Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit


Reflexology has been practised for many thousands of years and can be traced back to the ancient Chinese and Egyptians. Nowadays it is a popular mainstream, non-intrusive holistic treatment. It is based on the principle that energy zones run throughout the body, ending in the hands and feet. And with 7,000 nerve endings in the feet these are the most sensitive part of the body. Small reflex areas on the soles, tops and sides of the feet correspond to all parts of the body and arranged in this way form a system and map of the body. These reflexes are worked on using specialised massage techniques using fingers and thumbs to help correct the imbalances within the body and to help release blocked energies.

Reflexology is a very precise treatment which starts with a relaxing massage before moving into the treatment itself. It seeks to strengthen and restore the free flow of energy and nutrients to the body’s cells, to enhance equilibrium and to balance the natural functioning of all the body systems. The whole of each foot is treated which means the whole of the body is treated. Each person will experience the treatment differently but usually it is comfortable and soothing with the occasional moment of slight discomfort on certain reflexes which indicates a tension or imbalance in certain areas of the body. However, once the congested areas have been massaged any discomfort usually disappears. At the end of the actual treatment a short completion routine is carried out on both feet simultaneously.

The gentle nature of the treatment helps to alleviate the effects of stress and can induce a deep state of relaxation in both mind and body and indeed many people will actually fall asleep during a treatment. Reflexology can also be carried out on the hands as the zones running through the feet have corresponding zones in the hands too.

Reflexology can help with arthritis, back pain, digestive disorders, hormone imbalances, fertility issues, circulation problems, migraines, sleep disorders, sports injuries, stress-related symptoms, weak immune systems, allergies, asthma, menstrual problems, sinusitis, depression, anxiety, blood pressure issues and colds.

Overall it helps to relax the individual, reduce mental stress, increase energy levels, promote bodily healing, release serotonin (a mood enhancing hormone), release endorphins (a mood enhancing and pain relief hormone), cleanse and detoxify the body by removing toxins and encourages the body to heal itself. It aims to rebalance the whole system to help restore homeostasis (balance). Reflexology can be combined with chiropody, healing or Anam Cara’s special hand and foot care programme.

One of Anam Cara’s practitioners says, “Twenty-one years ago I started as a fitness/aerobics instructor. I then decided to go back to college and train in Sports Therapy. I went on to train in Sports Massage, Aromatherapy and other holistic therapies. I also trained in Beauty as I wanted to help people not just on a physical level but on an emotional level too, as I feel most illness and disease comes from life’s stresses and emotional challenges. Later I found Dru Yoga which works on all levels of experience (physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual). Five years ago I went on to train as a teacher and have continued my training to eventually become a Dru Yoga practitioner specialising in back care and pregnancy-related health and wellbeing.”

Another of Anam Cara’s practitioners says, “My journey into holistic therapies started in 1999. I studied Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Hopi Ear Candles. This led to Advanced Aromatherapy and Advanced Reflexology qualifications. My aromatherapy tutor then introduced me to Shiatsu. I studied Complementary Therapies at Derby University and obtained a B.A.(Hons) Degree in Shiatsu. Nowadays this enables me to tailor treatments to the client’s needs, as often they require more than one therapy and I can fine tune various combination treatments.

“My experience at Anam Cara is that it is client centred, client focused and client led. The holistic ethos supports the client’s personal quest towards health and wellbeing by creating a therapeutic environment to help clients physically, emotionally and psychologically. And it isn’t just about caring and supporting the client, the emphasis is placed on the client and the practitioner feeling nurtured and protected whilst at Anam Cara.

“In my experience the essence is to provide a peaceful and relaxing environment. I pride myself in being part of the team and showing a personal interest, compassion and empathy in the client’s issues. I feel Anam Cara truly supports me in this role by creating a safe environment for me to practise in. All the therapies and treatments under the Anam Cara umbrella complement each other, and their aim is to guide and support clients. From talking therapies, bodywork, herbs and so on clients will often come to supplement traditional medicine or come to us when all else has failed. “All at Anam Cara share a common belief and philosophy that the mind, body and spirit should be treated in a holistic manner, and that we are here to increase the client’s self-awareness and to help them understand how they think and feel.”