I became interested in Maternity Reflexology in 1998 when I attended a Maternity Reflexology Seminar. I had not expected to be so enthralled and excited about working on pregnant feet but it was as though a door had opened into another realm of Reflexology and my fascination lead me to many more Maternity Workshops.
Reflexology is an incredible therapy and even after all these years of practising I never cease to be amazed by the benefits of this ancient therapy. When I work on the feet, I am working on the body. If you place your two feet together it is like looking down at your body. The big toes are your head and the heels are your bottom. Each organ, gland and nerve has a reflex area on the feet. The outside anklebones represent your hips and your inside anklebones reflect your internal pelvis. On pregnant feet below your inside anklebones, towards your sole, the tissue becomes quite puffy; this is the reflex for the baby. As the baby grows in the womb so does the puffy area on the feet. Maternity Reflexology complements the skilled work of the midwife and I insist that mums-to-be have their midwife’s permission before I start treatments, especially if a baby is breach. Sometimes there are reasons why a baby is breach and Maternity Reflexologists are skilled at feeling the size of the pelvic reflex and can detect if the pelvis is small. All first reflexology appointments at Ashby Clinic are booked for two hours, allowing plenty of time for the consultation form to be filled in and time for a full reflexology treatment. There are many antenatal and postnatal conditions associated with pregnancy that can be treated successfully with Maternity Reflexology such as morning sickness, heartburn, persistent vomiting (hyperemesis), mood swings plus many, many more. A Maternity Reflexologist will know if a condition is contra-indicated. Receiving regular Maternity Reflexology treatments throughout pregnancy helps the mum-to-be deal with the physical and emotional changes her body will go through.
“even after all these years of practising I never cease to be amazed by the benefits of this ancient therapy”
I really do believe that Maternity Reflexology is a specialised therapy and I would advise any mum-to-be ONLY to have treatments with a reflexologist qualified in Maternity Reflexology. Before making an appointment ask if the reflexologist has attended any Maternity Reflexology workshops and also test the knowledge of the therapist by asking questions relating to pregnancy.
Many future mums only find out about Maternity Reflexology possibly from their midwife when they are in the final stages of pregnancy, although I am pleased to say that it is still helpful and beneficial. There are specialist reflexology techniques that help with the preparation for birth and there are also techniques if the baby is overdue. (It is very important to liaise with the midwife or consultant) The baby’s momentous journey into the outside world is similar to pot-holing and Maternity Reflexology can help make it less traumatic for the mother and baby by having a relaxing reflexology treatment during labour. Aftercare of the new mum is extremely important; postnatal reflexology treatments help restore balance to a body that has been affected for nine months both physically and emotionally. Tiredness after the birth and being expected to know exactly what to do with a new baby can take its toll on a new mother.
When I attended that enlightening seminar in 1998 I never expected it would change my life so much. Over the past seven years I have seen so many pregnant feet, attended so many ladies during labour and worked on so many babies. I still see patients with many other conditions including sub-fertility which seems to be a major problem nowadays. Unfortunately for many couples the pathway to parenthood is not easy but reflexology treatments can help. I also teach a two day Maternity Reflexology Workshop for qualified Reflexologists.
Member of the Association of Reflexologists
(Please note : Since this article was published Val Groome has retired from practice).
This article first appeared in:
'Healthy Life - Mind, Body & Soul' magazine issue 2 Spring 2006