What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a natural, non-invasive, harmless complementary therapy,
where the therapist manually and digitally applies systematic pressure to
reflex points on the feet and hands impacting and helping the body's
multiple mechanisms to perform their roles and to achieve a homeostatic
What are the benefits of reflexology?
Reflexology helps to relieve from stress, and to release toxins from the
body. It improves circulation, and reduces pain. It may help many health
problems to decrease. However, every person being a world of his own,
reflexology cannot be a promise to cure an illness. In fact, reflexology
does not treat a problem in particular, but rather, it helps in achieving
an homeostatic balance: a state of health and well-being.
How does it work?
There are more than 7000 nerve terminations in our feet, connecting to all
of our body's systems, organs and tissues. By applying pressure techniques
to these reflex areas and specific points, the reflexologist actually
stimulates them to have them do their natural work towards balance, or
What are its origins?
Archeological evidence in Egypt and China trace back the use of reflexology
as a natural medical tool to over 5000 years. It has since then been
rediscovered and used time and again all over the world. At the end of the
19th Century, an American physical therapist by the name of Eunice Ingham,
working with Dr. Shelby Riley, and Dr. W. H. Fitzgerald, actively studied,
and chartered reflexology making it accessible and revealing its therapeutic
values to the western world and its medical communities. Eunice Ingham
through her worldwide lectures, her books, and her International Institute
of Reflexology, today headed by her nephew Dwight Byers, contributed to today's
widespread use of reflexology in our world's modern medicine to the extent
that she is known as the "Mother" of Reflexology..
Is it true to say that reflexology does not 'treat' symptoms as such but
looks for the cause?
Absolutely. Reflexology is a holistic therapy that considers the person as a
whole: body, mind and spirit, and encourages their balance with their
environment. Unlike conventional medicine where you will be given an
aspirin to do away with a headache that may be due to stress although
aspirin will not cure stress, the basis of reflexology as with other
holistic therapies is to treat the root cause of the misbalance, or illness.
It is important however to underline that, reflexology is not, and should
not be seen as, a substitute for a medical treatment but works as a
complement to such treatment
What prompted you to become a reflexologist?
I have always believed in the soothing and often healing power of touch. And
I have also always felt my hands to be particularly sensitive, maybe even
"intuitive" so to speak. Until one day I realized that, as with everything,
there had to be a reason, and understood that I was meant to use them to
the possible benefit of others. (I was myself not well and was given reflexology, and other therapeutic touch therapies, for the first time, and remember not having been at all surprised by its very positive effects. Naturally! I altogether cured from my distresses.)
This prompted me to look into touch therapies, particularly reflexology as a professional activity. And I studied it. From then on, reflexology, more than an activity, Really became a new more natural, sounder way of life, which came together with the fulfillment of knowing that I was doing what I was meant to do.
How is the practice of reflexology regulated?
To this day, there is no regulation of the practice of reflexology, in
Spain, Catalonia or elsewhere. In 2007, the Generalitat did pass a
regulatory decree on the most commonly used natural therapies - among which
reflexology - but under the pressure of various medical and
physiotherapists´ associations interested in maintaining their privileges,
the decree was annulled. However, the European Forum for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine (EFCAM), part of the European Public Health Alliance
(EPHA), and RIEN association are currently working to promote regulated
integrated healthcare - and reflexology - in Europe, on the basis of Paul
Lannoye´s 1995 report. EDIREFLEX, nationwide reflexology association based
in Barcelona, adheres to RIEN. It is thus very important for natural therapy users to verify that their therapists are fully trained and experienced in their field.
With which type of childhood conditions is reflexology most appropriate?
The professional reflexologist adapts a specific treatment protocol to each
person, for each condition, with every visit, naturally working in harmony
with the person to help reach a general balance, and thus remove or reduce
any possible underlying condition. This makes it a suitable therapy for
almost anyone, regardless of age or condition. Again, reflexology is
harmless and non-invasive: babies and children benefit from reflexology as
much as do adults, and senior people.
Is reflexology used for both physical and emotional conditions?
Absolutely. The professional reflexologist is trained to take a full medical
history by asking relevant, but searching, questions which could reveal any
condition in the person's physical or emotional aspects.
What is the most common condition among children you see in Barcelona?
