Reflexology Session and Techniques
If you have aches and pains and are at your wits end, from endless round of prescription drugs; drugs that usually carry more side effects, than they do good. Then, you should consider reflexology as a option. It is always a wise advice to consult with your doctor or physician prior to making such a decision. Reflexology, unlike drugs, will have no side effects!
It is an acknowledged fact that the body is affected by the mind. Every thought or change of the mind can cause a chemical change in the body. Positive thoughts are essential to a good practitioner. Before any session of reflexology is carried out, a reflexology practitioner must have at least a cheerful disposition. This allows the creative powers to work in a very positive way, on the recipient or client.
The opposite may also have an effect on the client or recipient, especially if the practitioner is ill or in a negative state of mind. So, it is always important for a reflexologist to be relaxed, cheerful and with a good attitude when doing a reflexology session. The intention of the reflexologist enhances the session as well as the outcome of the therapy. With this in mind, a client will achieve a state of balance and wellness.
Reflexology Session Protocol
Reflexologists start a session with the following protocol:
- A positive state of mind is important.
- Reflexologists normally use a reclining chair that is comfortable and clean, where the face of the client or recipient can be observed. A massage table can also be used, as long as the clients head is wedged by a pillow and the practitioner can see his or her face.
- We remove only the shoes and socks.
- We inspect the feet of the client for any cuts or broken skin.
- We may clean the feet with a disinfectant wipe and or a wet and warm towel.
- We ask the recipient for any information about their feet, past and present ailments, like broken bones, etc.
- We inspect the foot for corns, bunions or boils.
- We inspect the toes and nails, to insure that there is no fungal infection that can contaminate the hands of the practitioner. A reflexologist does not work on a client, if there is fungal infection on the feet, broken skin, bones or any other trauma, he may opt to work on the hands instead. If you can not work on the feet, he can possibly work on the referral areas. (for referral areas, see the anatomical relations)
- It is better to give reflexology in a comfortable room, with a comfortable temperature.
- The reflexologist may use corn starch to keep the feet dry; in addition to two towels, one for the practitioner and to keep the recipients feet warm.
- A little cream may be used to end the session with relaxation techniques.
- A reflexologist must have their nails trimmed, with a neat and clean appearance.
Targeting the Proper Reflex Areas
Reflexology treatment centers on specific pressure applied to the reflex areas in the feet and hands. It is therefore important to learn anatomy and of the specifics parts, organs and systems of the body.
Reflexology maps or charts allow you to place the location of this reflex that corresponds with the organs and other parts of the body in the exact locations in the feet and hands.
Following the guidelines of this location or position, a reflexologist applies corresponding pressure in alternate intervals.
What does a reflexologist target during a session?
A reflexologist focuses on the whole body in order to work holistically.
Through reflexology the targeted reflex areas are activated to help in the following areas.
- Structural alignment
- Immune system
- Overall body and mental stress
What Can Reflexology Treat?
Reflexology can get to the root of most conditions of the body naturally by establishing balance and harmony with the natural healing process. No matter what the condition is, a reflexology session can help! However, a reflexologist is not a physician and therefore, there are some statements that a reflexologist always makes to a client or recipient verbally or in writing, such as the following:
- Relieves stress and tension
- Improves nerve & blood supply and promotes the unblocking of nerve impulses
- Helps nature to normalize
Reflexologists do not:
- Treat for any specific condition
There are only a few conditions where foot reflexology cannot benefit the patient.
However, we do recommend the following:
- Ask a client to seek their doctor or physician’s advice, especially if they are under chemotherapy or on any other intensive medical treatment.
- Never treat an area that is inflamed or has broken skin, broken bones or torn ligaments.
- Always treat the elderly and the infirm with gentle pressure. Give shorter treatments more frequently. (lightly, often, less time)
- For infant’s reflexes, be very gentle and only treat for a short period of time, no more than 5 minutes.
- Treat clients or patients with diabetes very, very gently and for a short period of time, since their skin bruises easily.
Starting a Reflexology Session
Now that you are more familiar with the concepts of reflexology, we begin by greeting the feet.
- We gently cup both feet with the palm of our hands. (open hands on bottom of feet)
- This feels very good and helps you establish a connection with the recipient. You may do this for one to two minutes.
- Now, gently move the hands to the outsides of the both feet and hold the feet with a light touch, until you can actually feel the feet relax.
- Next, we sprinkle a little corn starch on our hands and a little on the feet of the recipient. Cornstarch is a natural powder and assists in the absorption of the perspiration, allowing the treatment of the reflexes to be more efficient.
Reflexology session may start on the right or left foot; however, most reflexologists start with the left.
A reflexology session is meant to relax the client or recipient. Great care must be taken, not to apply any deep pressure that causes severe pain. A reflexology session must feel good.
Proper techniques must always be used! The techniques applied in reflexology are simple to implement and are user friendly.
Thumb walking techniques: We move the thumbs in a caterpillar walking motion, on the plantar area of the feet and also on the hands. Thumb walking technique is the main technique used in reflexology. You bend the thumb and straighten the thumb on the foot, while gently moving the thumb a small area at a time. The smaller the movement, the greater the coverage on the specific reflex areas.
Finger walking techniques: In the same form of caterpillar walking or thumb walking, we use the fingers usually on the dorsal area of the foot. Bending the finger and straighten them on the foot, gently moving over a small area at a time. Like thumb walking, the smaller the movement the greater the coverage on the specific reflex area.
Additional techniques always used in a reflexology session include:
- Back and forth techniques
- Ankle loosening techniques
- Toe rotation
- Spinal twist
- Diaphragm-tension relaxer
- Ankle stretch ‘over’
- Ankle stretch ‘under’
- Pin point techniques
- Basic holding techniques
- Hook-in, back up techniques
- Leverage techniques
When implementing the techniques: a reflexologist uses this knowledge to establish a proper protocol. He or she looks at the following:
- Surfaces of the feet.
- Direction to work feet by.
- Tenderness or pain threshold.
- Reactions of the reflexes.
- Type of feet.
Reflexology is a wonderful modality. When applied correctly you will not hurt anyone, you will only help them!
By using the steps and guidelines supplied, you can learn the basis of this science. Perhaps you will even become interested in furthering your studies in the field of reflexology! There are numerous books on this subject and world renowned schools that teach the subject in a more specific and clinical environment. You too, can become a reflexologist!