Reflexology is a Dynamic Therapy for Preventative Healthcare
Reflexology New Zealand is a non-profit association serving its members and the public.
Reflexology is a drug free complementary therapy that offers preventative healthcare. It enhances your body’s natural healing abilities.
All reflexologists on this website are RNZ (Reflexology New Zealand) registered, fully qualified professional reflexologists. This ensures that your practitioner has satisfied important criteria in relation to professional knowledge, training and continued education, and is bound by the code of ethics and code of practice set down by Reflexology New Zealand.
Reflexology may help to:
- Enhance general well-being, Reduce stress, Encourage relaxation,
- Improve circulation, Clear the body of impurities, Address digestive imbalances,
- Revitalize energy, Stimulate productivity, Nurture emotional well being,
- Empower relationships, Pacifiy chronic pain, Rekindle creativity,
- Activate conception, Enrich pregnancy
About Reflexology NZ - New Zealand's National Reflexology Association
Reflexology New Zealand is the National Reflexology Association for Professional Reflexologists in New Zealand and is affiliated to the New Zealand Charter of Health Practitioners. RNZ operates as a non-profit, non-political, professional body to support its members.
Historically there were two Reflexology Associations NZRA and NZIR in New Zealand. The committees of these two Associations decided to amalgamate in 2001 to form RNZ.
When a Practitioner applies for Professional membership their qualifications are examined and accreditation certificates issued when they meet the education standards. By choosing a Professional member of Reflexology New Zealand the public are offered reassurance that their care is being provided by a qualified Practitioner. Other membership categories include Affiliate and Student, membership is open to anyone with an interest in Reflexology.
Vision and Mission Statements
To be the recognised professional body for Reflexology in New Zealand, inspiring and promoting the highest standards of practice.
RNZ supports Reflexology practitioners by:
- Setting and maintaining the highest standards of practice
- Actively promoting Reflexology as an accepted and desired modality in Primary and Secondary Healthcare to the public and official bodies
- Promoting the professional advancement of Reflexology through reflective practice and research Constitution
What is Reflexology
Like most complementary therapies, reflexology is believed to have its roots in the ancient civilizations: Egypt, China, Africa and the native Indian tribes of America. In 1913 Dr William Fitzgerald introduced this therapy to the West as 'zone therapy'. In the 1930s Eunice Ingham developed zone therapy into what is now known as reflexology.
Sometimes the body is in a state of ‘imbalance’ following illness or injury, disease or stress and energy pathways are blocked preventing the body from functioning effectively. The use of precision pressure movements allows the whole body to relax and de-stress, restoring and maintaining the body’s natural equilibrium and encouraging healing.
Professor Alfred Pischinger (1899-1982), researched the connections of the extracellular matrix (ECM) to the hormonal and autonomic systems. Important functions of the ECM are its informative, homeostatic and recuperative mechanisms, referred to as the ground regulating system. He found that the origin of disease and its first signals register in the connective tissue. Massage therapists will be familiar with the effectiveness of myofascial release techniques, the mechanics of which were explained from the same theory. (Lett, 2000)
Modern science is making great strides discovering the connection between universal matter and energy waves that may relate to the functioning of the body. Recent studies have shown an altering in monitored brain patterns when reflexology is applied to various reflexes on the foot. This technique is known as FMRI (Functional MRI scan).
Reflexology in Practice
Reflexology today is based on the principle that the anatomy of the body is reflected in miniature on reflex zones on the feet, hands and ears. Stimulating or sedating a reflex triggers a response in the corresponding area of the body. Reflexology helps to create a healthy harmonious state within the body and triggers the body’s natural powers of self healing.
Reflexology is the application of specific pressure by the practitioner’s hands, thumbs, and fingers to reflex points in the client’s hands, feet, or ears. Techniques include using alternating pressure, thumb and finger walking, hooking in and up, rotation on a reflex, and often repeating specific reflex stimulation throughout the session.
Introducing Reflexology New Zealand
Reflexology New Zealand (RNZ) is the regulating body for reflexology in New Zealand. RNZ professional membership requires that reflexologists have diploma level training, meet annual professional development and practice standards, and have specified insurance. The RNZ reflexology education standards can be viewed here www.reflexology.org.nz/education
If you are interested in doing a professional development course in reflexology, you can also find lists of education providers on the website.
If you wish to make an appointment with a professional reflexologist in your area, you can find a list of trusted reflexologists who meet these standards, here www.reflexology.org.nz/find-a-reflexologist
When to use Reflexology
The effects of reflexology are unique to each person. It is believed that reflexology triggers the body's relaxation response.
Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits in the soft tissues and imbalances from touching the feet, hands or ears. Reflexology gently nudges the body toward better functioning by improving lymphatic drainage and venous circulation. It stimulates the nerve pathways, induces muscle relaxation, and helps the body to balance itself.
Since reflexology treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of particular problems, most people can benefit from treatment. Reflexology is normally totally safe for most people, including those with certain health problems as pressure and duration is tailored to meet individual client needs.
Reflexology can be considered ideal for:
Considerations are needed for babies, children, elderly and the very sick. In these instances treatment is of lighter pressure and shorter duration. If indicated, some clients are advised to consult their medical practitioner for permission prior to receiving treatment.
- relieving pain
- reducing stress and tension
- acute and chronic conditions
- relieving stress and tension
- improving nerve and blood supply function
- balancing the whole system (homeostasis)
- revitalising energy
- activating the body to cleanse toxins and impurities
- a preventative therapy
children and adults of all ages
Specific conditions with reported benefits include:
During a reflexology treatment the client may experience:
- PMS and other hormone imbalances
- Digestive disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety and mild depressive disorders
- A full session means working all areas of both feet. This can vary from 30-60 minutes depending on the style of Reflexology practised and wellness level of client.
A course of treatments can vary depending on individual needs and is planned through discussion with the Reflexologist. Treatment takes place with the client sitting in a semi-reclined position on a professional couch or chair. Sometimes foot creams or powders may be used depending on the reflexology practitioner’s style.
- a feeling of deep relaxation and the desire to sleep
- sensations of the body expanding and spreading out as it relaxes
- twitching or tingling
- warmth in the area of the body being worked on
- some discomfort in certain areas, however this will usually be brief, and may indicate areas of imbalance in the body
Sometimes, directly massaging areas of muscle spasm and tension may be contra-indicated and too painful for a client, causing further muscle contraction. By stimulating or sedating the relevant reflex points on the feet or hands, relaxation can be achieved.
Medical and complementary health professionals tend to agree that many of our health problems can be linked to stress. A body trying to function while under the influence of prolonged stress is less capable of organizing its defences against illnesses or repairing damage caused by injury. Stress can be mentally, emotionally, physically, or environmentally induced. Reflexology is primarily a relaxation technique, negating the effects of stress while helping the body to relax and balance. Through the relaxation process the body is more capable of dealing with the stresses placed on it by daily living and those associated with illness.