To mark and celebrate National Complementary Therapy Week, My Mind News investigates the link between reflexology and mental health by interviewing Gaynor Foster, a qualified reflexologist and member of The Association of Reflexologists.
We asked Gaynor to explain how this complementary therapy works, the science, and the benefits.
Can you advise what reflexology is?
Reflexology is a complementary therapy based on the principle that different points on the feet, hands, face, or ears correspond to other areas of the body.
Reflexology originated from Ancient Egypt, India, and China and was introduced into the West in the early 1900s. The reflexology theory believes that when ill, stressed, injured, or diseased, the body is in an unbalanced state that hinders the body’s natural healing process.
How does reflexology work?
As a reflexologist, we use our thumbs, fingers, or knuckles to apply pressure to these reflex points, which brings a feeling of deep relaxation and helps the body to restore its natural balance. As well as this, we also provide a listening ear and offer support to clients if needed.
Why would you opt to have reflexology?
People have reflexology for many different reasons, and it’s a straightforward treatment to receive, as the most you will need to do is remove your shoes and socks.
My Mind News: How could you benefit from reflexology?
The general benefits of reflexology include deep relaxation, the release of tension, better quality sleep, mood improvement, and the overall sense of improved physical and emotional wellbeing.
My Mind News: Why Reflexology?
There are so many reasons why you would seek out reflexology. Here are just ten that I can think of –
- Because it brings together the power of touch and relaxation.
- It is the best hour of the month for me.
- It feels like pressing a reset button.
- It allows me to relax and switch off truly.
- It helps my body to help itself and feel great.
- Reflexology feels like a massage with a purpose.
- Simply because it helps me better cope with life. Not to mention, it feels absolutely amazing and completely balances me.
- The products are great for my skin and are really nourishing.
- Why not?
Is there any research to back up the benefits of reflexology?
There are many worldwide research studies on reflexology, and they have concluded that reflexology has many benefits. These studies have shown to enhance relaxation and reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.
Recently, reflexology has become a go-to therapy, and its popularity has soared, and it is offered in nearly 100% of cancer hospitals.
Strong evidence suggests that it reduces stress, tension, and anxiety and stimulates the lymphatic system, increasing circulation and energy and helping with pain management.
Reflecting on the science and benefits, you mentioned that reflexology is good for mental health. Can you explain more?
Reflexology stimulates the adrenal gland and therefore regulates and calms our stress hormone and helps to restore balance.
Regarding our brain specifically, reflexology induces a sense of relaxation, easing our mental and physical anxiety and creating a sense of inner peace and stillness.
Thank you, Gaynor
We thank Gaynor Foster for all her valuable insight on reflexology and how it helps us with our emotional and physical wellbeing. Gaynor, who is based in Suffolk, can be contacted via her website.
My Mind News would like to understand if you have found reflexology helpful and would recommend it. Let us know about your experiences in the comments.