Special Reflexology for Pregnant Are you feeling tired, uncomfortable, or nauseous in your pregnancy? You may be surprised to know that an ancient form of healing called reflexology can actually help treat many common pregnancy ailments and even help you during your labor. Reflexology has been around for over 4000, originaly practiced by the ancient Egyptians and Chinese but it was first recognized in the Western world in 1913 when Dr. William Fitzgerald noticed that pressure on specific parts of the body could have an anaesthetizing effect on corresponding areas in the body. This was further developed in the 1930s by Eunice Ingham, who defined reflexology as it is practiced today. Reflexology is the technique of applying gentle massage to the reflexes (pressure points) on the feet to clear the vital energy pathways that can become blocked due to the stresses and strains of life. It is thought that the feet are like mirror images of the body, with various points representing different structures and organs. Reflexology treatments can improve circulation and elimination - two very important factors in maintaining good health and well-being. Obviously when you are pregnant you want to make sure that everything you do is safe for both you and your baby. Midwife Hannah Hulme Hunter says, "Reflexology is generally considered safe in pregnancy." In their book, A Complete Guide to Foot Reflexology, authors Kevin and Barbara Kunz say, "A miscarriage is a reaction of the body, NOT a reaction to reflexology. Under no circumstances has reflexology ever been shown to have caused the body to do something it didn't want to do." The Association of Reflexologists says, "Nearly everyone can benefit from having reflexology during pregnancy." Babyworld moderator and complementary therapist Lynne Morgan says, "It is very successful in the treatment of a wide variety of pregnancy discomforts and conditions. "During labour itself, it can be used for relaxation and pain relief and research has shown that women who have regular reflexology treatments during pregnancy have far shorter labours than those who don't." Practitioner Valerie Lowe recommends that both expectant parents have reflexology during pregnancy to help couples during the emotional changes of pregnancy and birth. Other benefits include: Relief from common pregnancy ailments such as morning sickness, back ache, fluid retention and swelling. Later adjusting to the demands of coping with a new baby and support as your menstrual cycle returns to normal. As well as this, much research has shown that reflexology is excellent for maintaining or increasing milk supply as well as helping with postnatal depression and general relaxation.

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Pregnant Woman David Roseborough  from Los Angeles, United States [CC-BY-2.0],  via Wikimedia Commons