I've been having reflexology sessions since I was 23 weeks pregnant. I had had a few sessions previously and really enjoyed it. When I first started a couple of months ago, I had read that it can help with SPD, which I was really struggling with. I admit, I was slightly sceptical that it would too much but thought that if nothing else, it would be nice for the foot massage side of the treatment. I was very pleasantly surprised by the positive results it has had.
- Eased my SPD. I obviously can't be sure that it was the reflexology alone but after my early sessions I definitely had less pain for a few days.
- Helped to promote better sleep. With less pain, also came better sleep. But even now when my SPD seems to have eased a little, I find that for a good week after a reflexology session I sleep much more soundly. Has anyone else noticed that they wake at around 4am and can't get back to sleep for ages? I don't know if it's hormones. Anyway, after reflexology, this 4am wake-up is not an issue for a good 4/5 nights. (I do still wake up and turn over a lot, but I fall back to sleep - and a much deeper sleep - a lot quicker.)
- Reduced swelling in my feet. This is a new one but last week my feet were sooooo swollen. And my ankles - was definitely rocking some cankles!! After my last reflexology session, my feet and ankles have gone right down.
Reflexology is based on the notion that areas of the feet and hands are linked to other areas and organs of the body. It is used to treat symptoms in many parts of the body by using fingertip pressure on specific areas on the feet primarily, and sometimes on the hands as well.
As in the case with prenatal massage, some reflexologists prefer to wait until you are out of your first trimester before they will work on you. There are also some complications for which reflexology is specifically not recommended. You should have a chat with your midwife before going for reflexology.
Reflexologists can also work the area between your ankle and heel to stimulate labour and contractions. Obviously you don't want them doing this before you're full term! I've chatted to my reflexologist about trying this in a few weeks time. Both of us are keen to see if it does speed up the process - I'll report back!