When I heard that my favourite super-facialist Vaishaly, was now offering new reflexology treatments, I had to give it a go. Having just got back from our recent trip to the Greek Islands, I had been feeling a touch stressed returning to work and trying to catch up on my projects having been out of the office for just over a week. I was also feeling a little bit sluggish, which I had put down to the change in seasons. With reflexology promising to provide stress relief, reduce tension and increase energy among other things, I decided to book an appointment and give it a go.
“I believe there’s a direct correlation between our state of mind, our thoughts and the stresses we hold in our body, with the health and condition of our skin. By treating the whole body – both internally and externally – we can release tension, anxiety and stress that directly impacts the physical appearance of our skin. This is why I feel it’s important to offer deeply powerful treatments at the clinic like Reflexology.” Vaishaly
What is it?
The therapy is a 4,000-year-old Chinese practice that uses pressure to activate points in the body through the feet (or hands). It’s believed that the pressure points (known as reflex zones), in the soles of your feet, contain nerve endings that dovetail with other parts of the body. Working alongside Western medication, practitioners are able to improve health and well-being by applying pressure to certain zones to stimulate organs, the parasympathetic nervous system, and energy pathways.
By improving circulation, reflexology stimulates the body into a self-healing cycle, reducing stress, pain and restoring balance.
How can it help me?
The practice is used to treat a wide variety of conditions that include (but are not limited to):
The relief of aches and pains
Reflexology relieves tension in the muscles that often lead to conditions such as neck pain, migraines, headaches, and upper and lower backaches.
By gently stroking feet and toes, circulation to vital organs is increased. As a result of the increased blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, system functions become more responsive to increasing metabolism and resulting in faster regeneration and healing of damaged cells. The treatment can help to improve digestion (including conditions such as IBS) and improve respiratory problems such as asthma.
Improve the nervous system function
The treatment can stimulate up to 7,000 nervous endings in your body. As we age, our nerve endings become less sensitive. Reflexology can help to improve the activity of the nervous system. Through reinvigorating the nervous system, neural pathways are cleared, improving neurological messaging.
Reduce PMS and menopause symptoms
One of the benefits of reflexology can be alleviating mood swings, dysmenorrhea, bloating, headaches, fatigue, insomnia experienced during PMS. Additionally, it can help to relieve depression and hot flashes experienced during menopause.
Alleviate anxiety and depression
Practitioners massage the tops of the toes to stimulate the production of serotonin in the body. The hormone is released in the brain and makes you feel happy. Various glands that influence our emotions, including depression and anxiety, can be stimulated to relieve these conditions.
Relax and sleep better
Foot massages are very relaxing. By opening neural pathways, the body unwinds reducing stress levels. Applied ahead of bed, reflexology can be used to treat chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure causes fatal conditions including kidney disease, strokes and cardiovascular diseases. Reflexology is used to lower blood pressure, prevent anxiety and enhance mood. There is also evidence to suggest that it can lower systolic blood pressure and triglyceride effectively.
Relieve chronic diseases
Reflexology can help to provide pain relief from treatments of chronic diseases including multiple sclerosis and cancer, although it should not replace medical treatments. Therapies can help suffers to sleep better, reduce anxiety, decrease vomiting and settle digestive discomfort. It can also help to slow the spread of cancer by increasing blood flow and clearing neural pathways, stimulating antioxidant activity.
What to expect?
Truth be told, I was running a few minutes late to my appointment owing to tube delays – always the way. So, I was a little bit breathless and anxious by the time I arrived. Anna my therapist warmly greeted me as I arrived at Vaishaly. I was shown to a tranquil treatment room with ambient lighting and music and instructed to lie on the bed and relax with my legs elevated.
Anna asked me about my medical history and if there were any areas, in particular, I was keen to work on. I mentioned that I had been feeling slightly stressed and sluggish since returning to work after our holiday. The session started with a calming warm bath of the feet, then Anna massaged my legs from the knee down with long firm strokes before returning to my feet where she expertly applied firm pressure on the reflex zones that relate to specific organs and glands in the body.
I found the session to be incredibly relaxing and almost fell asleep. My stress and tension melted away and following the treatment I felt a sense of weightlessness.
Afterwards, I drank plenty of water and went home to unwind. I think sessions at the end of the day are ideal as they are free from distraction and allow you to have the most relaxing experience possible.
I found reflexology at Vaishaly to be really relaxing, probably more so than a regular massage. I also found it beneficial in helping me with some physical discomfort that I had been experiencing in my stomach. The treatment is a great holistic remedy that can be used for acute concerns, or alongside medical treatment to achieve enhanced results.
Reflexology treatments at the Vaishaly Clinic are £60 for 55minutes. To make an appointment, contact the clinic on+44 (0)207 224 6088 or visit www.vaishaly.com for more information.
Until next time, take care and safe travels.
*I was invited to review this treatment at Vaishaly. All opinions are honest and are my own.
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