Children seem to be increasingly suffering from nose-ear and throat
ailments, and allergies. Many parents also seem to be concerned with
hyperactivity affecting their child. I also frequently show parents how to
gently do reflexology massages to their colicky babies.
Some believe that reflexology can be more effective when used on children
than adults - why is this?
I would not say that reflexology is more effective on children, but rather
that children are particularly responsive to reflexology. There are two
possible reasons: first, children have not yet experienced the difficulties
of life, so they carry less emotional baggage than grown-ups. Second, their
conditions can only be fairly new, thus less resistant to treatment.
From what age can a child benefit from reflexology?
As previously said, there is no age limit in reflexology.
Do parents often come to see you after conventional medical care has failed
to help cure a child's condition?
I often have parents visiting for help with children who seem to be
temporarily difficult, and who are seeking a natural way to help their
children with their stress or excitement.
Parents also have their children visit for preventive reasons, after
recurrent ear infections, or chronic allergies for example.
But I always stress the importance of visiting a doctor or pediatrician if
the family has not seen or is not seeing one, and that a reflexologist is
not a doctor, and can not diagnose nor prescribe. I explain that reflexology
is a complementary therapy.
Can reflexology be used in tandem with conventional medicine to cure a
Reflexology works very well with conventional medicine,
psychological treatments, as well as with other natural therapies (plants,
acupuncture, quiro, physiotherapy, etc...)
Are you concerned that treating potentially serious illnesses with
reflexology, which has no proven efficacy, could delay the seeking of
appropriate medical treatment?
The use of reflexology in our Western medicine is fairly recent: even if
still very small, there is a growing number of studies that reveal its
efficacy in various ailments, and research is constantly being developed.
However and again, I would always immediately refer a person to a doctor if
he is not seeing one, particularly in case of a potentially serious illness.
If a child is suffering from say, asthma, how do you go about assessing
Although reflexology does not treat any specific problem, the professional
reflexologist sets up a holistic treatment protocol for each visit,
focusing it on addressing the specific needs , as well as any possible needs of the person
at that time. In case of asthma, the protocol would include treating asthma
as a debilitating symptom (chest, lungs and bronchi, adrenals, ileocecal valve,
diaphragm...), as well as its possible root causes, which may be nervousness or an
emotional condition. A professional reflexologist has received a holistic training, which
includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, and has learned to take full
medical histories as well as to make searching questions that may lead to
the possible causes for illness or ill-being.
Talk us through a typical reflexology session?
There is no typical reflexology session, because there is no typical person.
Childrens´sessions are usually shorter and more frequent than for adults. A
few minutes every day for babies, from 15 to 30 minutes for children, every
day or up to every 4-6 days, depending on each person and on the pathology. Grown-ups sessions may take from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. May be
every day, every week, or every month. In any case, the reflexologist takes time to meet the patient and adapt to his communication style and comfort needs. He will always take medical
history and thoroughly listen to the person for any non medical information
and will note anything he feels is relevant. Then he will draw his
protocol. He will comfortably install the person in a reclining reflexology
chair, after having asked him to take his shoes and socks off, and will
create a relaxing atmosphere (soft music, dim lights, warm blanket...). He
will "read" the feet for additional information (remember: the whole person
is reflected in the feet. Experienced reflexologists can learn a lot about
the person and his ailments through them). He will always explain
reflexology, and how he works, to any new patient. He will apply a few
relaxing techniques to the feet to put them into condition before starting
the treatment. And he will look for reactions from the patient during
treatment, and will note any relevant information on the patient's chart. He
will end the treatment with relaxing techniques..The patient by that time
may have fallen asleep...
How many sessions does a child need before he/she is 'cured'?
There is no typical response time in children or in adults, because everyone
is different. The response may be immediate, or take 3, or 5, or more sessions.
If a parent reading this is concerned about their child in any way, at what
stage would you advise them to come to see you?
The sooner a treatment starts, the better: it always takes a person more
efforts to fight a condition if it is long-existing.
Would you recommend a session of reflexology for stressed-out parents?!
I would definitely recommend a session for stressed-out parents, for their
benefit as for the family's as a whole: Stress as well as calmness easily spreads to others.
How can people find you?
Appointments can be made Mondays to Saturdays on tel : 654 53 85 06 - mail :
email@example.com I hold 2 clinics in Barcelona in Calle Tuset close to Diagonal, and in Calle Diputacio close to metro Rocafort. My web page is www.barcelonareflexologia.com