It's National Feet Week, a whole week dedicated to encouraging people to take better care of their feet! Most people will have regular check ups at the dentist or the optician, but have you ever heard anyone telling their friend or their manager at work they have a podiatrist check up this afternoon?!
People even ignore a multitude of ailments on their feet, just hoping it will go away and never wondering what it means for their general health. Podiatrists are keen to encourage people not to ignore common foot complaints which can lead to serious issues and pain. Fungal nail infections, corns, heel pain and hard skin can all be routinely treated giving feet a new lease of life.
Why do feet so often get ignored? Maybe its because they can be easily hidden away under shoes and socks It's surprising how often people say that they hate their feet and no one ever sees their feet, even on the hottest days of the year they have them covered up. Maybe it's because people just don't think the health of their feet is that important, as long as they are still getting you from A to B then you probably don't give them a second thought.
As a reflexologist, I have an understanding of how the health of your feet can be a reflection of the health of your whole body and mind. And how looking after your feet can be a great act of self care. If you've ever had a pedicure, a foot massage or a reflexology treatment, you might recall that feeling of lightness afterwards?
But reflexology is more than just a foot massage and the condition of your feet can tell you a lot more than what type of shoes you've been wearing. Reflexology is based on the concept that there are reflex points on the feet that can be mapped to every organ, gland and structure of the body. The treatment is a massage and specific pressure technique that can aid relaxation and release tension in the body which helps their body to work at a more optimum level, improving the flow of energy and bringing all of the bodies systems into balance, and this in turn gives the body a better ability to heal itself.
During pregnancy it is possible to see a bean shape across the uterus reflex point representing the baby in the womb, and the shape of the foot may change slightly as the growing baby forces your internal organs to get pushed closer together. Your reflexologist will feel a lot of activity in the reproductive area of your foot and you may even feel it yourself if you are aware of what to look out for.
Reflexology can support women experiencing many of the common complaints of pregnancy from physical complaints such as morning sickness, exhaustion, pelvic and back pain, swelling of the hands or feet; to emotional difficulties such as anxiety and depression. Regular treatments will help to balance your hormones during this time of great change and help you to adjust physically and mentally in preparation for labour and coping with a newborn.
Towards the end of pregnancy, the idea of looking after your own feet or even putting on your own socks is almost impossible, so putting your feet into someone else's hands can offer a great relief. Even just giving yourself the opportunity to take your weight off your feet feels good, but knowing about the further benefits reflexology can offer, more and more women are opting for this gentle and non-invasive therapy during their pregnancy.