By Jayne Reed

I have suffered from acid reflux since my teens but over the past couple of years it had become more severe. I had also had several attacks of IBS, which at one point became almost unbearable.

My husband suggested I give clinical reflexology as try as neither of us really like my having to rely on medication if there are effective alternatives out there. We are both keen ambassadors for alternative therapies, and would love to see more of them being recognised by medical professionals.

Shirley had asked about my medical history prior to treatment so she could draw up a treatment plan. I felt at ease as soon as I was welcomed into the treatment room. Shirley is obviously very knowledgeable; she knows her stuff having been a nurse and midwife for many years before re-training.

I was asked to lie down on a massage couch whilst calm relaxing music played in a comfortably warm room. I have to say that normally I find it difficult to get comfortable on these couches but the headrest was just right for me and I felt very comfortable when the treatment started.

Reflexology is based on the ancient Chinese belief that the body generates an energy field or life-force known as Qi. It works on the principle that massaging specific zones of the feet will have a therapeutic effect on corresponding parts of the body.

Shirley massaged and worked on various areas of my feet while telling me which part of the body it related to. She checked I was happy with the pressure but it felt just right. I was warned that some parts of the massage might cause some discomfort and as she worked on the areas of my feet associated with the stomach and bowel I did feel quite a pronounced soreness in that area of my foot.

Sometimes Shirley held the pressure on particular points to release various hormones before gently releasing. I found the whole experience quite relaxing, especially when towards the end of the session Shirley used an oil to massage my feet while I was guided to take deep yoga breaths.

This finished of the treatment nicely and I was able to relax for a few moments before getting up. I was advised to drink lots of water following the treatment to flush out the toxins out and she warned me that sometimes symptoms get worse before they improve. Immediately following the treatment, my feet felt completely relaxed, almost tingling, and I felt a comfortable softness and lightness throughout my whole body.

After an hour or so, just had Shirley had said, I did notice that my stomach felt a little uncomfortable – like a heavy knotted ball. However, the next couple of nights I slept better than I had for quite a while and my symptoms definitely eased, leaving my stomach and digestive system feeling completely cleansed.

I would definitely recommend Shirley. I just wish I’d known earlier and could have benefited sooner.


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