector when you have Karen! She then spent a quarter of an hour telling me what other sensitivities she had picked up on, all of which made sense to me. She also taught me some self-help techniques for lower back pain.
Before we knew it two hours had flown by; Karen clearly loves her job and I was fascinated by the treatment and its findings.
Reflexology, I am sold. Karen, see you next month!