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Friday, 5 February 2016

What to expect from a Reflexology treatment with Claire Gardner | Family Refloxology

As stated in my recent article for Express North magazine,  I meet people from all walks of life in our Northumberland Mumpreneur networking group and one of those lovely ladies is Claire Gardner. Claire is a Family Reflexologist providing bespoke treatments for the whole family including babies and children. Specialising in Maternity and Fertility, Claire is affiliated with the Newcastle Pregnancy and Baby Centre and is a member of Professional Reflexology and the Association of Reflexologists.

Claire has studied hard to gain a Professional Clinical Reflexologist Level 5 Centralia Reflexology Mastership which is the highest level of qualification available to UK Reflexologists and equivalent to an HND or Foundation Degree. 

When Claire asked if I would like to experience a Reflexology treatment for myself, I thought why not? I didn't have a clue what to expect or what I would gain but did just try to keep an open mind.

Initial Consultation

Claire can either visit your home or you can book into her clinic at the Jesmond Natural Health & Fertility Clinic. I opted for a home visit and was surprised when Claire turned up with everything she needed from relaxing music to a specialist reflexology chair. For some reason I imagined my treatment would be carried out on my sofa!

Claire always takes the time to complete a detailed consultation during your first appointment and was keen to point out that she can't diagnose or cure ailments or issues. However reflexology may help with a huge range of issues including:-

*lack of energy
*back pain
*irritable bowel syndrome
*poor digestion
*respiritory problems
*bladder problems
*menopausel symptoms
*period pain
*pain management
*palliative care
*fertility & conception
*post natal care & much more

We discussed three main issues I was experiencing that reflexology may be able to help:-

*shoulder pain
*not being able to switch off at night/insomnia

Claire was absolutely professional throughout the consultation and really took the time to listen to what I had to say. I felt as though she was really trying to get to know me and understand how my problem issues were putting pressure on my life. I did not feel hurried or rushed at any point during my appointment and have to say it was nice having someone to talk to about problem issues rather than just getting on with them or brushing them under the carpet as I had been doing. 

Claire provides a bespoke treatment during every visit and takes the information provided in your consultation plus her findings in your initial treatment to provide a treatment plan that is designed specifically to your needs. I love this approach and feel confident that the treatment provides very good value for money. You may just need one treatment, you might like to book ad-hoc appointments as they are needed or perhaps a weekly appointment will work best for you? Claire will work with you and offers a very flexible approach. There is no one size fits all solution.

What is reflexology?

I honestly had no idea what reflexology was other than it might be something to do with feet? Claire was happy to explain that reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive holistic therapy based on the principle that different points on the feet, hands and ears relate to internal organs and structures of the body. Stimulating these points can encourage the body to re-balance and heal itself. I was really interested to learn that if you aren't keen on having your feet touched, reflexology can still be carried out on you hands and ears.

The Treatment

Claire spent a few minutes setting up her equipment in my living room and I settled into the special reflexology chair she brings. It was a weird sensation lying back on it at first but I soon relaxed. Claire's music was lovely and soothing and reminiscient of a spa and I was provided with snuggly blankets and warned that I may get a little chilly as my body was resting (I did get chilly and the blankets were much appreciated). You need to remove your socks and shoes (that's it - you don't need to roll your trousers up or remove anything else). Claire brings sanitising wipes to clean your feet prior to treatment. 

Claire Gardner = Family, Maternity & Fertilty Reflexology in the North East

My initial treatment lasted around 50 minutes and was oh so relaxing. I was able to just lie back, listen to the music and relax as Claire pressed various points on my feet. I don't have ticklish feet anyway but it didn't tickle. It didn't hurt either - it was just nice! I closed my eyes and it was very much the same sensation as lying in a spa. The treatment seemed to be over very quickly (although it definitely was 50 minutes!) and I do wonder if I was so relaxed that I fell asleep! At one point I did feel as though one of my headaches was about to start but it soon went away.


These are obviously just my experiences. Please remember that reflexology can't make any claims to cure ailments.

Straight after my treatment my shoulder pain seemed a lot better and I definitely had a lot more movement. After a few days however it went back to how it was so I think that perhaps a course of treatments may work best for this?

I still can't switch off at night! Claire did provide me with some techniques to use at home and recommended the Headspace app too however I haven't put these into practice yet. Maybe I am my own worse enemy!

Claire Gardener Family Reflexology in the North East

My headaches though, what can I say? They are a completely different story. Since my reflexology treatment I haven't experienced one single headache! I've had two nights out where I did really indulge in a lot of alcohol and had absolutely zero headache the next day on both occasions! This is some sort of miracle and has NEVER happened to me before! Previously, I would suffer with a headache even after one tiny glass of wine. My headaches were the biggest disruption to my life as they would last for around 6 hours so I cannot explain how happy I am. Long may it last! If my headaches do decide to make a return in the future I will 100% be phoning Claire and booking another appointment ASAP.

Claire explained that my shoulders were very, very tense (she was able to get this from my feet) and advised that I should perhaps sit at a desk to work and try not to spend as much time hunched over my computer. She also provided me with comprehensive after care advice and instructions. 

My thoughts

My personal belief is that if you are having problems, or specific issues, you may as well give reflexology a try. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. I hate medical intervention and avoid it where necessary. I'd rather suffer in silence than take a painkiller so for me, reflexology has really improved my quality of life. Claire is very professional and as I didn't know anything about reflexology, the fact that she has studied reflexology to the highest level really helped to put my mind at ease. 

How can I find out more? 

Reflexology can sometimes be prescribed by the NHS (ask your GP for details) and can often be covered by private medical insurance (check with individual provider). Claire offers a range of treatments priced from just £25 throughout the North East (travel restrictions apply) and at the Jesmond Natural Health & Fertility Clinic. Block bookings will receive a 10% discount. 

Contact Claire Gardner | Family Reflexology


1 comment

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