For a while I offered my clients the choice to see me at treatment rooms in Covent Garden or Waterloo but I found the majority of my clients opt for reflexology at home. I now am an exclusively mobile only business.
Here are 10 reasons why:
You dont have to leave the house
You dont have to dress up or do the whole make up thing if you’re at home
You dont have to deal with some sort of commute
You dont have to worry about parking
You dont need to set aside extra time to travel to and from your appointment
You dont have to worry about being on time or late, because you’re already there
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should consider having reflexology while pregnant
Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary therapy
Reflexology is great for pregnant women as it focuses on the feet. So, all you need to do is take off your shoes and socks – no need to undress. You can sit or lie down for the duration of the treatment with supporting cushions to keep you comfy and its typically pain-free.
Reflexology supports your well-being
Reflexology is deeply relaxing and helps to optimise your physical and mental well-being. Pregnancy is no exception – this is a time when you go through insane & dramatic physiological & emotional changes and so promoting wellbeing is all important.
Reflexology is good self-care
During pregnancy not only do you have to nurture and grow another human being but, as that baby’s home for 40-ish weeks, you need to ensure that you are looking after yourself too! Regular reflexology during pregnancy will give you some “me time” to relax and care for you.
Reflexology helps to reduce stress
Pregnancy can come with a fair amount of stress. You may have concerns about work, body changes, the baby’s health or well-being, the birth itself, the future, your ability to parent, finances and so on. All these things can take a toll. There has been a significant amount of research that consistently concludes that stress during pregnancy (and prolonged high levels of cortisol) can negatively affect the baby – from preterm births and low birth weights to even longer term impact on babies’ behavioural and cognitive development (Coussins-Read, 2013). So finding ways to manage that stress is critical and reflexology can help as it can reduce physiological stress in the body.
Reflexology is possible throughout your pregnancy
Many women turn to reflexology as they approach or even pass their due dates, but reflexology has benefits throughout pregnancy. As your needs and symptoms evolve during your pregnancy (from morning sickness and fatigue early on to the aches and pains in the later stages) reflexology can continue to help you feel better able to cope with whatever pregnancy throws at you.
Reflexology may help with pregnancy-related conditions
Reflexology doesn’t have the same financial backing as big pharmaceutical companies and so we don’t always have the research to prove its specific benefits. But of course, reflexologists get positive feedback from their clients about how they are feeling following a treatment or series of treatments all the time.
There is a small and growing body of research to help build the case for reflexology during pregnancy. For example, one study showed that reflexology during pregnancy may help to reduce lower back and pelvic girdle pain and the stress associated with those conditions (Close et al 2016). Another found that regular pregnancy reflexology reduced fatigue experienced by pregnant women (Shobeiri et al, 2017).
Reflexology helps to improve sleep
Many women experience disturbed sleep while pregnant, especially in the last trimester. Reflexology is a relaxing and sleep inducing treatment and many people fall asleep during the treatment and have a better night’s sleep after a treatment. A review of the existing research on reflexology and sleep found there is a link between reflexology and improved sleep (Lee et al, 2011)
Reflexology may reduce the pain intensity and duration of labour
There have been a few studies showing that reflexology can have a positive impact on labour. One study has shown that reflexology during labour can help reduce pain intensity (Valiani et al, 2010) as well as reduce the length of labour (in all three stages of labour) (Dolatian et al, 2011). A more recent pilot study has shown that when pregnant women with low back pain or pelvic girdle pain received regular reflexology (six weekly sessions), the duration of second stage of labour was reduced by an average of 44 minutes (McCollough et al, 2017)
Reflexology may reduce anxiety during labour
Going into labour can trigger anxiety and overall it can be an incredibly stressful experience for some women. A recent study has also shown that reflexology during labour helped to lower total anxiety scores. (Yilar Ekek & Aktas, 2018)
You can often get a reflexologist to come to your home
Many maternity reflexologists offer home visits. This added value service has many benefits for pregnancy – you don’t have to travel to and from your appointment, you can stay in your pyjamas during and after the treatment and you can feel relaxed and comfortable in your home environment.
ittle Steps Reflexology is proud to offer home visits for pregnant women in and around Central and South East London. Take a look at my website to find out more and browse my pregnancy reflexology packages, contact me directly or click here to book an appointment online.
