HISTORY OF REFLEXOLOGY
The earliest specific evidence of reflexology appears 4,500 years ago in Ancient Egypt on the tomb of physician Ankhmahor, where pictures around the wall of his tomb illustrate the medical techniques he had at his disposal, including what appears to be both hand and foot reflexology.
In the West, the concept of 'Reflexology' was a result of Europe's great leap forward in scientific and medical knowledge in the 19th century with reseach into the nervous system and reflexes.
Dr William Fitzgerald an American laryngologist, developed this knowledge and used wooden clothes pegs and elastic bands on the fingertips when carrying out minor surgery to block out pain. In 1917 he published the book 'Zone Therapy'.
Physiotherapist Eunice Ingham facinated by the effects of zone therapy, experimented with her own patients and found that those who had a disorder in a particular body part also consistently had sensitivity in the same area or point on the feet. In 1938 she developed a map of the reflexes of the feet. Her work continues to be taught today by her nephew Dwight Byers. In Germany by Hanne Marquardt and in the UK by Doreen Bayly.
Surveys carried out by the British Reflexology Association showed benifits to those presenting with systems of stress, insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome. Reflexology can also help with a wide range of disorders including headaches, migraine, sinus congestion, stiffness in the neck, digestive problems and hormonal problems.
Therapeutic Reflexology may be particularly helpful to stimulate relaxation and reduce tension and to give an improved sense of well-being.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A TREATMENT SESSION?
Your initial treatment will start with a medical history being taken to determine the required approach to treatment. You will then lie on a massage couch and can either talk or lie quietly, (even fall asleep), whilst your feet are massaged using precise reflexology techniques. Treatment involves a firm but not a heavy pressure so it will not be uncomfotable.
When receiving Reflexology treatment, in all cases, all the areas of the feet will be massaged so that the body is treated as a whole. Reflex areas which appear tender, indicate an imbalace, and those specifically to the condition presented will receive extra massage. A treatment will last approximately an hour.
Treatment is usually given at weekly intervals and a course of between 3 to 6 treatments is normally required. For relaxation and maintaining good health, treatment at 4 to 6 weekly intervals is recommended.
HOLISTIC/CLINICAL AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE
Aromathrapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing natually extracted aromatic essences from plants, to balance, harmonize and promote health of body, mind and spirit.
The actual term "Aromatherapy" first originated in 1937 when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse invented the word after a burn incident spurred his curiousity about the healing powers of essensial oils. On the heels of Gattefosse's "discovery" that lavender oil helped to cure his burns, French surgeon Jean Valnet used essential oils to help heal soldier's wounds in World War II, proving the medical benefits of aromatherapy.
The inhaled aroma from these "pure essential oils" is widely believed to stimulate brain function. The olfactory sense is triggered using essential oils during massage, and some oils are absorbed into the skin and ultimately the blood stream to produce healing effects.
Various massage techniques in combination with the benifical properties of essential oils make aromatherapy massage ideal for pain relief - relaxation of tired muscles - relief of painful menstruation - relief of intestinal and digestive problems - strengthen the immune system - stress and anxiety control and toxin removal.
Usually the duration of an aromatherapy massage is approximatly one hour.