Happy New Year-let's make 2017 great!

Happy New Year to you all, we hope that you've had a relaxing and peaceful Christmas and are all geared up for everything that 2017 has to offer. Good luck if you've decided to start a new health and wellbeing regime, we've vowed to walk more this year and to book regular holistic treatments to keep us relaxed and in great shape. We started well this week by 'going on a bear hunt' in glorious Welsh woodland, I'm sad to say that we didn't actually spot a bear, but all thoroughly enjoyed squelching about in the mud and generally feeling alive again after the post festive comedown.

Back at Hollytree Holistics, our fantastic Winter Warmer promotion has been well received and we've had some lovely feedback from clients old and new alike. If you still haven't booked a Winter Warmer treatment at reduced rates, you have until the end of Jan, so don't hesitate to give us a call. Looking forward, we're very pleased to announce that we'll be extending our range of treatments by offering Full Body Swedish massage from next month. Whether you want the full works, or an express back or leg and foot treatment, there should be something fabulous to tempt you in. Don't forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram (follow links on home page) for regular updates and news about special offers and promotions.

Looking forward to seeing you in 2017!


Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning-Relax and Unwind!

We're pleased to announce that Hollytree Holistics will be hosting a charity event as part of the 'Macmillan-World's largest coffee morning' on Friday 30th September 2016, from 10am-12pm. Join us for coffee and cake, plus free mini reflexology treatments to help you relax your way into the weekend! We have a small team of lovely reflexologists who are volunteering their time to provide treatments, in exchange for a small donation of your choice. Treatments are optional, so if you'd prefer a coffee and a chat with friends, then you're still most welcome to join us. Treatments are subject to a short consultation and are provided on a first come first served basis, but please e-mail if you'd like to pre book a time slot and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Cake donations are very welcome and there will be a prize for the best entry on the day, so get baking!! There will also be a raffle and discount vouchers as a thank you for supporting such a worthy cause.

Hope to see you there!        C.T.


what will happen during my Reflexology Session?

As holistic practitioners we aim to support you as a whole person and so during your first appointment we will conduct a full consultation including taking a medical history and gaining your consent for the treatment. You will be seated on a reclining reflexology chair and made comfortable with cushions and blankets if required. We gently cleanse and observe the feet to help us assess if there are any areas that need specific focus, before moving on to the main session. We will then start with an awakening and warming massage and move on to work the reflexes using thumb, finger and knuckle pressure to the feet, legs or hands. We always conclude sessions with a relaxing and calming massage, then provide feedback on any reflexes that we believe are out of balance. We also provide aftercare advice and any general lifestyle information that is within our field of experience. We use a range of professional and high quality mediums for treatments (including Songbird, Association of Reflexologists and Neal's Yard products) and will select the most appropriate one for you, we also provide vegan, unscented and nut free lotions, waxes and balms where appropriate.  Additional massage techniques and time is included in the specialist treatments including AromaReflex and Hot Stone Reflexology.

Reflexology is an easy therapy to receive and only involves the removal of shoes and socks or tights for a normal treatment. We suggest avoiding flip-flops, or loose sandals for Aromareflex treatments as it may leave the feet slightly oily. We do not offer Aromareflex in the first trimester of pregnancy as the body is going through wonderful changes, but is generally more sensitive to oils and aromas. If you are lucky enough to be under 16 years old we politely ask that you attend with a parent or guardian as we always follow AoR guidelines and will need their consent for the session.  In order to achieve the greatest benefit from treatments, it is beneficial to drink extra water following reflexology and to avoid heavy meals, alcohol/stimulants and strenuous activity for the rest of the day. Although this isn't always possible, taking time to relax afterwards and let your body feel the benefits of the treatment is highly recommended!

Whatever it is that brings you to reflexology, Hollytree Holistics welcomes you and we will always be glad to listen to you, respect you as an individual and answer your queries before booking, or throughout your course of treatments. You can always be confident in the knowledge that any information supplied remains confidential and will not be shared with third parties. We are happy to discuss home visiting if you are reasonably local and unable to get to us, or would genuinely find it more beneficial to be seen at home. We also believe that reflexology should be available for all and so reserve a limited amount of reduced price slots for those who feel that reflexology would benefit them, but have reduced means for a variety of reasons. If you or someone you know would benefit from these sessions, please contact us for further information.



What Is Reflexology?

The basic theory behind modern reflexology states that there are specific areas, or 'reflex' points, on the hands, feet, lower leg, ears and face that mirror the internal organs and major structures of the body. The feet especially, contain a large number of nerve endings which are linked to major parts of the body and as the therapist applies specific pressures to the reflex points, an improved physical and emotional wellbeing can be achieved. Additionally by enhancing blood circulation it is also believed that the body is stimulated to rebalance itself.  As the woman fondly known as the 'Mother of Modern Reflexology', Eunice Ingham wrote, “reflexology is a means of equalling the circulation. We all know circulation is life. Stagnation is death. Everything around us that is alive is in motion”, from her seminal 1938 book, 'Stories that the Feet Can Tell'. It is now widely accepted that reflexology may assist the body in several ways including; improving our sense of wellbeing, mood improvement, promoting a release of tension, aiding sleep and initiating a deep state of relaxation.