· Coussins-Read, 2013, Effects of Prenatal stress on pregnancy and human development: mechanisms and pathways, Obstetric Medicine
· Close et al, 2016, A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effectiveness of reflexology for managing pregnancy low back and/or pelvic pain, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2016 May 23; 117-124
* Shobeiri et al, 2017, Effects of Counselling and Sole Reflexology on Fatigue in Pregnant Women: A Randomised Clinical Trial, Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Reseach, 2017 Jun; 11(6): QC01–QC04.
· Lee et al, 2011, Effects of Foot Reflexology on Fatigue, Sleep and Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Journal of Korean Academic Marketing, 2011 Dec;41(6):821-833
· Valiani et al, 2010, Reviewing the effect of reflexology on the pain and certain features and outcomes of the labor on the primiparous women, Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research,Dec; 15(Suppl1): 302–310
· Dolatian et al, 2011, The Effect of Reflexology on Pain Intensity and Duration of Labour on Primiparas, The Iranian Red Crescent Medicine Journal, July, 13(7): 475–479
· McCollough et al, 2017, A pilot randomised controlled trial exploring the effects of antenatal reflexology on labour outcomes, Midwifery. 2017 Dec;55:137-144
· Yilar Erkek & Aktas, 2018, The Effect of Foot Reflexology on the Anxiety Levels of Women in Labor, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2018 Apr;24(4):352-360
Ugh colds! Sore heads, congestion and runny noses, or as my 2 year old says, ‘I got snot.’
In this tutorial, I will share some simple hand reflexology you can use on yourself, friends or family suffering with a cold.
To keep it simple, let’s focus on 3 reflex points:
The head reflex – the thumb
The sinus reflex – the fingers
The eye and ear area – the base of the fingers
The main technique to use is the thumb walk/caterpillar walk. Use your thumb to press down, then lift a little, press down, then lift a little. This should resemble a caterpillar’s movements, hence the name!
The Head Reflex
Firstly, a heads up (lame pun, sorry!) There’s a lot of ‘thumb’ action going on in this description:
You will either be making use of your thumb to work the thumb of your other hand (and then swap over) if doing self-reflexology OR you will be using your thumb to work the thumbs of your friend/loved one.
Start by thumb/caterpillar walking from the tip of the thumb to the base of the thumb. Try to cover the full thumb area: i.e. thumb walk down one side of the thumb, slide your thumb back up to the top of the thumb, move your thumb over a little, thumb walk down again, and repeat until you have done this 2-3 times and covered the full thumb area.
(Told you, loads of thumb action in that description!)
The Sinus Reflex
Next up, the sinuses. Using the same caterpillar walk movement, walk your thumb from the tip of one finger down to the base of that finger. You can do this 1-3 times per finger to cover as much area of each of the fingers. Repeat for each of the four fingers.
The Eye/Ear General Area
Finally, the eyes and ears reflexes. Using your thumb, caterpillar walk following the linthis book e from the base of the baby finger to the base of the index finger. You can also pause between each finger and do little circular movements to stimulate specific reflex points:
between the index and middle finger – the eye point
between the index and ring finger – the Eustachian tube point
between the ring finger and baby finger – the outer ear
Once you’ve covered these reflexes on one hand, repeat on the other hand. And that’s it!
Keep a look out for my upcoming hand/self reflexology blog tutorials and videos
If you are interested in booking a reflexology appointment please visit my website
If you want to learn more about Hand Reflexology I recommend this book
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Everyone knows me as a meat and potatoes kind of girl so the thought of me going vegan for a month is quite hilarious. Especially as up until about 5 years ago I didn’t actually eat many vegetables, I certainly wouldn’t touch a lentil and I don’t think I’d even heard of a chickpea!
