How do I know you are fully qualified and insured?
I am a member of the Complementary Therapists Association and the Association of Reflexologists and I am listed on their websites. In order to be a member you have to pass and complete exams of a high standard which are fully approved and accredited by them. You must have insurance to practice and be listed on their website and also take part in their continuing professional development schemes. This involves attending further courses, workshops, seminars, reading professional journals and many other things. I always have current copies of membership, exam and insurance certificates available and will always show these to a new client or upon request.
Who exactly are the Complementary Therapists Association, the Association of Reflexologists and the British School of Reflexology?
The British School of Reflexology are the school I have done most of my reflexology training through. Training is carried out over the course of a year, during which, case studies are carried out during the student’s own time. Ann Gillanders is the principal and founder of this school and she was trained by Dwight Byers, the nephew of Eunice Ingham who was the founder of modern day reflexology. Ann Gillanders brought reflexology to the UK in the 1980’s and set up her school in 1986. All graduates become a member of the British School of Reflexology.
The Complementary Therapists Association are part of EMBODY. They are one of the professional organisations that qualified or trainee complementary therapists can join. They have very strict codes of conduct that the therapist must agree to abide by, thus ensuring professional standards are maintained. They keep their members up to date with developments in the complementary field and any changing legislation. Links to both of these organisations can be found on the links page
The Association of Reflexologists are the foremost aspirational and independent Professional Association for reflexology in the UK, providing benefits, advice and guidance to members and working with other external bodies and advising groups to promote the highest standards in the profession. The letters MAR after a therapist’s name denote their full membership status, demonstrating that they have met the strictest standards of reflexology practice, and that they are committed to continually developing their skills and knowledge, together with agreeing to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice and Ethics.
What is your therapy room like?
My room is warm, bright, cosy, peaceful and relaxing. In the evening, I dim the lights and use a salt rock lamp which has a pleasant, orange glow. I use candles, an oil burner and soothing music if desired. I have two comfortable chairs which I use during the consultation process.
Most Reflexology sessions are carried out on a Lafuma Recliner. These are used by many reflexologists because they are so supportive and ideal for this type of therapy.
Indian Head Massage is carried out on an upright , folding chair. A cushion and towels are used for your comfort.
Reiki sessions and Facial Massage are carried out on a flat massage table.
Overall, my room is an ideal environment in which to receive holistic therapies. It can be described as a ‘sanctuary’ due to the calming, relaxing atmosphere experienced.
Can you visit me at home?
Due to high demand and the logistics of carrying heavy equipment, I no longer offer home visits.
Can I chat during my session?
This is entirely up to you.
Some clients prefer to relax quietly and others prefer to chat.
I would emphasise that the therapy will be more beneficial for you if you try to relax quietly with your eyes closed. It is also easier for me to work quietly as I am able to concentrate more on the therapy and it will be more effective.
How will I feel after a therapy session and are there any side effects?
The session will probably leave you feeling very relaxed, ‘spaced out’ or very tired. You should enjoy a deep relaxing sleep that night. Any existing emotional state may be accentuated and you may experience stronger feelings during and after the session.
Changes in body temperature can occur during and after a session. A blanket is available if you do feel cold. Some people experience mild aches and pains, nausea or a runny nose afterwards. You may want to urinate or defecate more than usual.
It is possible to experience none or any of these reactions but it does indicate that the therapy is working and your body is beginning to heal itself.
Any reaction should only last for a maximum of 24 hours following the therapy and are normally strongest after the first session.
After any reactions have passed, you normally experience increased energy and alertness.
Do you have any aftercare advice following the therapy session?
It is advisable to drink plenty of water following a session as this helps to flush out any toxins which have been moved. This will help to alleviate any possible reactions.
Don’t attempt any strenuous activity immediately after a therapy session. If possible, relax and enjoy your de-stressed state for as long as you can.
If you have to drive, take care and pull over if you feel drowsy or light headed.
Avoid any stimulants following a therapy session. Your body will already be working hard to eliminate any existing, accumulated toxins. Stimulants to avoid include; alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, fizzy drinks and cigarettes.
I will give you an aftercare advice sheet to take home with you after your first appointment.
Are there any times when it would be inadvisable to have a therapy session?
Yes, there are circumstances where it would be inadvisable to receive a therapy. Please read the following list of conditions carefully to avoid disappointment. If you are in any doubt, please call me to ask for advice.
Please avoid therapies if you:
- are pregnant with severe complications
- have a high temperature or fever
- are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- have a severe headache or migraine (wait until the migraine has passed)
- have an infectious condition affecting the head, face, neck or shoulders ie Ringworm, Impetigo, Scabies, Eye Infections or Cold Sores
- have an infectious condition affecting the feet, legs or ankles ie Ringworm or Athletes Foot
- have any other infectious or contagious condition
- have recent scar tissue, cuts, abrasions, severe bruising, strains, sprains or whiplash in the treatment area
- have had an injection or vaccination 48 hours prior to the session
- have severe varicose veins (Reflexology only)
- have Diabetes which affects the skin tone on the feet or legs – i.e. ulcers or breaks in the skin (Reflexology only)
- have untreated , very high or very low blood pressure
- have had a recent Hemorrhage, Thrombosis or Embolism
- have Spondylitis or other severe bone inflammation in the treatment area
- have any undiagnosed lumps, bumps or swellings in the treatment area
- have had food poisoning or stomach upset in the 48hrs prior to the session
- have any skin disorders in the treatment area ie Eczema, Dermatitis or Psoriasis
When booking your appointment, please also let me know if you have or are receiving medical treatment for any of the conditions mentioned below. You may need medical clearance from your GP or other health professional before proceeding with the therapy. There may also be times during the medical treatment of your illness or the severity of it where it may not be appropriate to treat you. Please call me to discuss this further if unsure.
