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Reflexology for Pregnancy


Pregnancy is a time of dramatic changes for the female body, not least the significant accumulation in weight and shift in posture that can leave many women feeling as if they are strangers in their own body. Together with other natural therapies like massage, reflexology is increasingly being utilised to relieve the many physical and emotional side effects involved in carrying a child, most significantly the blockages that can all too often inhibit a complete state of relaxation being realised. ntpages took the time to chat with Helen Harris, an experienced holistic therapist who specialises in pregnancy reflexology for some insights into her approach and techniques.

What is your background in reflexology?

“I qualified in reflexology in 2001 at the Raworth Centre in Dorking then did Suzanne Enzer’s Maternity Reflexology course. I quickly began treating pregnant women which became something of a specialty for me. I went on to develop my own one-day intensive workshop in Pregnancy Reflexology for the Raworth Centre where I also took over and developed the Reflexology Practitioner course.”

Is reflexology safe during pregnancy?

“Reflexology is a holistic therapy so we always take into account the whole person and if there were any doubts or concerns about treating because of other issues with a person’s health, we would liaise with the obstetric care-giver. Other than those considerations reflexology in pregnancy is considered safe.”

How many pregnant clients have you treated?

“Well over 100 and counting.”

What are pregnant women looking to gain from a reflexology treatment?

“Relaxation, time out for themselves, support in coping with the physiology and emotions associated with pregnancy, support and encouragement for the birthing process; as well as relief from the many niggles and discomforts associated with pregnancy.”

Can reflexology shorten the length and severity of labour?

“Many women have reported they believed reflexology leading up to the birthing helped them to have a shorter and more comfortable labour. In my own case clients have commented they believed they were able to have a natural birthing because of the treatments and the emotional support and guidance given during our sessions.”

How long would a typical session last?

“Sessions generally last an hour after the initial consultation, of which about 50 minutes is the actual treatment.”

Describe a typically session for us.

“Feedback from the last session and what has been happening with the client since then, a warm-up routine for the feet, systematically working the reflexes all over the feet with some extra focus on areas that need additional working because of what the feet suggest and/or the client’s feedback, a relaxing general massage of the feet.”

How long would a course of treatment last?

“During the early stages a monthly session may be sufficient if there are no particular symptoms the client is coping with. For the third trimester, fortnightly may be recommended. As term approaches, weekly sessions are usually suggested but every client is unique and the frequency would be discussed and agreed with the client.”

Are only the feet treated?

“A reflexologist may also decide to treat the hands as we are usually also trained in working hand reflexes.”

How does the medical establishment view reflexology during pregnancy?

“I believe the general consensus is that if it helps the mother-to-be to cope with the pregnancy then it is a good thing. There are midwives who recommend their patients have reflexology just prior to the birthing or if the woman goes over term but we would really like to see clients throughout their pregnancy.”


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