Regular readers will know I’ve always thought of massages as an indulgent luxury, ranking them somewhere between manicures and mud wraps on my ‘frivolous uses for perfectly good money’ scale. So it was with some hesitation that I went along for a reflexology treatment at Gullane-based Sunshine Sole. .
Ringing the doorbell on the brightly-painted, blue wooden door, entrance to the delightful garden studio which houses Sunshine Sole, I had little clue about what to expect. I don’t really like having my feet touched, so I was somewhat apprehensive about trying reflexology. Heulwen Hardie, who has a Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Reflexology, showed me to her purpose-built studio (perfect in these COVID times) and quickly put me at ease as she talked about reflexology.
Reflexology is an non-invasive, holistic treatment that focuses on healing in the body by activating different reflex points found in the hands, feet and ears. Pressing on different points causes reflex responses in corresponding parts of the body, which can help promote healing. It doesn’t just treat a single symptom, but aims to treat the causes of symptoms. It helps to relax you both mentally and physically, allowing the body to rebalance. Heulwen who offers traditional, fertility, menopause and peri-menopause reflexology explained that clients come for a variety of reasons; those who come with a specific complaint or reason, those who use it as a maintenance treatment to mitigate the effects of stress and those who just find it wonderfully relaxing and do it as a treat.
My treatment started with a foot-bath and talking through my medical history, diet and lifestyle. Seated in the most comfortable chair, I promise you’ll ever experience, Heulwen activated the reflex points on my feet that correspond with one side of the body, and continued to the other side until the whole body had been treated. She explained that if a reflexologist finds pain, tightness or energetic blockage in any of the reflex points, they will apply pressure to that area to promote healing elsewhere in the body. Heluwen only worked on my feet but I could feel the effects throughout my whole body. I’m not usually able to switch off from the outside world, but during the session my mind was completely tuned in to what was happening in that room and I’ll readily admit to drifting off to sleep at times.
My first experience with reflexology pleasantly surprised me and I’d definitely be keen to have treatments. Already feeling the burden of a busy week, I was grateful for the relaxation which is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, as well as tension. But reflexology does not only relieve stress and anxiety, it is also good for menopausal symptoms, poor circulation, support during pregnancy, insomnia and digestive issues. Don’t let preconceptions hold you back from trying reflexology. It’s definitely worth a go – at a minimum, it will leave you feeling extremely relaxed and ready for a nap!