Maternity Reflexology

What is Maternity Reflexology?

Reflexology is a relaxing treatment which involves a combination of soothing massage movements and specifically targeted firm pressure on the soles, top and sides of the feet.

Maternity reflexology is an adapted version of reflexology which is used to support mums-to-be during their pregnancy.

Image courtesy of patrisyu/

Image courtesy of patrisyu/

How can Maternity Reflexology help during pregnancy?

Maternity reflexology may help to reduce pregnancy-related symptoms such as:

  • tiredness
  • morning sickness
  • acid reflux
  • constipation
  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • back pain
  • sinus problems associated with the increase in the hormone progesterone
  • swollen ankles (odema)

It can also be used to prepare for labour post 37 weeks (providing that clients have had reflexology treatment prior to this) and post-natally for physical and emotional support during this time.

Where did Reflexology originate?

Reflexology is an ancient therapy which is believed to have originated around 5,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that primitive forms of reflexology existed in ancient Egypt, India and China.

Hieroglyphics depicting reflexology

In Egypt, at Saqqara, a painting found in the tomb of Ankhmahor appears to show a reflexology treatment being performed.  This dates back to the early 6th Dynasty, approximately 2330 B.C.  Ankhmahor was a physician and an official of great importance, second only to the King.

How does Reflexology work?

Reflexology is based on the theory that the feet are like a map of the body and its organs.  It is believed that each area of the body is mirrored on the feet and that any areas of imbalance within the body can be detected by the reflexologist providing the treatment.  Sensitive or tender areas of the feet may reveal imbalances within the body.  The reflexologist systematically applies pressure to certain points of the feet and by working on these areas, can help to encourage the body to address these.

How is Maternity Reflexology different to a Reflexology treatment?

Every single treatment at zenmindbody is different – we do not follow a ‘set routine’.  In an initial consultation, your specific circumstances will be discussed in confidence and the treatment then tailored to you.

In the case of maternity reflexology, treatment plans vary not only based on individual needs but also depending upon which trimester you are in for each session you attend.

Reflexology does not make any claims to either ‘diagnose’ or ‘cure’ but it does aim to help to bring the body into balance and a sense of homeostasis (maintaining internal balance and equilibrium, regardless of external circumstances)

Reflexology is, however, safe to receive during pregnancy (other than in a small set of circumstances; please see the section below entitled When should I not have a treatment?) It works in harmony with the body’s natural balance.Whilst there is a higher risk of miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy (the first 12 weeks of pregnancy) there is no evidence that reflexology can cause miscarriage.

What happens during a treatment?

After an initial consultation during which some personal details such as diet, lifestyle and general health are discussed in confidence, you will be asked to sit or recline on a comfortable massage table. During pregnancy, you will never be asked to lie flat on your back but we will help to make you comfortable and cosy with plenty of pillows, cushions and blankets!

Your shoes and socks will be removed and you will receive a foot cleanse and relaxing foot massage. The therapist will then perform an evaluation of the feet followed by a treatment tailored to your specific needs. This involves firm but comfortable pressure being applied to areas of the soles, sides and top of the feet. The therapist will identify any areas of imbalance, working on these points to encourage the body to address them.

Why do I need an initial consultation?

There are some occasions when treatment is not advised. The therapist needs to be aware of these for your safety and comfort. This information also enables the therapist to tailor the treatment to each individual client.

How long will a treatment last?

A full treatment is one hour in length (with an additional free 15 minute consultation at your first appointment, prior to the treatment beginning).  However, as pregnancy progresses, you may find that you feel more comfortable reclining for shorter periods of time.  For this reason, treatment lengths may be reduced to 30 or 40 minutes and the cost of sessions will reflect this.

How much does the treatment cost?

A one hour treatment is £25, however there are a number of special offers available, including 20% off the cost of your first ever treatment.

Please see the information on treatments and prices for further details. zenmindbody currently offers reflexology in Herefordshire and surrounding areas.

When should I not have a treatment?

Your therapist will discuss your individual circumstances with you during your free consultation.  In the case of maternity reflexology, treatment is not recommended if clients are experiencing the following:

  • DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Pre-eclampsia (fluid retention, high blood pressure and protein in the urine)
  • Placenta previa (when the placenta is inserted wholly or in part into the lower segment of the uterus)
  • Placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterus)
  • Polyhydramnios (excessive fluid around the foetus)
  • Oligohydramnios (lack of fluid around the baby)
  • uterine pain
  • epilepsy

Additionally clients:

  • being treated for or in remission from cancer
  • with heart, liver or kidney conditions
  • with uncontrolled high or low blood pressure
  • with diabetes or gestational diabetes

should obtain written permission from their doctor or midwife prior to proceeding with treatment.

No treatment will be given:

  • immediately pre/post operations
  • if clients have gangrene or any contagious conditions such as athlete’s foot/ verrucae

After the treatment:

The effects of Reflexology are unique to each individual.  Most people experience a deep sense of well-being and relaxation. Some find it energising and uplifting.

Because the treatment stimulates the body and encourages the release of toxins, you may experience one or more of the following over the next 24 hours:

  • increased energy levels
  • deep sleep
  • increased urination/ bowel movements
  • headache
  • some conditions which have been suppressed/ are just beginning to present symptoms (i.e. colds) may flare up temporarily before they get better.  This is a ‘healing reaction’ and is a sign that the body is beginning to eliminate toxins and starting to heal itself and is part of the  re-balancing process
  • tearfulness/ emotional feelings

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

After care advice:

You may be shown some hand reflexology points to use between treatments as part of your after-care.

Additionally, to gain the most from your treatment and support your healthy pregnancy, you are advised to avoid:

  • strenuous physical exercise (particularly in the 24 hours following treatment and especially if you are unused to vigorous exercise thereafter)
  • caffeine and alcohol
  • smoking

You are also advised to:

  • drink plenty of water
  • eat light meals and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • relax!