Based on the concept that different pressure points found in the feet (but also face, lower legs, hands and ears) correspond to different parts of the body, reflexology aims to relieve stress and pain by stimulating certain areas.
Whilst it doesn’t claim to be curative, reflexology can help relax, relieve tension and sleep better.
Before visiting the Vaishaly Clinic in London’s Marylebone, my only experience of reflexology had been in Thailand at the beginning of the year. The therapist had used the same Thai massage technique to my feet as she did to my body, so whilst it did relieve some tension, relaxing it was not.
Many people don’t like their feet touched. Whether it’s because it’s ticklish, sensitive or, in my case, because I’d broken a foot in a spectacular fall at home several months before and I was worried that a heavy touch might cause damage, feet are not often a part of our body we happily let people play with.
I wasn’t anxious about the treatment. I’d read very positive reviews and comments about Vaishaly and knew I was literally in good hands, but I wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy the treatment. I was however looking forward to help with my stress levels. Like many professionals living in a busy city I was feeling that the demands of life had been piling up, leaving me tense and with a cluttered mind. Could an hour of foot manipulation help, at least momentarily?
The clinic is lovely, clean and exudes a sense of calm, a great starting point, and unlike my Thai experience the reflexology treatment at Vaishaly was gentle and soothing. The therapist first applied scented oil to my calves and feet before proceeding to massage and apply pressure to different points.
Each of them is linked to a part of the body and when pressure was applied to the sole of my foot, on its inner part, I distinctly felt something shifting in my stomach, which is interesting as this is a very weak area of my body, having suffered from food intolerances for years.
In reflexology this shift could be energy. I’m not entirely sure, but something did happen.
The treatment lasted an hour and it was so relaxing I was half asleep for the vast majority of it. When I could sense it was almost over I didn’t want it to end. By the time the therapist was done I was on cloud nine. My overall stress levels were much lower but also the tension that I get in my stomach and calves was hugely improved. I also noticed how well I slept that night. No waking up at 4am, no work related dreams, just a good, solid night sleep.
Reflexology may not be allowed to call itself curative, but there’s no doubt that it brings benefits. My therapist told me she got into it because she suffered from anxiety as a teenager and her mother used to get her reflexology treatments. I have no doubt that if the stresses of life are taking a toll on you, reflexology would be beneficial. Even if all you want is just a good night sleep.
Where: Vaishaly Clinic, 51 Paddington Street, London W1U 4HR
Tel: 020 7224 6088
Website: Vaishaly Clinic
Price: Reflexology £60 for 55 minutes
Who is it for? Stress, tension and also chronic pain, but discuss the latter with your doctor and Vaishaly Clinic therapist first
Does Vaishaly offer other treatments? Yes, the clinic offers different types of massages and an extensive range of beauty treatments for women and men