Reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive therapy that encourages the body to bring itself to a state of balance and healing. It involves applying finger and thumb pressure to specific points on the feet or hands, called “reflexes”. These reflexes are connected to the organs and structures of the body as well as a person’s emotional state, as it has been observed that a congested or tensed area in any part of the foot mirrored congestion or tension in a related part of the body.
This way, hands and feet are “mini maps” of the body and reflexologists work holistically to promote its healing.
Reflexology treats the whole person rather than just focusing on one symptom and helps releasing blockages within the body and restore the free flow of all the circulatory systems such as blood, lymph, waste elimination and energy.
Our body is often in a state of imbalance due to external stimuli, for instance illness, recover from a disease, injury, periods of stress, environment, and when the vital physical and energy pathways are blocked, our body is prevented from functioning effectively.
Stimulation of these reflexes and the thousands of nerve endings that are located on our feet (or hands) helps promoting relaxation, improve circulation, stimulate vital organs and restoring and maintaining the body’s natural equilibrium!
Reflexology is an ideal complementary therapy in pregnancy, as it offers a gentle, non invasive, completely relaxing time and gives many benefits on your well-being, helps you unwind and have some very important time for yourself, and helps with the wide array of pregnancy symptoms, as well as preparing for labour and after baby is born.
How can Reflexology help in pregnancy?
During the conception time
Trying for a baby is an exciting time and reflexology can help making you live this “waiting” period feeling more relaxed which can promote the release of fertility hormones. Conception may generate some stress too, especially if fertility issues occur and the great advantage of receiving reflexology in this situation is that the fertility problems won’t be treated in isolation and your overall health will be addressed, so that stress will be reduced and hormonal balance helped to be brought to at an optimum.
Reflexology for future dads is a good idea too, as they may feel a bit overwhelmed too!
Being pregnant and the prospect of giving birth may bring stressful thoughts and pregnant women often worry about anything, from diet, work, general health and baby’s development, to family, personal issues, appointments… life can be hectic juggling between everything and can bring mixed feelings and tiredness, all of this led by the gigantic up and down hormonal release!.
Being in a relaxed state can also help reduce pregnancy related symptoms such as:
- Sleeping problems
- Stress relief
- Muscle aches and tension
- Digestion issues such as heartburn, nauseas, sickness, constipation
- Leg circulation discomforts such as swelling in legs and feet, leg cramps
- If you are overdue:
There are many points on the feet and hands that can be used to stimulate the release of the labouring hormones, such as the pituitary gland, thyroid, bladder, uterus and ovaries reflexes. Of course, the body will start labour when everything is ready, so pressing these points will be a ‘helping’ hand and further boost: but they are incredibly effective and do help with the hormonal release hence the whole process.
Reflexology is very beneficial after the birth of your baby. You may feel emotionally and physically overwhelmed when you get home, so it’s important to take some time to rest up. Reflexology can help bring the body back to balance, facilitates a speedier recovery especially if you had a difficult birth and also giving you some much needed and deserve relaxation time!
Breastfeeding mothers may encounter issues with their milk production and stimulating some specific reflex areas can give a boost to the hormonal supply and enhance the release of the prolactin hormone.