- Severe circulatory disorder/heart condition
- Do you have a pacemaker?
- Nervous system dysfunction ie MS, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease
- Serious bone/joint conditions affecting the legs, feet, neck or shoulders
- Are you trying to conceive?
- Are you having fertility treatment ie IVF or Clomid
- Recent surgery
- M.E. (Chronic Fatigue)
My feet smell, can I still have Reflexology?
Everybody’s feet perspire and there is always some natural odour. Before your session, I always cleanse both feet with anti-bacterial wipes and during a session I use a specially made reflexology wax which is scented (unscented for fertility and maternity treatments.) Your feet will smell wonderful afterwards!
For hygiene purposes, I would ask that you wash your feet before coming for a reflexology session.
How many Reflexology sessions will I need and how frequently?
In general, I would normally recommend having between 4 – 6 sessions once weekly to begin with. To maintain balance and well being, I would recommend having reflexology every 2-4 weeks thereafter. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive then the frequency and timing can vary depending where you are in your menstrual cycle or trimester of pregnancy. Please refer to the relevant pages for further details.
Will Reflexology hurt?
No, Reflexology should cause no great pain. Some slight tenderness may be felt over certain areas but this usually indicates an energy blockage in the corresponding organ or structure. The tenderness normally reduces after the area has been worked over several times. Overall, Reflexology has a very relaxing effect and the amount of pressure used varies according to your age and state of health.
I have ticklish feet – will Reflexology be suitable for me?
Reflexology is a pressure therapy and the pressure used during a session is quite firm. You will not be tickled!
Can I have Reflexology if I have a Verruca?
Yes, the area will be covered with some plaster and avoided during the session. If necessary the corresponding reflex area in the hand can be worked instead.
Why do you use the feet for Reflexology?
The feet are generally more sensitive and all the nerves in the body end in the feet. There are over 7000 nerve endings in each foot. Reflexology can be done on the hands but the feet are more sensitive and have a larger surface area to work over, making it easier to pick out and work out each reflex point.
Does Reflexology cure diseases or ailments?
Reflexology is not intended to cure or be a substitute for medical treatment. Reflexologists are not medical practitioners and are not allowed or propose to diagnose ailments or treat disease. Reflexology can indicate areas of the body where there is stress, tension, congestion or imbalance. It stimulates the body’s own healing ability and promotes well-being, relieves stress and tension and enhances relaxation. It is a complementary therapy and should not be used instead of prescribed medication. Do not alter your dosage or stop taking prescribed medication without prior approval from your G.P. or other medical professional.
How does Reflexology work?
The body is divided into 10 energy zones, 5 on each side of the spine, running from the big toe, up through to the head. The big toes lie in zone 1, through to the little toes in zone 5. Every organ, muscle and structure of the body lies in one of these zones. The corresponding reflexes are found in the same zones on the hands and feet.
Each zone is a channel for the life force, known as ‘prana’ or ‘chi’. Any obstruction or blockage in that energy channel affects the flow of energy to the organs or functions within it, leading to disease.
These obstructions can be affected by Reflexologists. By putting specific pressure on the reflexes, blocked energy can be released, restoring a clear flow throughout the body. The body is then able to restore harmony and balance and begin to heal itself.
Can I have other complementary therapies while I am having Reflexology?
Some therapies can complement Reflexology, like Indian Head Massage, Massage, Chiropractic or Osteopathy but there are some therapies that work in a similar way and it would not be a good idea to have too many therapies at the same time.
Therapies such as Acupuncture, Acupressure and Shiatsu work in a similar way to Reflexology so if you have too many of these together then it would be difficult to assess which one is working for you.
Can Reflexology cause miscarriage or stillbirth?
Maternity Reflexology can’t cause a viable foetus to be miscarried as the aim of Reflexology is to balance the body and to help it function normally. If there is a viable foetus it is very difficult to dislodge it. The majority of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. There are many benefits to having a session during pregnancy.
Regular sessions throughout pregnancy can prepare you well for labour.
Please refer to my page on Maternity Reflexology.
Do you have to use oil for Indian Head Massage?
The use of oils is optional. If your massage is being done during your lunch hour and you need to get back to work then you may prefer to have the massage done through your clothing, without oil.
I would, however, recommend the use of oil as it is excellent for keeping the hair in good condition and helps improve many of the massage techniques. If you are having the massage done in the evening, then I would recommend leaving the oil on your hair overnight for extra benefit. When washing your hair it is advisable to apply shampoo to the scalp before the water in order to help emulsify the oil.
How often can I have an Indian Head Massage?
For maximum benefit it is recommended that this therapy should be carried out once or twice a week as part of a stress management programme. I would normally recommend having 4 – 6 sessions, close together initially.
Is Reiki suitable for everyone?
It is totally safe and non-invasive, being appropriate for babies, children and adults. It is also very effective for plants and animals.
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