A reflexology treatment is a wonderful experience. It not only feels remarkable, it holds the promise of health and healing. Every treatment begins with a short consultation between the reflexologist and their client to determine the best course of action for the session. A typical treatment is approximately one hour in length.
If it is the clients first reflexology treatment, a discussion of the client’s general health and medical history is important, as is the client’s health and wellness goals. Also, a brief description of what will transpire during the session is prudent, as it conveys compassion on the part of the reflexologist and inspires confidence in their client.
It is common in a first session for a client to be a little nervous or tense. A simple reminder to breathe and relax is oftentimes all that is required to properly set the stage for a memorable and satisfying reflexology treatment. It is also important for the reflexologist to verbalize the benefit of the client allowing themselves to receive when reflexology is being provided.
What To Expect From A Reflexology Treatment
Once the initial consultation is complete, the client is invited to immerse their feet in a bowl or tub of warm water – with or without essential oils. The reflexologist then kneels in front of the client, puts their hands in the water and begins to give reflexology to the client’s feet. Symbolically, the reflexologist is honoring the client by kneeling in front of them and providing reflexology. This is the first step toward partnering with the client and reinforcing the energetic relationship that will be in place during the session.
After a minute or two, the reflexologist invites the client to remove their feet from the water and place them on a towel adjacent to the water bowl. The client’s feet are dried and the client is invited to lie down on the reflexology table. Once the client is lying on the table with their feet positioned correctly, and they have been offered a blanket to stay warm, the reflexologist begins to “address” the feet.
It is the reflexologist’s responsibility to handle the feet in a manner that is authoritatively firm, yet respectfully yielding. Before, during and after a reflexology treatment, it is important for the client’s feet to recognize that the reflexologist is doing something that is meant to help and not hurt. I have found it initially advantageous to apply moderate to heavy pressure to the feet at the beginning of a reflexology treatment in order to properly acclimate the client to the experience. Once they are convinced everything is, and will continue to be okay, they loosen up and are much more open to receiving reflexology. Maintaining a casual flow of conversation is a good measure, as it serves to slightly distract, yet engender comfort. This sets the stage for a positive reflexology experience.
During A Reflexology Treatment
During a reflexology treatment, it is quite common for the client’s feet to tense and even try to “help” the reflexologist. Our feet are always serving us, so when it comes time for them to be served, it’s a bit counter-intuitive and they automatically react by trying to participate in the session instead of just receiving. The muscles in the feet will automatically tense and “follow” the movements of the reflexologist as they work with the feet. Sometimes the feet will begin to lift up off of the pillow. If their feet won’t cooperate, they may feel as if they can’t relax, which is frustrating. This is perfectly normal. It may take a few reminders to help change this pattern, and having a little fun with the client in this situation is perfectly acceptable. Simply telling the client it is normal for their feet to react in this fashion, and asking them to relax, can be helpful. However, pretending you are speaking to the feet themselves can create some levity, and a little laughter may be just what the doctor ordered to get the client to completely relax.
Once the feet have relaxed, the reflexologist will typically begin this stage of the reflexology treatment by applying finger and thumb pressure techniques, first to the left and then to the right foot. This takes approximately 20-25 minutes per foot and, the foot that is not active is wrapped in a towel so it remains warm.
If the reflexology treatment is designed to incorporate the hands, both feet are wrapped in a towel and the hands become the focus. First the right, then the left hand. This is the reverse of the feet. There is a reason for this. By conducting the session in this fashion, the reflexologist creates a circle of reflexology, which provides a natural sense of completion and fulfillment for the client.
In most cases, the client will have experienced a deep state of relaxation or may even sleep during the reflexology treatment. This being said, I have had clients who will become very verbal and will talk non-stop for the entire treatment! Everyone is different and will respond differently to a reflexology treatment. However, the one consistent element is the “feel good” factor, which seemingly everyone experiences from reflexology.
Reflexology Treatment Completion
Once the reflexology treatment is complete, the client is encouraged to breathe deeply and begin moving slowly. Once the client can sit up, the reflexologist should offer a glass of water. Hydration is important and approximately 80 – 100 ounces of water should be consumed in the twenty-four hours after receiving reflexology. I know this sounds like a lot of water, but when the body is pursuing balance and all the systems of the body are participating, water keeps everything operating at the best possible level of efficiency.
Lastly, alcohol should be avoided for the same twenty-four hour period, as it is dehydrating. Additionally, it is worth noting that there is a euphoric effect from reflexology. This is best experienced without the influence of alcohol. A reflexology treatment is one of life’s simple, yet profound pleasures and, in my opinion it should be a stand-alone experience.