8 things to know before your first reflexology session
New experiences can make even the most confident of us feel a little nervous from time to time. When it comes to our health and well-being, it’s no wonder that we can be apprehensive of trying new things.
If you are considering trying reflexology, or have booked your first reflexology session, we are here to help. Here’s what you can expect from your first session, along with a few quick tips on what you should know before starting reflexology.
1. What is reflexology?
Reflexology involves massaging and applying pressure to areas of the feet, ears and hands. Encouraging the body's natural healing, it can help relieve stress and tension by stimulating your nervous system.
Based on the idea that certain areas of your feet (reflexes) are linked to other areas of your body, your reflexologist will apply pressure to these reflexes to help stimulate energy flow, sending signals around the body to target areas of tension.
2. What can reflexology help with?
A popular holistic therapy, reflexology can be beneficial for those experiencing a number of issues. It is most commonly used to help reduce stress, reduce pain, enhance overall well-being, and improve circulation.
Some people find that it can also help ease tension headaches, arthritic pain, digestive discomfort, insomnia, back and menstrual pain. It has also become a popular complementary therapy for many post-op, as well as those in palliative care or undertaking treatment for cancer, as it can help boost emotional well-being.
3. What happens in a reflexology session?
Typically lasting between 45-60 minutes, before your first session your reflexologist should ask about your general health and lifestyle. This may include going over your medical history to talk about any underlying health problems, as well as discussing what you hope to gain through reflexology. If you have any questions, it’s ok to ask these now (or at any point). A good reflexologist will be open to discussing any concerns you may have.
You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks before sitting on a massage table or reclining chair, so your reflexologist can carry out their initial examination before they begin. The session will usually begin with a warm-up, applying pressure from your toes to heel. While some areas of your feel may be more tender than others, reflexology should not be painful. You should leave your session feeling calm, relaxed, or even sleepy.
4. How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions you will need before you begin experiencing the benefits can vary from person to person. Some people may notice the benefits straight away, while others find that their mood and sleep patterns improve over the course of multiple sessions.
5. What should I do after my reflexology session?
Over the next 24 hours following your treatment, make sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. This can help improve your energy levels whilst flushing out toxins. Try to avoid any strenuous exercise, and rest for at least two hours after your treatment.
Drinking tea, coffee, alcohol, or other stimulating drinks can diminish the effectiveness of your session, so try to avoid these if possible. Focus on eating light, nutritious foods to help your body continue to heal. If you plan on having any further reflexology sessions, take note of any reactions or side effects you may experience to share with your reflexologist in your next session.
6. Will reflexology work for me if I’m ticklish?
Reflexologists use firm, confident movements as they apply pressure. These deep, concise motions aren’t designed to feel ticklish, so should be suitable for most people.
7. How often should I get reflexology?
This varies from person to person. Some people may find monthly sessions help, while others may benefit from more regular treatments – it all depends on your situation, stress levels, and overall reason for getting reflexology.
8. Can a reflexologist help diagnose me?
Reflexologists cannot offer a diagnosis. Reflexology should be used as a complementary, not alternative form of therapy to help improve your overall sense of well-being. If you are concerned about any physical or psychological symptoms, you should always speak with your GP.
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