Here’s a review I recently carried out for The Modern Girl’s Guide: Maternity reflexology by Bumps in Sheffield.
LAST week I did something incredibly brave… I let a lady touch my feet. Now to you, that might not sound like a big deal, but for me, usually, the very thought of anyone touching my feet is enough to make me want to run a mile!
At 21 weeks pregnant I really felt like I could do with some much needed mum-to-be pampering and so I decided to boldly go where I’ve never gone before and put my feet into someone else’s hands.
For those that don’t know, reflexology is an ancient form of practice that works on the principle that every organ, gland or part of the body has a specific reflex zone in the foot.
By using specific massage techniques, the aim of a reflexologist is to have a positive, balancing effect on the corresponding part of the body.
In pregnancy, reflexology offers a number of benefits including relaxation and harmonisation of the body and can even be used to help induce labour. Incredibly, specialists can sometimes even ‘see’ the baby growing in the feet! So you can see why I was keen to it give it a try.
Prior to the session I was a little nervous but was soon put completely at ease by the very lovely Rachael Hibberd, one of Bump’s pregnancy specialists.
After leading me into a quiet, relaxing treatment room, Rachel kindly provided me with some information about maternity reflexology before taking me through a number of questions about my general health and pregnancy. Then after explaining how the session would work, it was time to ‘kick off my shoes’ and let the session begin.
I was invited to lie down on a futon and get comfortable, in a semi-upright seated position. Rachael propped me up using lots of pillows to make sure that I was completely comfortable and that both my back and bump had plenty of support.
Then after gently warming my bare feet with a towel, Rachael began to stroke and massage my feet, starting with the right foot.
As Rachael massaged my right foot, I soon began to feel incredibly relaxed. So much so, that I even had to stop asking Rachel questions about the treatment as I became very sleepy!
Amazingly, the area that was a little sore had pinpointed that I was holding a lot of tension in my neck, a known hazard of being sat at a computer all the time and something which has been brought to my attention before on numerous occasions.
After massaging my right foot, Rachael then concentrated her efforts on my left and carried out the same range of motions and strokes. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed! Occasionally some of Rachael’s massage did tickle a little or feel a bit odd, but this never lasted for more than a few seconds.
After the session, Rachael provided me with a glass of water to drink ( it’s very important apparently to drink lots of water after a session to flush away the body’s toxins) and talked me through a few things that she’d noticed in my feet.
She discussed with me the tension in my neck and also mentioned that my kidneys were a little swollen so advised me to drink more water. (Again, something I know I don’t do enough of.)
Interestingly, Rachael had also spotted that my adrenal glands – which control your stress hormones – were a little enlarged and encouraged me to find more time to relax.
I have been working very long hours of late, so this wasn’t a total surprise but certainly brought home to me, that I need to slow down and take things a little easier, for both myself and the precious ‘bean’ that I’m carrying.
After being a little apprehensive about putting my feet in someone else’s hands, I left the session feeling much calmer and with an understanding that I need to take greater care of myself during my pregnancy.
In fact, I loved it so much, that I’m about to book another session and hope to continue with these up until the birth!
Rachael said that one of the things she found with her reflexology patients was that sometimes, just the very thought of the treatment itself, was enough to make her mums-to-be feel instantly more relaxed.
And oddly, as I’ve been typing up this review remembering the session, I’ve felt much calmer than I did earlier. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I for one, would put money on it, that there’s some truth in this reflexology lark. :-)
All of it! I never thought I would say this, but having my feet massaged was heavenly and just the kind of pampering I needed. I’ll definitely be going back for more.
The fact it had to end ;-) Seriously, I couldn’t find any fault with Rachael or her incredible reflexology skills.
Over-worked, tired or stressed out mums-to-be. Besides the relaxation benefits and balancing / harmonising affects on the body, reflexology can also be used in pregnancy to treat a variety of conditions including pelvic-girdle pain.
Till the next time,
All services are carried out at their premises in Sheffield City Centre but the team will occasionally pay home visits to those who cannot make it for health reasons.