By Twenty Something By The Sea
I’ll be honest, I approach everything with a borderline unhealthy dose of skepticism. I’m usually the one hanging around at the back of a group until at least 3 people have gone down the waterslide before I trust it. So, when Lucy of Menevia Spa asked me to try out Reflexology with practitioner Jodie, I was a little apprehensive. There were two main reasons for this:
1. I didn’t really know much about it, only that it was to do with your feet and similar to acupuncture and that involves needles.
2. I have really, really ticklish feet. Honestly, if anyone so much as looks at them I start to squirm.
So I knew this would be interesting, but I thought, let’s give it a go. I was fully expecting to have to get over the tickliness and resign myself to a lovely foot massage. Oh how little I knew! I can now, after my reflexology experience, call myself a convert. It was amazing, and I’ll tell you why!
Firstly, a little about reflexology. I wasn’t totally wrong in thinking it was a bit like acupuncture, but was wrong in associating it with needles. It’s similar in that it relies on the stimulation of one part of the body to identify and help any issues in other parts of the body. Specifically, reflexology uses reflexes in the feet (or hands) to create balance within the body. Put simply, reflexology practitioners like Jodie massage different parts of your feet, and each part correlates to somewhere in your body. Jodie explained it with a diagram like the one below, which is as fascinating as it is colourful!
I admitted to Jodie that I was a little nervous, and she was great at putting me at ease. She asked whether I would prefer to be lying completely horizontally or sitting, or anywhere in between. I went for a kind of halfway house, since I wanted to relax but equally was keen on keeping an eye on what was going on. I also mentioned the tickly feet issue, and Jodie said she got that a lot, and asked me what kind of pressure I would prefer and if there was any spot more ticklish than others. Basically, she was lovely and made me feel in control while also assuring me that she knows what she’s doing! She asked if there were any issues that I would like to work on, and I mentioned I had some lower back pain, but nothing major.
Jodie eased me in with a relaxation and cleansing massage using a tea tree foot cleanse and hot mitts. Within about 30 seconds I was totally relaxed, and the firm pressure she was using completely eliminated any tickling sensations. While she was working through my toes at this point, a couple of them clicked, which apparently can indicate issues, but can also just mean you’ve got clicky toes! Either way it felt fantastic.
Jodie finished the relaxation part, and began the reflexology. At this point I was still a tad cynical, and although I was loving the massage, hadn’t felt anything that would indicate that this actually had any benefits. Now, it’s rare to spend an hour concentrating on any part of your body, least of all your feet (unless you’re out in silly shoes, but that’s a different issue). It was amazing to feel the different sore spots, tight bits and clicky bones all so distinct from one another when they’re being poked and prodded one by one. Then Jodie reached my left heel, and there was an almighty ‘clunk’ that sent a pain right up my body. She calmly said ‘Yep, that’s your lower back.’ That’s when I realised there might be mileage in this reflexology lark.
After that, amazing stuff started happening. My stomach started to rumble. I said ‘Are you on my digestive system?’ (not a question you get to ask everyday) and she said ‘Yep.’ Then my tummy started to cramp; she was going over my reproductive system. She picked up on a stressful feeling around my chest, and I admitted that I had been feeling very anxious that day. I mean, I don’t know what I believe, but whatever she was up to, it was working.
As she worked, we chatted about reflexology in between my exclamations of ‘Ooh my shoulders tingling are you on them?’ Jodie talked about case studies where it has helped with everything from infertility to incontinence. She talked about how the whole body is connected, and told a story about a woman who had been told by her reflexologist to go to the doctors for such a specific part of the body that the GP rolled their eyes, but when they scanned, there was a cyst.
As I say, I was skeptical going in, right up to the clunk in my heel. From then on I was totally convinced that reflexology works, in some way or another. By the end I felt like something had really shifted. I felt calm, and a bit achy, and my feet felt like I was walking on air. That evening I felt energised and my back felt like it had had a massage. I would love to do a course of reflexology and see what could be achieved in a series of sessions.
Jodie is a qualified reflexology practitioner at Menevia Spa.
A half an hour reflexology session costs £25, and an hour is £35. Book 4 sessions and get the 5th free!
Jodie uses natural beeswax during the treatment, or talc/oil are vegan options.
Call Menevia Spa on 01437 454114 to make an appointment!
Disclaimer: I received a free treatment and payment from Menevia Spa for this piece, on the understanding that I would give my honest appraisal of the spa and its treatments.