Over the last few years I have gradually added more and more variety into my diet but my favourite food is still meat and potatoes!
Like almost everyone else, I watched What the Health? and wanted to convert to a plant based diet immediately. The sight of cheese made me feel nauseous and for a few days I stayed well clear of most animal derived products. But no one else in my house was and soon the lure of a burger or a tub of Ben and Jerry’s was too much and it didn’t last.
As the New Year approached and the Veganuary advertising took over the tube posters, I sent a text to my husband with a picture of the ad snapped on my phone asking if he’d do it with me. Surprisingly he agreed (bear in mind he has a blog and instagram which is mostly about burgers!)
And so Dec 31st we cooked up our last meat based meal and come Jan 1 we were vegans.
Except there’s a whole lot about going vegan that I just didn’t realise.
Like how little packaged food you can actually eat
Like how the ‘bakers’ in the supermarkets have no idea what the ingredients of their ‘freshly baked bread’ are
Like how animal derived products can literally be in anything including things that should not have anything animal related in them – like grain based products, wine or even sugar
Obviously there’s the obvious – no meat, no milk no cheese. But then there’s the grey area of unknown where a product is marked suitable for vegetarians and you then have to work out whether it is suitable for vegans too (and they just don’t realise how helpful it will be to add the suitable for vegan messaging) or is there some animal derived product lurking in there somewhere. Some manufacturers err on the side of caution and while the product may not contain any animal derived products if they are made in a factory alongside non-vegan products they may be concerned about cross-contamination.
We spent a lot of the month googling is x vegan? Often there’s no clear answer… so you have to err on the side of caution. Here were some of our surprises:
Honey, okay yes its made by bees, but in the first week of January I didnt make the connectionBread, it can sometimes contain dairy, and sometimes it’s fortified with animal derived vitamins, or seeds can be brushed on top with egg. I started to make my own and then started to question the flour as some was also fortified and I couldn’t work out if it was fortified with synthetic or animal derived vitamins
Sugar, you’d think this is straight up plant based but sugar can be filtered with bone char so check before you buy
Crisps, okay again not exactly healthy, but Original Pringles made the accidentally vegan list and I guessed some non meat flavours would be fine, but even something like salt and vinegar crisps may contain lactose (dairy)
Wine, straight from grapes right? yes and no. While the ingredients are plant based, the process of making wine includes ‘fining agents’ which can be animal derived
Cereals, again grain-based so assume they’re vegan but very few are labelled vegan. As most cereals are fortified and some of that fortification can come from animal derived products.
It is pretty tricky, almost impossible to eat out when you’re vegan. We managed to try a few vegan places during the month but most restaurants have minimal/zero options that are vegan.
Most vegan processed food is made using soy, which I try to stay clear of since researching and following 04 a few years ago. Soy is known to be a GM food and have high levels of phyto-estrogens (linked to fertility & hormonal issues)
Vegan food can be tasty! We ended up cooking mostly from scratch and there are loads of great vegan cooking blogs to inspire you. My favourite recipe of the month was Vegan Mac and Cheese. Making my own parmesan cheese out of cashews, garlic and yeast flakes and cheese sauce from soaking cashews.
It’s possible to find decent vegan chocolate – M&S vegan chocolate was particularly good!
While both my husband and I were pretty committed the whole month to Veganuary, we dont think we could turn 100% vegan, 24/7. But the benefits are pretty clear to see and feel. We felt better and healthier and dropped loads of weight in such a short space of time. We definitely want to eat more plant-based meals more of the time.
2 Vegan books I recommend
Thug Kitchen – pretty hilarious (slightly offensive) tone of voice so beware the swearing but the recipes are great for simple, everyday meals