When my massage therapist, Lanetia, said she had a passion to learn a new technique I was all in. She became a Certified Reflexologist and wanted to practice this modality on the Tyler Mason staff before it was offered to her clients. Of course, I jumped to the head of the line and here’s a rundown of my Reflexology experience.
What is Reflexology?
According to Mayoclinic.org, “Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet. The theory behind reflexology is that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to the foot is believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body. Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Reflexology is sometimes combined with other hands-on therapies and may be offered by chiropractors and physical therapists, among others. Several studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Given that reflexology is also low risk, it can be a reasonable option if you’re seeking relaxation and stress relief.”
Where does Reflexology come from?
According to VeryWellHealth.com, “Although the roots of reflexology go back to ancient Egypt and China, William H. Fitzgerald, an ear, nose, and throat doctor, introduced this concept of “zone therapy” in 1915. American physiotherapist Eunice Ingram further developed the zone theory in the 1930s into what is known as modern reflexology.”
What Is a Reflexology Session Like?
A typical treatment is 30 to 60 minutes long (Tyler Mason offers a 45 minute service for $65, as well as a full body relaxation massage that includes a 30 minute foot reflexology, a 1 ½ hour service for $115.) Lanetia first consulted with me about my health and lifestyle in order to customize the therapy.
Next, I removed my shoes and socks and lay down on the heated massage table, that was configured in a way to make me most comfortable. It isn’t necessary to remove your clothing however if you’re more comfortable or you’re receiving the full body massage you can change into a robe and cuddle under blankets during the treatment. Lanetia then assessed my feet to identify areas of tenderness or tension. She told me Reflexology shouldn’t be painful so if I felt discomfort, be sure to speak up. Some areas may naturally be sore, and she may spend extra time on these points, but the soreness should decrease with pressure.
Brisk movements and massage were used to warm my feet and then thumb pressure was applied using reflexology techniques to promote a healing response in the corresponding organs. After a few minutes, I noticed a slight twinge, not painful, in my neck in the area I had a cervical fusion last year. I mentioned it to Lanetia who said that was the area she was working on my foot. Within minutes, I was completely relaxed and even fell asleep. I woke up to Lanetia softly telling me 45 minutes had passed and to take my time getting off the table. My feet were warm, tingly and I was slightly drowsy just like I am after a full body massage. Even though my neck and shoulders weren’t touched, I had a noticeable relaxation of my neck muscles.
Are there any side effects or safety precautions?
Be sure to give the reflexologist a complete and accurate health history. It’s always a good idea to consult your primary care provider before trying anything new, including reflexology.
If you have foot ulcers, recent injury, foot or ankle wounds, gout, or a cardiovascular condition, reflexology may not be appropriate or safe.
Reflexology may also not be right for people with diabetes, osteoarthritis (affecting the ankle or foot), circulatory problems, active infections, gallstones, kidney stones, or certain types of cancer. Pregnant women should avoid reflexology.
Reflexology feels incredible, deeply relaxes the mind and has whole body benefits, but this girl still loves her full body massages. So now I get the best of both worlds by adding 30 minutes of Reflexology to my massage appointments with Lanetia to get that extra benefit. I’m also thinking that Reflexology added to my facials would be ahhhhmazing! Time to schedule some appointments!