I was recently asked by school-mum-friend and qualified reflexologist, Hazel Powell, to come for a trial of reflexology. And in return, I would write an honest blog review. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow, Adele! You’re like the next Zoella! But about fifty years older…’. And you’d be right, apart from the fifty years older part. We’re talking twenty, tops. Anyway, I thought, great! But then I remembered a terrible drawback. No, I’m not ticklish, but I’ve always been told I have slightly freakish feet – well, my husband says so, anyway. Normally, you can’t trust a word he says, but he might have a point on this one. They’re a bit like Hobbit’s feet, but without the fur and the abnormal size (I’m an average UK size 6). They’re just kind of square. Like somebody chopped off the ends with an axe. You know those people with feet that probably descend from the Neanderthal era (like my husband), with the long second and third toe? Yeah, well I’m the polar opposite of that. My toes are almost all exactly the same length. Weird, right? I mean, not as weird as you Neanderthal-footed people. You ought to join a circus. But I accept I’m a bit strange. Now, I’m not about to put a photo of my foot on the internet; as much as I like a nice selfie, there are limits. It’s just I feel you need to see the problem for yourselves. But there’s no filter on all of Instagram that will make my foot look good. So I have kindly drawn you a little picture below to highlight my plight:-
Anyway, enough of my foot-angst. What is reflexology, I hear you ask? Well, reflexology is a non-intrusive, safe and natural complementary therapy. It’s a pressure massage usually applied to the feet, but sometimes to the hands. Points on the body called ‘reflex points’ are stimulated, and it is believed that they correspond to different parts of the body. By working these reflex points, reflexology aims to bring about a feeling of well-being. Reflexology dates back to ancient Egypt, India and China (and if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me). It should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice, but should work alongside general medicine. There is not enough research evidence to judge its effectiveness, but it is thought reflexology may boost a sluggish circulation, and may be useful for treating stress, anxiety, back pain, migraine, poor digestion, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory problems, asthma, headache, bladder problems, menopausal symptoms and period pain.
So, in preparation for my treatment, and as I was unable to change the anatomy of my freakish feet, I did a quick pedicure instead. I deftly painted my toenails (silver, no less), then set off for my reflexology appointment. Woohoo! It occurred to me on my drive over, that (other than the above paragraph which I mainly stole from Hazel’s pamphlet) I didn’t know a great deal about reflexology. I have a medical background, so knew a little of its benefits as a complimentary therapy. In nurse training, there was a male nurse on my course who was studying reflexology as a side-line, and did a practice session on one of my classmates. She fainted. Maybe she had low blood sugar or something, but she passed out for a few seconds. And I thought, ‘yeah, I got to get me some of that!’ But, sadly, I never did get my turn.
Hazel was very welcoming on arrival. She showed me into a lovely, purpose-built reflexology room in her home, and proceeded to go through a medical history document to discuss any possible predisposing conditions. Now I have few ailments; mostly stomach and gut. You really wanted to know that, didn’t you? Well, I can provide you with a full lowdown of all my digestive problems, but I’ll have to do that in another blog, because I could write a thousand words that alone. Still, I think it was important for Hazel to go over medical history, as it meant she could tailor the treatment specifically to me (and I would have completely forgotten to mention lots of possibly important information otherwise).
After Hazel had completed the medical history, the reflexology session began. The soothing music was switched on (is there anything more soothing than panpipes?), and my chair reclined. First of all, I wasn’t sure if I should be yammering on as much as I was. Then I decided my incessant talking was probably going to be detrimental to the experience, so I decided to shut up, and relax. It’s quite an odd feeling; certainly not a mere foot massage, no, although very relaxing. It’s quite clear there’s an art to this. Pressure is directed onto certain areas of the foot, apparently correlating to other parts of the body. Brushing movements were applied to other areas. I could have fallen asleep. Funnily enough, it was never uncomfortable…but for one part of the foot. On specific areas on both arches of both feet. And guess what part of the body that relates to in the reflexology map? Go on, guess. No, guess. Well, I’ve given you the answer above – so no points for you. It was the stomach. Hazel also said the bowel area (on my foot), wasn’t quite like other people’s either. And I’m not one bit surprised. See? I told you there was something wrong with me!
I have to say, it was a lovely, relaxing experience. One which I would certainly think about repeating. As an aside, I also appreciated Hazel placing a warm towel on each bare foot that wasn’t in use, because I have freezing-cold feet, due to rubbish circulation. Half the time, my feet are blue. So let’s recap; my feet are blue, and look like something out of ‘Lord of the Rings’. Attractive, I know. Luckily I hadn’t painted my toenails blue, or Hazel might have thought I was dead. Apart from feeling relaxed, I did experience a feeling of well-being for the rest of the day. Who knows, perhaps with further treatments, reflexology could help alleviate my digestive problems. I would highly recommend you give reflexology a try; not as a replacement for mainstream medicine, but maybe to work hand-in-hand with it. Or foot-in-foot (see what I did there?). And if you’re West Country way (Bath, Wiltshire and surrounds), I can’t recommend Hazel enough. She didn’t even mention my blue, Hobbit feet. Not even once. Now if that isn’t professionalism, I don’t know what is.
For more info, check out Hazel’s links:
Hazel’s Website Here
Hazel’s Facebook Page Here
NB: I am available for foot-modelling gigs at a very reasonable rate. 😉