Give it some sole with reflexology
Feeling the pressure? Pop your feet up and soothe away the stresses with some relaxing reflexology.
Whether you’re weighed down with the tensions of daily life or if you have a pesky health niggle you’d like to see the back of, reflexology can be an interesting treatment to explore. Even if you’re not big on complementary therapies, there’s no doubt that a nice foot rub can ease away all manner of troubles. After a hectic week I hot-footed it to Red Reflexology in Flore village to give the facial and foot reflexology a whirl.
WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY?
Pay attention at the back. In reflexology, pressure is applied to certain points in the feet, hands and face that are connected to other parts of the body by the central nervous system, offering all sorts of brilliant health benefits. That said, any time to relax and reconnect with your body can only be a good thing, right?
As well as focusing on the feet and hands, Shona Rathore, owner of Red Reflexology, offers facial reflexology, stimulating specific points in order to enhance energy flow, healing and eliminate stress. Oh, yes please.
Expecting? You might want to try maternity reflexology, which can help with typical pregnancy issues such as heartburn, morning sickness, difficulty sleeping and general aches and pains. If your little one’s already here, then a 4 week baby ‘reflexage’ course, which combines reflexology and massage techniques (see what they did there?), is a lovely way to connect with junior whilst also supporting them if, oh alright then, when they struggle with things like sleep, colic, reflux or teething.
WHAT’S THE VIBE?
Flore is a pretty but buzzing village and Shona’s treatment room, which is in a converted barn, is peaceful and private, tucked away along a quiet street. The space is absolutely immaculate and you can tell that Shona has put a lot of thought into how to ensure her clients feel super relaxed, from the pale green walls to the forest photography adorning them, candles and plants, there’s a fresh but warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Having been a primary school teacher for 12 years, Shona, who is also a mum of three, felt the time had come for a change in career and, as someone who loves being able to support others to heal and flourish, her journey to reflexology began. Shona got her Level 3 diploma with the Academy of Reflexology and is a member of the Association of Reflexologists. She’s also a qualified Life Coach and specialises in working with women going through difficult situations such as break-ups, helping them to take back control of their lives and move forward, so the whole vibe is about bringing calm and focusing on nurture.
First things first: shoes off, fluffy white slippers on. Instant relaxation. I sink into a big arm chair as Shona goes through the initial health check to establish any areas of concern. Casting an expert eye over the soles of my feet, she immediately asks how I’m sleeping. Not good, I admit (Memo to self: must stop doom scrolling at bedtime). She can tell this just from looking at the bottom of my feet? Yikes, I dread to think what else she’ll uncover.
Then out comes a giant glass bowl full of warm water and fragrant rose petals for me to soak my pinkies. I’m floating away on a cloud already and the actual reflexology hasn’t even started yet. Once I’m up on the table though, the real bliss kicks in. I start with a 45 minute facial reflexology treatment. I seem to carry quite a bit of tension in my face and I’m always frowning when I catch sight of myself in the mirror, even if I don’t feel particularly stressed, so this was like botox without the er, botox. Feet were up next, literally, for a whole hour of lovely massage. I’ve had reflexology treatments before and it’s sometimes been a bit severe, but Shona has a light touch (not ticklish though) and there’s no painful prodding.
I had some thought-provoking feedback from Shona after my session and what stood out was that, like most of us emerging from a pandemic, I’m a wee bit anxious, so more relaxation is on the cards for me. Make mine a G&T.
Hormones, digestive issues and possible sugar spikes were also picked up on, which all sounded fairly accurate. My shoulders were described as being “very crunchy” and as I’d just breezed in from an hour of weights I’d say the crunch factor was definitely high. And remember peeps, at at no point were my shoulders involved in the this, Shona has worked out all of this from my feet. Pretty impressive, or what?
I emerged feeling in a slightly altered state, and was instructed to stay well-hydrated and to avoid alcohol for the rest of the day, as reflexology stimulates a detox process in the body (puts corkscrew back in drawer).
Reflecting on our physical and emotional health is something we don’t always make time for, but for me the results were clear and immediate. I’ve also taken away quite a few things to think about and try to address going forward. Shona explains everything clearly and is passionate about the mind/body connection and its importance to our wellbeing. I’d say that my treatments have been hugely beneficial to me. Oh, and did I mention, they feel amazing too?