- What will happen during a session?
A full health history will be taken at the first session. There is nothing for you do do other than lie back on the table or in a recliner and focus on the sensations which travel through the body as the reflexes are worked on. People often notice feelings of pulsing or tingling as the reflexes are worked, often the tummy will gurgle and there may be noticeable changes in temperature. You can ask questions at anytime and should let the practitioner know if anything does not feel right or if you are uncomfortable, but most people float into a deeply relaxed state.
- Does reflexology hurt, will it tickle?
It shouldn’t hurt, but there may be tender spots indicating that the corresponding area of the body is in need of release. The discomfort should lessen or disappear as the reflex responds and relaxes. Since firm pressure is used reflexology does not feel ticklish. Overall, the sensations should feel good.
- What’s the difference between reflexology and massage?
Many people confuse reflexology with massage. There are many differences between these two practices – each having its own strengths, application, techniques and educational requirements, for example. Massage is performed directly to the soft tissues being addressed; reflexology is administered indirectly through the points reflecting the tissues, structures, organs and systems of the body. Reflexology is performed on the feet, hands or ears. Only shoes and socks are removed.
- Can reflexology be used to diagnose medical conditions?
No; reflexology is not a medical practice and cannot be used as a diagnostic tool, nor does it heal or cure. It is not a substitute for medical treatment but can be supportive of other treatments. If under a doctor’s care, he/she should be informed that the client is receiving reflexology and if necessary, the doctor’s permission should be obtained. Reflexology is gaining increasing acceptance and being used more widely as a complementary therapy in medical settings. Clients may attribute health benefits to reflexology if they feel the practice has played a role.
- How might I feel after a treatment?
People respond very differently to reflexology although most feel very relaxed, sleep well and feel centered with an increase in energy levels the next day. If the body has been fighting something (the onset of a cold for example) this may come out after the session. Some people report going to the bathroom more frequently after a session. It is best to plan a quiet evening, where possible, to allow the effects to settle in to your system and to drink plenty of water to help flush out any toxins and stay hydrated.
- Do I need to get a pedicure before a session?
Absolutely not. A good practitioner wants to see the feet in their natural state and will clean them with wipes if needed. As a precaution, gloves may sometimes be worn during sessions.
- Are there any reasons why someone should not receive reflexology?
Reflexology is a gentle and extremely safe form of bodywork but there are some situations where reflexology should not be considered, or to be used with extreme caution – among those are:
- Infections of the foot or contagious illness.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis, Severe Edema.
- High-Risk pregnancy or history of miscarriage. Practitioners generally do not work in the first trimester of any pregnancy.
- Trauma to the feet (broken bones, open sores or wounds, osteoporosis).
- Any serious health condition – consult your physician.
- Err on the side of caution, if not sure.
A good practitioner will take a complete health history at the first session and may ask permission to consult with your doctor if necessary.
- How do I find a well-qualified practitioner?
The national standard in the USA is certification by the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) which involves training through accredited schools and practical and written examinations. Continuing education is required every year to a maintain ARCB status. Several states have achieved licensing for reflexology and New York is currently working towards this with ARCB training as the standard. A current list of certified practitioners can be found on the website www.arcb.net. Lisa has been ARCB certified since 2005.