Your first Reflexology session

Anything from a serious illness to the strains and stresses of modern life can throw your body out of balance. When that happens, you're more susceptible to illnesses and complications that can affect your ability to function at your best. Reflexology is a form of massage that finds and addresses your body's imbalances.

How does reflexology work?

To understand how reflexology works, you have to consider your body and mind holistically. Anything that's wrong with one part can affect other parts of you and create general imbalances in your system. These imbalances are reflected in the reflex points on your feet and hands.

Working these points by applying pressure releases the imbalance in the associated part of the body. Reflexologists are taught to recognize the connections between the areas of the feet and the rest of the body and often revisit specific areas to ensure that the balance is restored and maintained. This article is about what to expect during a reflexology session, but you may also want to learn more about the benefits of reflexology

What can you expect?

Your first session of reflexology is usually the longest, since the therapist, or reflexologist, needs to get to know you. Sessions usually last between 45 minutes and an hour, but before your first treatment can start, the therapist needs to talk to you about your health, lifestyle and diet. It's important to be open and honest in order for the treatment to be as effective as possible. You should mention anything that affects your daily life, including medications that you take and any stress or strains that you are experiencing.

After the consultation, you'll need to remove your footwear, including any socks or tights, and either lie down on a treatment bed or recline in a chair. Some therapists work the hands and feet, while others just concentrate on the reflex points of the feet, so wearing loose, comfortable clothing that allows your therapist easy access to your feet, ankles and possibly hands is recommended. Your therapist may also play gentle music and light candles to help you relax.

Once the mood is set, your therapist will begin the treatment by gently massaging your feet, using either oils or creams, then start working the reflex points by applying firm pressure. While you should be able to feel this pressure, it shouldn't be overly painful and you'll find that after the pressure is released, any pain turns into an enhanced feeling of relaxation. You should let the therapist know if you become uncomfortable at any point.

Usually, the therapist works one foot at a time and may cover the other foot in a towel to keep it warm. During the session, you should feel relaxed. Keep in mind that it is not unusual to drift off or even fall asleep. You can chat with the therapist during the session if you want or just lie back and unwind.

Once the treatment is complete, the reflexologist gives you time to readjust and wake up if you've dozed off. You may be offered some water to help. You'll also be advised to drink plenty of fresh water after the treatment to flush toxins released during your reflexology session from your body. You may also be advised to take things easy and eat a light meal.

Your reflexologist will discuss a treatment plan with you based on what was discovered during your first session. Usually, treatment cycles are four to six weeks long with one session a week. However, reflexology is safe to have more regularly and over longer periods of time. If you have a serious illness, more sessions may be recommended. Following your session, you should make a note of any problems, changes or improvements that you experience. Even the smallest change could be important, so don't overlook anything.

We hope you enjoy your first reflexology session. If you'd like to find a practitioner, read their reviews and book them online, you can begin by searching MassageBook to find a reflexologist near you.