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World Reflexology Week takes place every year in the last full week in September.  It is about promoting reflexology and raising awareness of reflexology to the public on a global level.

The FHT say relieving stress and tension is just what we all need right now, so we want to help members spread the word about how reflexology can support health and wellbeing. The FHT wrote “To say that this year has been challenging is of course an understatement. Unable to carry out face to face treatments we have all had to utilise our skills in other ways, writes Amanda Vickers, MFHT. 

‘I work within a team of complementary therapists at the NHS Mustard Tree Macmillan Cancer Support Centre. Ensuring cancer patients and their families could continue to receive support throughout the pandemic, I adapted my sessions to be carried out over the phone or virtually. These sessions supported them with self-help techniques, designed to aid relaxation and to reduce anxiety.

Individual sessions of virtual and telephone-guided reflexology hand massage proved to be extremely popular. Although providing this over the telephone was not ideal, if I was specific with my instructions, it worked really well. If you had told me a year ago that I would have been providing treatments over the phone, I would not have thought it was feasible but feedback on these sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.

I was asked by the team at the centre to produce a short self-help video which has been added to the toolbox of techniques that the centre had to offer. This video can be watched at plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/mustard-tree-our-services.

Amanda Vickers, MFHT, has been a reflexologist for over 20 years in private practice. For just over a year, Amanda has been working as a complementary therapist for the NHS for the Mustard Tree Macmillan Cancer Support Centre at Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, Devon. 

The main benefits to reflexology are that it unblocks energy channels and have a relaxing effect. It can also stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms and help with pain relief.

William Fitzgerald developed the ‘zone theory’ after finding that he could induce numbness and reduce certain symptoms in the body by simply applying pressure to specific points on the hands and mouth.

The zones are throughout the body with the head having five zones on each side. All the zones lie in each finger and thumb and the theory is that energy travels through the zones and these have an energy connection to all organs, muscles, blood supplies, nerve cells and different tissue types. Disturbances in any of your body will affect these zones so by applying pressure on your hands and feet to these zones it will stimulate the flow of of energy back through your body to the area that needs it.

The neck which is highly prone to tension could respond well to reflexology. To work on your neck reflex cup one thumb in the other hand so that it is resting between your index and middle fingers. Use your working thumb to walk along the bone of the thumb from the first to the second joint. Make seven small steps along the bones, to represent the seven vertebrae in the neck.

Many of us will be on our feet each day, and yet they can be one part of our body that gets the least pampering and attention. We rely on our feet to get us from one place to the other, and to still look amazing in pretty little peep toe shoes. But, according to articles on reflexology, our health can have much to do with certain zones of our feet, which is why it may be worth spending some time and showing them a little love every now and again. Taking care of your feet to avoid any other health problems could help other parts of your body feel less strain.

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