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Reflexology and stress

Stress is huge for many of us. A 2019 NZ Workplace Wellness Report stated that stress had risen by 23.5% in the previous 2 years. In 2018 NZ lost 7.4 million working days to absence. That's huge! I don't know how many of those working days were lost due to stress, but it is often quoted that stress contributes to 85% of all illnesses. So 85% of 7.4 million is 6.29 million days. Wow. That's just in our small population. And that was before all the dramas of 2020...

If you're stressed you might notice:

  • You find it hard to concentrate

  • You have tension in your shoulders, headaches, and/or more aches and pains

  • You feel tearful

  • You are easily distracted

  • You get colds or infections more easily

  • Your gut is upset

  • You get allergies, rashes or skin irritations more than normal

  • You feel angry or frustrated

  • You are extra sensitive to criticism and have less self-esteem

  • You have trouble sleeping and feel constantly tired

  • You have a lump in your throat

  • You feel dizzy or can feel your heart beating

  • You have indigestion or heartburn

  • You lose or gain weight more than usual.

Stress affects our whole body. You may have only one or two symptoms but the longer you are under high levels of stress, the worse you may feel. Many of us even take some of these symptoms for granted as we're so used to being stressed.

Often we can't remove ourselves from the source of stress. It might be work, or worry about a family member, or moving house. Even a joyful event such as getting married can be highly stressful on the body. So, if we can't avoid the stress, we need to learn how to cope with it. My previous article gave some ideas for coping with stress, and here I'm going to tell you again that you should try reflexology.

Taking time out to do nothing can be a real luxury for some people, especially those with stressful lives. We are constantly texting or checking emails, even when we're supposed to be doing nothing. An hour of reflexology will not only make you stop, but is super relaxing in itself. Your reflexologist will work the points on the feet that relate to stress, trying to calm the excess production of adrenalin and cortisol (your stress-related hormones), and get your body back into balance. I find most of my new clients are really suprised at how gentle and relaxing the treatment is, and many of my clients fall asleep.

'How often should I have a treatment?' ask most of my clients. Well, that depends on why you're having the treatment. One size does not fit all. If you're super-stressed you might want to consider weekly treatments until things calm down. If your life is well balanced, monthly or even 6-weekly treatments might be enough. Talk to your reflexologist, look out for symptoms of stress and adjust your appointments as necessary.

However you cope with stress, don't ignore it. It can build up and build up and cause serious problems. So have a think about how you are feeling, and maybe try out reflexology. It really is very relaxing!


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