Reflexology originated from ancient Egypt, India and China. It was introduced to the West by Dr William Fitzgerald who developed 'Zone therapy'. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
In the 1930's, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone theory into what is known as reflexology. She believed that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body.
Reflexology is based on the principle that one small area of the body, sometimes referred to as a microsystem of reflex points and zones represent a map of the whole body. The aim of reflexology is to treat through stimulation and/or sedation of these reflex points or zones on the feet, hands, and ears that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. Pressure is applied to the reflex points or zones in a precise, systematic way to restore and maintain homeostasis (balance) in the whole body. Reflexology has its own theories, effects and mechanism of actions with a growing body of evidence for therapeutic use.
Reflex Zone therapy (RZT) is a form of clinical reflexology which is used in clinical specialist areas and particularly in midwifery practice to aid relaxation and offer relief from many pregnancy related conditions. In my practice, I use both general reflexology and reflex zone therapy (RZT) techniques, depending on each individual case.
REFLEXOLOGY IN PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH
Maternity reflexology is aimed specifically at women during pre-conception, pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period.
During pregnancy your body goes through significant physical changes which effect the emotional, hormonal and physiological balance of your body. For some women this can be a long period of discomfort and fatigue with nausea, headaches, backache and other conditions associated with pregnancy. Reflexology has shown to be excellent in helping to alleviate or prevent these common discomforts and in maintaining balance during the rapidly changing physiological states of pregnancy.
BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY IN PREGNANCY
Research has shown that regular reflexology treatments during pregnancy can shorten the duration of labour, with many women requiring less pain relief.
Reflexology can also be used during pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period to help:
Reflexology is a safe and supportive therapy for pregnant women and, sympathetically applied, is excellent during pregnancy and birth, both for you and your baby, promoting calm and relaxation which can enhance bonding and breastfeeding.