Reflexology gives me a sense of wellbeing that is comforting when I feel overwhelmed by stiffness, pain and negativity, highlights Jacquie Eldridge
I have been having reflexology for about a year to help ease my osteoarthritis symptoms and wanted to share my experiences with the Arthritis Digest community.
My symptoms started when I was a teenager, when my left knee began creaking and feeling uncomfortable, particularly on stairs and long walks. Problems gradually increased over the years until I couldn’t walk without limping, which began to affect my back. In my early fifties my left knee was replaced and I was advised that my right knee will probably follow suit.
My fingers and toes have been affected too; I had pain in the joints from my early thirties, which eased after about ten years but left the tell-tale knobbly joints.
In my late forties the base of my thumb joints flared-up and became increasingly problematic, affecting every aspect of my daily life. I couldn’t even rest my hands at night to sleep comfortably. Last year I had an arthroplasty operation on my right hand which, after nine months, has improved the situation. I am booked in to have the other hand operated on soon.
My husband had received some reflexology as a case-study from a newly practising acquaintance and was so impressed that when a similar opportunity presented itself on our doorstep, he persuaded me to give it a try. Initially I was sceptical and thought I may find it difficult as I am not a great fan of massage and am incredibly ticklish! However, I have at no time felt uncomfortable or awkward during the sessions and have actually been ‘blown away’ by the effects.
I find it quite incredible that when a particular area of my feet is being gently manipulated, I am aware of a sensation in the back of my head (pituitary gland) which apparently is the natural pain relief being released into my system. My reflexologist has shown me how to self-administer such relief by massaging my thumb.
Initially I had reflexology twice a week with Fiona Biggs of Dower House Holistic Therapies as a case study, and this has now been reduced to twice a month, which seems to be as effective as previously.
Reflexology gives me an overall sense of wellbeing that is calming and comforting at times when I feel overwhelmed by stiffness, pain, fragility and negativity. I come away from a reflexology session with a positive mental attitude that sets me up to cope with the bad days.
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- Association of Reflexologists, visit aor.org.uk or tel 01823 351010 (NB the website has a useful tool for finding your nearest reflexologist).
- British Reflexology Association, visit britreflex.co.uk or tel 01886 821207.
- The Federation of Holistic Therapists, visit fht.org.uk or tel 023 8062 4350.
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