Julie at Blue Coral reflexology is to feet what Sarah Jessica Parker is to clashing prints, and I for one will be keeping my block sessions booked up for the forseeable!
I am by nature, a wee bit cynical about the benefits of what the beauty and holistic industries have to offer until I’ve tried them (a bit like I am with the supernatural I suppose, when I see a ghost, I’ll believe in them). I tried reflexology once in a smart hotel in St Ives, Cornwall. The therapist looked like she had just left school, and proceeded to massage my feet and tell me nothing (my feet were very moisturised, but I can’t say I particularly felt any other benefits).
I’d heard about Julie, Blue Coral Reflexology, through a friend (a recommendation from a trusted source is always a good start). Her treatment room is the front bedroom in her house in Kettering, and it’s a small oasis of calm just off the A14 (there are always candles, music and even warm towels for chilly feet).
When you first see Julie, she settles you on the sofa and starts with a full health consultation, including questions about lifestyle, exercise and nutrition (I was tempted to fib about the wine consumption and Kettle Chip addiction – vintage cheddar since you ask – but I didn’t, because Julie looks like a caring best friend, and it would be just wrong, plus she’d know). Reflexology doesn’t claim to fix your ailments, but rather help the body restore its balance naturally and people often go when they’re having issues with digestion, skincare, stress, or even fertility issues. I wasn’t sure I was there for any reason other than a review (how wrong I was). To start with, Julie just has a good rummage on the feet and takes lots of notes (which is slightly disconcerting, as is her clear passion for these things we stand on that many of us refuse to touch).
The treatment itself is very relaxing, and Julie uses a cream to work on the different pressure points on the feet. Some people feel tenderness in certain parts but others who I’ve spoken to, simply feel a massage and nearly fall asleep! I felt quite strange on the first session. Like she was unblocking things inside me; my limbs and joints were all zingy, like an electrical pulse was zipping through (and yes, bits did correlate to the point in my body, a problematic right shoulder for one. Julie told me that one time she suspected her client was pregnant, just by a correlation on her foot, and guess what, she was!).
I had quite a long list of things on Julie’s paper afterwards. We talked through them, and she told me to drink lots of water and see how I felt. I left feeling more perky, but not knowing why. That night I slept really well and the following week I found myself feeling generally more buoyant than I had in a while. Cut to two weeks later when I’m back in Julie’s room for my third session and we can both look back at the week one me and realise just how stressed I was. I was a coiled up spring waiting to bounce. Julie said that I was like a different person, I was much more brittle in the first session. Funny thing is, if I’d only gone to her the once, we would have never realised. Looking back, the month or two before my first treatment, I was struggling with everyday occurrences like work meetings or juggling tasks and I’d started to fear simple communication with other people (that is NOT me at all). Yes, I’d had a few very big life issues going on, but I’m so used to coping I guess I didn’t realise I wasn’t. Anyway, this isn’t an over sharing kinda blog, but safe to say, that my weekly meetings with Julie really helped me get back into just feeling normal and less afraid.
I call Julie my bonus counsellor, because aside from her excellent foot work, she always spends the beginning of the session just talking, and finding out how I feel (she has a background in counselling too). Her ability to promote general wellness and relaxation has seen her relatively new business grow quite quickly, and I suspect she is the foot fairy godmother to a few Northants bods who are struggling with the stresses and strains of everyday life. If feet aren’t your thing, or you’d like to double up on your wellness session, Julie also does a mean Indian head massage at an extra cost of £15, so £40 in total – with it being a very reasonable £25 for the reflexology session. I book in sessions of five, which discounts a fiver per session, so I get the whole block of 5 for £100 (that wouldn’t even get me two sessions in the smoke).
Anyway, the upshot is I love it. Whether it’s aligning my chakras or just giving me time to reflect, it definitely has a very positive impact on me. I now go every three weeks and I feel happier, I sleep better and I’m actually a nicer person (less short with the children/him indoors/and kinder to myself). Don’t believe me? Go and find out for yourself. Julie is to feet what Sarah Jessica Parker is to clashing prints, and I for one will be keeping my block sessions booked up for the forseeable!