In recent studies, experts have concluded that diseases that affect the heart is are linked to them emotions  of  irritability and anger that are linked to mental and emotional stress. People in a stressed state are unable to perform to the best of their abilities. Relaxation takes on added importance in light of this. I think we can all relate to those days when everything goes wrong, from the minute we get up we keep dropping stuff, things irritate us so much  that on other days we cannot find items that we only put down a minute ago. Cars pull out in front of us; the dog seems to be constantly trying to trip us up too! This happens everyday day, but, when we are stressed-out or tired, we notice them more and so our stress level increase and our ability to cope with these everyday annoyances decreases.

Managing our stress is significant to good health, and so it seems obvious that relaxation can help us manage and in turn, reduce our stress levels.

One great and effective way of relaxation is Reflexology. It has been proven that Reflexology can reduce various elements that add to stress levels in every- day life by rebalancing the body. The mere fact that by having a Reflexology treatment allows us time to sit quietly is relaxing in itself. During this period you are given the benefits your body has been denying itself, in one hit! A good treatment can improve circulation, help relax muscles, detox and cleanse and balance the body.

Another reason why we need to relax, aside from lowering blood pressure and decreasing the chances of a stroke or a heart attack, is because stress produces hormones that suppress the immune system, relaxation gives the immune system time to recover and in doing so function more efficiently.

Relaxation lowers the activities within the brains’ limbic system; this is the emotional centre of our brain. From the stimulation of specific Reflex Points, Reflexology can stimulate this area.

Having Reflexology will also help to ‘ground’ your body which improves balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic division works with one’s emotions and the stress that comes with them. The parasympathetic division is to keep the body in its normal state. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are clearly an integral part of the balance and operation of our whole body. When one is out of balance with the other, we are not our normal selves and we may become sick or irrational.

Relaxation can really help enormously and once a relaxation technique is regularly built into your lifestyle it can do a lot of good to the body as a whole.

Reflexology is recognised for its ability to help ease stress disorders, anything from headaches, back pain, sleep disorders, (the list goes on) that if not treated can lead to chronic diseases.

Balance is vital for a healthy body, mind and spirit. To maintain a state of homeostasis, the body is required to operate well. When there is a malfunction in the body it is thrown off balance. Reflexology sustains balance in every cell,,tissue,gland,muscle and organ  within the body, leaving all the systems of the body functioning fully, and in their natural equilibrium.



What is high blood pressure (HBP)?

When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to provide it with things like energy and oxygen. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is known as ‘blood pressure’. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure around 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal blood pressure for people wishing to have good health. At this level, we have a much lower risk of heart disease or stroke. However, If your blood pressure is above 120/80mmHg, you will need to lower it.

The reason why people with blood pressure readings in this range should lower it, even though this is not classified as ‘high’ blood pressure, is that the higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems. For example, someone with a blood pressure level of 135 over 85 (135/85) is twice as likely to have a heart attack or a stroke as someone with a reading of 115 over 75 (115/75).

An unhealthy lifestyle will raise your BP over time and the higher your BP becomes, the higher your risk of having a stroke or heart attack in the future. You probably have HBP (hypertension), if your BP readings are consistently 140/90, or higher, over a number of weeks. You may also have HBP if just one of the numbers is higher than it should be over a number of weeks. If you have HBP, this higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this extra strain increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

HBP can also cause heart and kidney disease and is closely linked to some forms of dementia. But the good news is that if you have HBP, healthy changes will help to bring it down. And you don’t have to wait until you have HBP to make healthy lifestyle changes. The more you can reduce your BP, the lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke will be.

Here are some suggestions on how to maintain low BP or reduce high BP:

  1. Diet – Eat less salt

Too much salt raises your BP, so it is essential to eat as little as possible. In fact, some people with HBP may be able to avoid blood pressure medicines by cutting down their salt intake.

Most of the salt you eat is not what you add to your food, but is in prepared foods like bread, breakfast cereals and ready-made meals.

Do not add salt to food when cooking at home. When you are out shopping for food, check the labels and choose low-salt products.

  1. Blood Pressure Diet

Eating more fruit and vegetables helps to lower your BP. Adults should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day (this includes fruit juice). A portion is 80 grams, or roughly the size of your fist. Try to eat a range of different fruits and vegetables. Dried, frozen and tinned are fine, but watch out for added salt, sugar or fats.

  1. Keep to a healthy weight

Losing weight will help lower your BP and reduce your risk of health problems. The best way to lose weight is to choose more low-fat and low-calorie foods, and increase your physical activity. Try and set yourself realistic goals.

  1. Drink less alcohol/cigarettes/drugs

If you drink too much alcohol, this will raise your BP over time. The current recommended limits are 21 units of alcohol a week for men, and 14 units a week for women. A unit is roughly half a pint of beer, a small glass of wine, or a single pub measure of spirits. Cigarette smoking and drugs have a detrimental effect on the cardiovascular and nervous system.

  1. Keep more active

Being moderately active for 30 minutes a day, five times a week can keep your heart healthy, and can lower your BP. Walking is great exercise. Remember, movement is life and stagnation is death.

