My first experience of reflexology was nearly 20 years ago when suffering from a bout of stress-related insomnia. Having tried all sorts of treatments without success, someone suggested reflexology. I'd never even heard of it but was desperate. Amazingly it just took that one session to break the cycle and this inspired me to learn how to do it myself.
I qualified from the Central London School of Reflexology in 2004. Since then I've studied numerous different types and approaches to reflexology which has helped improve my understanding of the therapy, and enabled me to provide the best and most suitable treatments possible. Whether it's helping someone overcome a niggling injury, treating a client with a chronic auto-immune condition or just giving a deep, blissful, stress-busting treatment. These all require different approaches, techniques and pressures etc.
There were two methods that have really helped me. Dr Jesus Manzanares' 'Manzanares Method' and Spiros Dimitrakoulas' 'Orthopedic Reflexology'. 'The Manzanares Method' is a very precise method with incredibly detailed reflexology maps. It focuses mainly on treating the areas related to the problem as opposed to the whole foot and is backed up by 30 years of scientific study. 'Orthopedic Reflexology' looks at the mechanics of the foot and how problems with the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons can affect the body as a whole.
The combination of these two approaches improved my results significantly but there was still something missing. This was particularly apparent in clients with muscular/skeletal problems such as back, knee, hip pain etc. Why did some recover completely and others just keep coming back with the same problem or with pain in another area?
By chance someone recommended a book called 'What the Foot' by Gary Ward. What he'd discovered changed everything and it was so so obvious. People were just walking themselves back into pain!
No matter what I did on the couch there was no change in their gait patterns. If they were bent over to one side and hardly put any weight into one of their feet, then of course they were going to come back, either in a couple of weeks or 6 months with similar or worse problems.
Once I'd realised this, I had no choice but to do his 'Anatomy in Motion' course. A movement therapy based on the gait cycle, and guess what the most important body part is... the feet! If they can't pronate and supinate well, then the rest of the body has to compromise.
So now no matter what people come in for, the first thing I do is look at their posture and what their feet are doing. Because how they stand and hold themselves can provide a lot of information as to their presenting condition.