I love, love, love foot massages and ever since I came to Hong Kong it has been one of my (many) guilty pleasures. A perfect Saturday to me is making my way down to a local foot massage place, settling into a big comfy chair and catching up on a few z’s or the latest celebrity gossip. While relaxation is certainly achieved I never really leave with valuable insights into what my feet were telling my foot masseuse.
You can blame this on many things. Language barrier, the fact that at the end of the day the business of foot massages can be a bit commercial or that I was simply satisfied with a nice foot rub and nothing else. Really though, at the end of the day I think the reason is those foot massage spots are not reflexology as it was meant to be…
It is not a secret that we are big fans of Sutherland Chan Centre. I am always referring them when someone has a muscle ache or pain that won’t go away and Hester swears by their pregnancy massages. When I heard that they have added a new reflexologist Victoria Geaves, who just so happens to be a Sassy member, to their team I kind of begged to have a mini trial to see what foot reflexology is like at Sutherland Chan.
Sutherland Chan’s resident reflexologist!
In addition to being simply relaxing my treatment was like a glimpse into the inner workings of my body. Victoria started off our time together with a few questions and a brief overview of how the session would go and she totally excited me when she said that after the reflexology she would chat to me about what she felt going on and areas in my body that I may need to pay more attention to.
There aren’t big reclining chairs at Sutherland, and no trashy gossip magazines to flip through during your session but what you get is top notch service, a comfy massage table to lie down on and valuable information on things that may be warning signs for future problems (e.g. dehydration, sickness, stress etc.).
After my session I had a chance to chat a bit to Victoria about foot reflexology in general…
What exactly is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a complimentary practice that primarily relieves stress and tension in the body, by stimulating specific reflex points to produce deep therapeutic relaxation. Medical experts agree that a large number of our health problems can be linked to nervous and physical tension. By significantly reducing this tension, Reflexology can facilitate the body’s natural healing processes and improve;
- assimilation of nutrition and elimination of toxins
- hormonal and reproductive function by stimulating the endocrine system
- blood and lymphatic circulation leading to better oxygenation of tissues and greater lymph drainage helping to maintain homeostasis and boost immune function
- pain control by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s “natural pain killer”
- the balance of all systems and energy pathways by removing stagnant or blocked energy
What are the common ailments you see as a Reflexologist?
The most common ailments presented are stress, headaches and migraines, hormonal imbalances such as PMT, menopause, thyroid and sub-fertility, circulatory and lymphatic problems including oedema and digestive problems including IBS, constipation and bloating.
What can someone expect from their first visit to see you?
Once a health history form has been completed and the medical and lifestyle information has been discussed, the practitioner will outline the treatment plan.
The treatment begins as the feet are cleaned with a hot towel and/or sanitising spray. Talcum powder is used to hold the feet firmly; oil for lower leg massage. Mild pressure is applied to specific areas of the foot. Feelings of tenderness may indicate an imbalance, blockage or problem in the corresponding area of the body.
On occasion, the body’s release of toxins, post-treatment, can bring about temporary perspiration, nausea, lethargy, mild headache or a bad taste in the mouth. Drinking plenty of water is advised to assist elimination of toxins. Most people feel refreshed and rejuvenated within an hour of the session. Should any discomfort persist, the person should assume that its cause is independent of the treatment and take appropriate remedial actions.
Does a Reflexology treatment hurt?
The goal of Reflexology is to improve well being, it is not the intention to cause any discomfort during or after the treatment. If there is a part of the body that is imbalanced or particularly active, the corresponding reflex point may feel tender whilst the practitioner works to rebalance the area – telling the practitioner is important in order for them to work within the individual’s comfort zone.
What makes Reflexology at SCC unique from street level foot massage?
Reflexology is not a foot massage – massage and Reflexology share therapeutic touch in common, but the training, techniques and methods of application are unique to their respective professions. Foot massage feels great, as does Reflexology. However, if the aim is to help relieve complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia or multiple sclerosis, it is advisable to visit a qualified Reflexologist who will focus on Reflexology techniques, and who will not just rub the feet!
What is the biggest myth you have heard about Reflexology?
That Reflexology can cure! Reflexology can identify where stress and tension is located in the body, to form a ‘map’ of the glands, organs and systems that may be blocked. Should the practitioner’s findings coincide with the symptoms felt, they would advise the recipient to consult a medical professional for a diagnosis. Reflexologists are not licensed healthcare providers; rather they are oriented to revitalizing the whole body, hence supporting the body in its own healing processes and often produce astonishing results!
The cost of Sutherland Chan’s reflexology treatments are:
30 minutes – $350
60 minutes – $600
90 minutes – $850