REFLEXOLOGY FOR PREGNANCY
Being pregnant is a joyful experience for most women, but there can be times when you feel stressed or need extra support. Having Reflexology can help your body to maintain a balance during the rapid physical, emotional and physiological changes of pregnancy. Reflexology may also help to ease common pregnancy conditions such as low back pain and morning sickness; as well as support your body to prepare for the birth.
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a complementary health therapy based on the theory that your feet represent a map of your body, with specific points on your feet linking to different parts of your body. Reflexologists believe that stimulating these reflex points can trigger a healing process, aid relaxation and improve wellbeing. Studies in Japan have shown massaging a specific reflex point on the foot can increase blood flow to the corresponding area of the brain. (1,2)
How can reflexology help during pregnancy?
Reflexology may help with common pregnancy conditions such as:
- Stress and anxiety
- Energy levels
- Mood swings
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fluid retention (in feet and ankles)
- Ligament and groin pain
- Insomnia and sleep problems.
Specific research studies into Maternity Reflexology have shown that it can:
- reduce pain during labour (3,4)
- reduce the length of labour (6)
- improve quality of sleep (5)
- reduce stress, low back pain and pelvic girdle pain (7)
- lower anxiety of women in labour. (8)
Each of us is different, so the potential benefits of a Reflexology treatment will vary for each individual.
Reflexology at The Forge Clinic, Richmond is carried out by Giuliana Newman, a fully qualified and experienced reflexologist. At the beginning of your appointment she will ask about your health and pregnancy so she can ensure it is safe and appropriate to carry out the treatment. She will then adapt the session to tackle your symptoms.
Please note that reflexology and massage treatments are only suitable after the first trimester. Always check with your GP or midwife before having treatment, and make sure you see a qualified reflexologist who is experienced at treating women during pregnancy.
(1) Somatotopical relationships between cortical activity and reflex areas in reflexology study. Nakamaru T, Miura N, Fukushima A, Kawashima R. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Dec 19;448(1):6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.022.
(2) Activity in the primary somatosensory cortex induced by reflexological stimulation study. Miura N, Akitsuki Y, Sekiguchi A, Kawashima Complement Altern Med. 2013 May 27;13:114.
(3) Valiani M et al. (2010) The effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 15 (Dec) p302-310
(4) Iran Red Crescent Med J 2011; 13(7):475-479 ©Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal
(5) Lic Y C et al (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst postpartum women. Midwifery. 27. p181-186
(8) The Effect of Foot Reflexology on the Anxiety Levels of Women in Labour. Yılar Erkek Z, Aktas S. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Apr;24(4):352-360