Many people look to reflexology after suffering with various ailments for a long time and wanting to try a new approach, some people swear by complementary therapies and use them successfully to support themselves with many aspects of their lives. Others just enjoy the quiet relaxation and inner peace that reflexology can bring them; this can be especially beneficial during transitional periods in our lives, for example when facing fertility issues, wedding planning, becoming a new parent, divorce, bereavement or in times of heightened anxiety, depression and fatigue. Everyone is wonderfully different though and therefore it is not possible to know exactly what benefits reflexology may bring you.  The Association of Reflexologists state that 'many people may sleep better, and notice a feeling of improved mood and general wellbeing', and yes, many people also report that they have a particular condition which has been greatly aided by regular reflexology sessions.

However, it is always important to remember that reflexology does not seek to diagnose, prescribe or cure. Indeed those receiving reflexology are typically known as 'clients' rather than patients, as they usually sit outside (though not exclusively) the medical profession. Reflexology though is a wonderfully non-intrusive complementary therapy which is suitable for young and old alike, literally from the cradle to the grave. It can work very well alongside allopathic medicine in many ways, but is not intended to replace it. If you are receiving medical treatment, we always state that you should not cease medication or allopathic treatment without the guidance of your doctor. At Hollytree Holistics we recommend that if you are receiving ongoing medical treatment (or have complex health needs) then it is beneficial to discuss reflexology with your doctor so that they have a clear idea of what other therapies you are having. In a small amount of cases reflexology may not be appropriate at a particular time in your life, examples include DVT, recent stroke or heart attack and during high risk pregnancies. However, it is often something that you can safely come back to when your condition has stabilised. Today there are also many specialist reflexologists who have had advanced training in specific conditions, and who can support your additional needs, for example many cancer care centres offer a range of complimentary therapies for patients, including reflexology for relaxation, or to help reduce anxiety, depression and nausea.


                                        Reflexology is suitable for all ages and for most people .

                                        Reflexology is suitable for all ages and for most people.



How did reflexology Evolve?

It is widely believed that reflexology originated in ancient Egypt around 5000 year ago due to numerous paintings found in the tomb of the physician Ankmahor. The paintings document what many interpret as an early example of hand and foot reflexes being worked. Famously one inscription reads, ‘Don’t hurt me’ and the practitioner replies, ‘I shall act so you praise me’. However, though historically important, for the verifiable origins of reflexology we must look to early Chinese and Indian practitioners who were beginning to document their understanding of the healing potential created by working on the hands, feet and ears. Other historical evidence suggests that developments also took place in a wide range of cultures including amongst Buddhist Monks in Asia and in the ancient Inca civilisation of South America. 

In modern Europe however, early pioneers demonstrating an understanding of rudimentary reflexology included Sir Henry Head who was an English neurologist. In 1893 he proved the neurological link between applying pressure to the skin and our internal organs, by evidencing that applying massage to painful areas could promote healing. In 1898 he published his findings stating that, “Zones on the skin become hypersensitive to pressure when an organ connected by nerves to this skin region was diseased”. These zones were later known as ‘Head’s Zones’ or ‘zones of hyperalgesia’.

Dr William Fitzgerald, an American laryngologist, has long been accredited as one of the main pioneers of modern reflexology with his experimental work around Zone Theory in the 1900’s. Born in 1872, Fitzgerald initially studied medicine at the University of Vermont, before practising in London, Paris and Vienna. He was already aware that Native American people were applying pressure to reflex points in order to aid healing and relieve pain, and whilst in Vienna he learnt about the research of Dr. Harry Bond Bressler who had treated organs using pressure points. Later whilst working in London, Fitzgerald researched pain relieving techniques and discovered that by applying pressure to the hand he could create a local anaesthetic effect elsewhere in the body. Along with conventional surgical clamps, he also used various household tools (including clothes pegs, aluminium combs and elastic bands) to apply pressure to the hands in the zones that corresponded with specific parts of the body that he wished to work on. Fitzgerald called his findings, ‘Zone Analgesia’.

Chiropractor, Dr Joseph Riley and his wife were students of Fitzgerald and they built on his research by documenting horizontal zones across the hands and feet, producing detailed diagrams of the reflex points in the process.  Riley went on to write twelve books on the subject, including ‘Zone Therapy Simplified’ (1919) and introduced ‘hook work’ in to reflexology practise, whereby the fingers are used in a hooking motion to access reflex points under tissues and muscles.

The woman fondly referred to as ‘the Mother of Modern Reflexology’, Eunice D. Ingham was a physical therapist working alongside Dr Riley when she became fascinated by Zone Theory. During the 1930’s she had ample opportunity to develop this theory on the feet, with the hundreds of patients that she was treating. Following meticulous research and practical application she concluded that foot reflexes accurately mirrored the organs and structures of the body. In 1938 she published her seminal work, ‘Stories The Feet Can Tell’, which was widely sold and translated, thus spreading the news of her work globally. In the 1950’s Ingham’s nephew Dwight Byers began helping her with her work and teachings and by 1961 her niece had joined them and the ‘National Institute of Reflexology was formed in America. In 1963 Ingham published, her follow up book, ‘Stories the Feet Have Told’.

Doreen Bayly studied under Ingham in America and then pioneered her reflexology approach in Britain during the 1960’s. Bayly did much to promote awareness of the therapy, especially in the U.K. and founded the ‘Bayly School’ in 1978, which was the first reflexology school in the British Isles and is still going strong.

Reflexology as a complimentary therapy is unlikely ever to remain at a standstill developmentally. Whilst generations of pioneers have unlocked much of its core potential, then developed and finely tuned its techniques, future generations will no doubt adapt, blend and make new discoveries for themselves.

Here at Hollytree Holistics we're always happy to meet new clients and offer short taster sessions if you'd like to try reflexology for yourself.