Reflexology vs Insomnia

Reflexology vs InsomniaDo you suffer from insomnia? Then you may be interested to know that one of the most common texts I get from clients the day after their first Reflexology treatment is one telling me how incredibly well they slept!

Disordered sleep patterns are something that we all struggle with at one time or another, affecting our daytime energy levels, our mental alertness, our memory, our pain levels, our moods, our relationships and our wider health.

With a myriad of possible causes, sleep disorders present a real problem to the medical community, with over 10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills given each year in England. But despite the very real temptation of a quick fix pill, medication only offers short-term relief.

So, what is Reflexology? And why does it help us sleep?

Reflexology focuses on stimulating or sedating reflex points on the foot, which relate to the whole body. So a relaxing foot massage becomes a treatment for the whole body and mind.

The practitioner is able to focus the treatment on reflexes that will help the individual. In a client with insomnia she might concentrate on the reflexes of the endocrine system to mediate the effects of stress and promote better hormonal balance. Or she may focus on reflexes to release deep tension in the muscles, and to calm a busy or anxious mind. For each person, the focus will be a little different, addressing their specific needs.

A Reflexologist sees your whole body reflected in the reflexes of your feet and works those reflexes to create an effect across the entire body – and mind.

Reflexology ExeterIf you’ve never had Reflexology before, it can be hard to explain just how deeply relaxing and restorative the treatment can be. It can feel as though someone has pulled a plug and all of the collected stress and tension in your body has drained away. And not just the obvious tension like tense shoulders or a furrowed brow. Tension that you didn’t even know you had, until it was gone!

I would liken the restorative effects of Reflexology to pressing the ‘restore factory functions’ button on your phone! Or the ‘switch it off and switch it back on again’ theory of computer care! The effect to the body is quite renewing.

As our stress drains away we experience a raft of physiological and psychological changes. The heart rate decreases, breathing becomes slower and deeper, raised blood pressure is lowered, digestion improves, and the ever busy, anxious or racing mind feels calmer at last. The body is no longer in survival mode, instead it is able to rest, repair, heal and find it’s own balance, just as nature intended.

“The ability of the body to maintain its health and overcome illness is, in fact, among nature’s most remarkable feats.” ~ Donna Eden

A release of stress, a relaxed body, a quiet mind; the perfect set up for us to enter human’s inbuilt ‘rest and repair’ mode – sleep. As a Reflexologist, I have often worked with clients to break the cycle of insomnia and I know that Reflexology has so much to offer in this area. And I still love getting those texts the next day!

If you suffer from insomnia or disordered sleep, I offer Reflexology treatments by appointment in central Exeter, and home visits throughout Mid Devon, including Crediton, Tiverton, Silverton, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Witheridge, Cowley, Tedburn, Bow  – and everywhere in between!


Reflexology – mapped on the feet

What are your feet telling you?

It is always fun to study the foot maps with my clients! It is a great opportunity to think about where our body needs a little extra support and how we can provide it. I thought I would share some of my favourite maps!

This foot map is one of my favourites and was brought back from Nepal by a friend in ’98, when I was first studying reflexology. It clearly shows that various significances are attributed to different parts of the foot in other cultures too. Beautiful colours.

Nepalese feet

It looks quite different from this more modern version that I keep in my clinic…

foot map colour

Reflexologists use maps like this to ensure that each of the reflexes, corresponding to each part of the body, is gently worked. We note reflexes which feel congested or depleted, and use massage techniques to create greater balance across the systems. Often we find that what we see in the foot, is reflected in the body – or visa versa!

feet meridians

Because my background is in Energy Medicine (Jin Shin Jyutsu and Kinesiology) I also have the Meridian maps (above) in my minds eye while I am treating. The meridians are channels/pathways of energy which begin or end in the feet and hands, and promoting a smooth and balanced flow of energy through these channels has a wonderful effect on our health and wellbeing.


Give your feet a treat!

I offer Reflexology treatments by appointment in central Exeter, and home visits throughout Mid Devon, including Crediton, Tiverton, Silverton, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Witheridge, Cowley, Tedburn, Bow  – and everywhere in between


Reflexology – What To Expect

Thinking about visiting a Reflexologist?

Devon based therapist, Nikki Baker MAR, introduces this popular therapy and explains what to expect when you have a reflexology treatment.

Reflexology Exeter DevonReflexology is a wonderfully relaxing form of foot massage, which not only helps us release stress, but also has many health benefits too. Reflexology approaches health and wellbeing by looking at the person as a whole, and seeking to create the optimum conditions for the body to repair, re-balance and heal itself.

When you go for your first Reflexology treatment the Reflexologist will take a history of your health and wellbeing and will invite you to talk to them about what it was that prompted you to book the treatment. People visit a Reflexologist for many reasons….

  • You may need to manage your stress levels better – perhaps for the sake of your health.
  • You may want to try a holistic approach to raise your energy levels, reduce pain, improve sleep or tackle a specific health problem.
  • You may be feeling overstretched, run down, or coping with difficult circumstances.

Once the Reflexologist has explained a little about the treatment, you will be invited to remove your shoes and socks and lay on a massage couch, perhaps covered by a blanket, and maybe with a bolster under your knees to allow the lower back to rest comfortably. It’s important that you feel really comfortable, so that you can fully relax.

Reflexology Exeter DevonThe treatment itself is a specific form of foot massage which stimulates reflex points across the feet. The main thing to say about this is that it is not tickly (or painful). People often worry about this! In fact, the treatment is extremely relaxing. So much so, that you may even fall asleep – which is absolutely fine!

People can and do experience such a wonderful variety of health and wellbeing improvements while receiving a course of Reflexology treatments. As a therapist, my focus is on helping the client to get out of the ‘stress response’ (fight or flight), and on stimulating or sedating reflex points that that promote health, balance, repair and emotional wellbeing.

After the treatment the therapist will advise you to drink plenty of water and to take it easy, in order to get the greatest benefit from the treatment. You may well feel quite different to when you arrived. Deep relaxation shifts us into new thinking patterns, and you may feel very calm and peaceful. My clients also frequently say that they sleep very well after a treatment! If I had to sum up Reflexology? I’d say…

Reflexology is a wonderfully relaxing experience, in a safe environment, where you will be able to let go of stress and allow your body to shift from ‘stress response’ to ‘healing response’.

I offer Reflexology treatments by appointment in central Exeter, and home visits throughout Mid Devon, including Crediton, Tiverton, Silverton, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Witheridge, Cowley, Tedburn, Bow  – and everywhere in between!

Images courtesy of Simon Howden at