It’s all in the feet

 When you lead a busy life and know your diet is not all it could be and exercise is the best route to a healthier lifestyle but you just can’t quite get motivated to jog along the beach. Or maybe you have niggling health problems, perhaps not enough to take you to a doctor but an awareness that you are not quite in optimum health as you sink back on the sofa with a glass of wine to watch TV, and promise yourself “I’ll start tomorrow.”
   Then you get a wake-up call.
   Mine was going for a reflexology session at the Da Vinci Wellness Centre with holistic practitioner Beverly Edgington. She stresses that reflexology is not a diagnostic tool but she was spot on in her diagnosis of all my ailments, from illnesses I have had in my past to current problems.
   Reflexology is a complementary therapy meaning exactly that, it should complement any treatment or diagnosis from your regular GP. Edgington’s approach, as in most complementary therapies, is holistic – treating the whole person physically, emotionally and spiritually – and  she ascertains what treatment is necessary by going over a detailed questionnaire with you.
   Edgington is trained in a wide range of complementary therapies and also has a first class honours degree in nutritional science.
   Reflexology has been used in various cultures throughout the world but the modern version stems from ancient Chinese techniques that trace meridian lines. Pressure is applied to points on the feet has an effect on other parts of the body.
   When reflexologists manipulate the acupressure points, they can encourage the body to start its own healing process.
   Edgington also adds the interesting theory that in Chinese medicine, of which reflexology is a form, practitioners believe that 90 per cent of illnesses starts in the mind.
   She says reflexology should not be confused with a foot massage which covers the foot but does not work the pressure points.
   Edgington also points out that she does not maintain reflexology can cure an ailment; it complements treatment from a medical practitioner.
   She talks to me about essential oils that she is going to use throughout the session, and picks a combination of frankincense and orange which she says will relax but also invigorate.
   She starts examining my feet first of all for any blemishes and calluses which can tell her about certain ailments.
   She begins with my right foot, which corresponds to the right hand side of the body. She holds my toes and the ball of my feet and massages gently. She says   the lack of mobility here corresponds to my shoulders which she says are extremely stiff. She is quite right – many a yoga teacher has despaired over my stiff shoulders.
   Moving around to the sides of my feet, she talks about an impacted colon and a sluggish liver.
   She says that if the liver is not working correctly it cannot remove waste from the body.
   I believe this diagnosis to be accurate as I have been feeling a slight discomfort on my right side where the colon is and suffering from indigestion a lot.
   She asks me to start breathing in and out deeply and while she works on my feet, I begin to feel totally relaxed and want to fall asleep.
   Edgington shows me what she is doing with my feet, which is holding my toes and balls of feet with what appears to be an opening movement. My feet, which had been stiff and rigid, are now much more flexible. She says that corresponds with my ribs  as the manipulation, relaxation and deep breathing have allowed my lungs to open out.
   She then gives me her recommendations, which cover diet, exercise and relaxation tips, supplementation and self-help techniques.
   The therapist also recommends a super cleanse for 30 days to move the blockages from my colon;  to drink pure cranberry juice diluted in water twice a day to help my liver; and deep breathing for relaxation.
   I am also given homework in the form of the lifestyle balance wheel to work out what areas of my life might need more attention and advised to define a new balance wheel for myself.
   There are also recommendations to drink plenty of water following the session to flush out toxins, and to avoid alcohol and heavy physical exercise for 12 hours.
   I go away feeling relaxed but energised as promised, armed with my balance wheel and feeling a new resolution to take better care of myself.
   Beverly Edgington,Holistic practitioner the Da Vinci Centre
   Tel:345 943 2002
   www.davinciwellnesscentre.com
   Reflexology has been used in various cultures throughout the world but the modern version stems from ancient Chinese techniques that trace meridian lines. Pressure is applied to points on the feet has an effect on other parts of the body.

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