  1. Reduce/eliminate stress

It is well-known that stress can increase your BP; therefore reducing stress will keep your BP down. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to treat yourself to regular reflexology sessions. Reflexology is known to help relax the body and mind, in turn reducing the harmful signs and symptoms of stress. These include migraine, aches and general aches & pains, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, insomnia, anxiety and many more harmful conditions.


Take care of your body because you are in control of your destiny and living with high BP can make life difficult and make you sad. Try a course of six to twelve reflexology treatment sessions and with some lifestyle changes your quality of life will improve and you are sure to live longer! Remember your body is not replaceable, you only have one!




Reflexology to induce Labor picure of woman

Can you use Reflexology to induce labour ?

You have probably come across this article as you are interested in how to bring on labour (labor USA spelling) naturally? Nature controls and governs most aspects of labour, however sometimes nature needs some encouragement and reflexology to maybe help, bring on labour, is the answer. Why? Well, reflexology is first of all non-invasive and non-harmful to the client. Reflexology in pregnancy can be beneficial at all stages of a pregnancy from 3 months onwards, not just using reflexology in pregnancy to bring on labour

Why would a woman I need an induction?

There are several reasons why this may occur, but primarily when there is concern for the health of the mother or the baby’s health. Here are some examples why labour may be induced:

  1. Mother is approaching two weeks beyond her due date, and labour has not started naturally
  2. The water has broken, but the mother is not having contractions
  3. There is an infection in the uterus which needs immediate attention
  4. Baby has stopped growing at the expected pace
  5. There is not enough amniotic fluid surrounding the baby (a condition known as oligohydramnios)
  6. The placenta has started to deteriorate
  7. The placenta peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery, either partially or completely (termed placental abruption)
  8. Mother has a medical condition that might put her or her baby at risk, such as high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus
  9. For religious or cultural reason
  10. Miscellaneous reasons

Up to two weeks after a mother’s due date, a wait-and-see approach might be preferable in many cases. Nature normally prepares the cervix for delivery in the most efficient and comfortable way. However, if there is any concern from the doctor or midwife, induction may be the only option to ensure the safety of mother and baby.

Why might there be concern after two weeks?

It is argued that the longer the pregnancy continues, the larger the baby is likely to be. This may cause complications with a vaginal delivery. In some cases, ageing of the placenta might compromise a baby’s ability to thrive in the womb. An overdue baby is also more likely to inhale faecal waste (meconium) during childbirth, which can cause breathing problems or a lung infection after birth.

Some clients may request an elective induction, if, for example, they live far from the hospital or have a history of rapid deliveries, a scheduled induction might be indicated.

It is well-known that inducing labour carries various risks, including:

There is a need for a C-section, especially if mother has never given birth before and her cervix has not already begun to thin, soften and dilate.

Conventional risks for inducing labour

There are a few risks inducing labour and some can be life-threatening, a few are mentioned below;

  1. Inducing labour too early might result in a premature birth, which poses risks for the baby, such as difficulty breathing.
  2. The medication used to induce labour may cause a low heart-rate. Oxytocin or a prostaglandin might provoke too many contractions, which can diminish the baby’s oxygen supply and lower their heart rate.
  3. Inducing labour increases the risk of infection for both mother and baby.
  4. Umbilical cord problems may occur because Inducing labour increases the risk of the umbilical cord slipping into the vagina before delivery (umbilical cord prolapse), which might compress the cord and decrease the baby’s oxygen supply.
  5. Uterine rupture is a rare but serious complication in which the uterus tears open along the scar line from a prior C-section or major uterine surgery. An emergency C-section is needed to prevent life-threatening complications.
  6. Labour induction increases the risk that the uterine muscles will not properly contract after giving birth, which can lead to serious bleeding after delivery.


reflexology to start labour

Oxytocin is the hormone which triggers labour and although some women try nipple stimulation or breast massage to trigger oxytocin release to stimulate contractions, these techniques have been shown only to work if the cervix has already begun to soften, thin and dilate. Other techniques have been suggested for inducing labour, such as eating spicy food or having sex but are not backed up by scientific evidence.

In my 30 years as a reflexologist/podiatrist, I have induced many labours at home and in a hospital setting. It must be noted that it is advisable to get a midwifery contract if you are doing any work in birth units at hospitals or clinics. In most cases I have been called upon because the mother is overdue by a few days and up to two weeks after the due date. I have given them a strong reflexology session stimulating mainly the pituitary, hypothalamus, uterus, ovaries, breasts, sacrum and most importantly the coccyx reflex points.


Reflexology Diagram

It is also very important to be confident and reassure the client that reflexology will not harm them and that they must try and visualise the birth. Often, I have found that my clients have seen colours and although the reflexology can be painful around the areas mentioned above, the birth is faster and less painful without having the reflexology session. It is naturally better to have regular reflexology sessions daily up to the birth itself if possible and to make sure that the client is as comfortable as possible with plenty of pillows to support the back and legs and head.

It is also advisable to see an experienced reflexologist who has done at least a CPD (continuing professional development course) course in maternity to ensure the best results.