Tip to Toe - reflexology treatment in Tyldesley

Reflexologist, Judy Forrister

Reflexologist, Judy Forrister - Credit: Archant

We visit a hypnotherapy and holistic centre in Tyldesley to find out more about a popular complementary therapy, reflexology

Reflexologist, Judy Forrister

Reflexologist, Judy Forrister - Credit: Archant

Alternative medicines and complementary therapies are becoming increasingly popular in the 21st century. One of the more well-known treatments is reflexology, a non-intrusive complementary therapy based on the belief that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands that correspond to all organs and parts of the body.

The therapy, which was documented as a practise in Ancient Egypt, works on an individual basis and may alleviate and improve symptoms such as everyday stress and tension.

Modified during the 1930s and 1940s by nurse and physiotherapist, Eunice D. Ingham, she mapped the entire body into reflexes on the feet and this is the method modern reflexologists use today.

Judy Forrister, who runs Tip to Toe in Tyldesley, has been a fully qualified reflexologist for three years. Starting part-time in 2012, she then left her career as a medical devices representative working in hospitals to run her own business.

Reflexologist, Judy Forrister, and patient Rebekka O'Grady

Reflexologist, Judy Forrister, and patient Rebekka O'Grady - Credit: Archant

‘I was already doing a little bit of life coaching and I visited a lady for a reflexology treatment and she commented that I would be good as a therapist,’ said Judy, who lives in Boothstown. ‘Since qualifying, I have also taken up hypnotherapy and reiki.’

The reflexologist said she likes giving people the therapy as she loves the response she receives. ‘It’s about being able to give something back and help others.’

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So why have a reflexology treatment? Judy says that there are a mix of reasons why clients have the complementary therapy, from simply improving mood, aiding sleep and relieving tension to aiding patients suffering with cancer, depression or for pain relief.

‘We can’t make claims that I will cure you or your problems, but it will help aid in relief, to de-stress and relax you,’ said Judy. ‘People are becoming increasingly open to exploring different therapies instead of traditional pain relief via medicine.’

During a typical reflexology session, Judy will take a detailed medical history followed by a full treatment. She will then make a visual and tactile examination of your feet before beginning precise reflexology massage movements using appropriate pressure of the thumbs and fingers.

The aim of the treatment is to flush out toxins and restore balance to the body. Judy said that a reflexologist can concentrate on specific parts of the body where a patient may be feeling particular pain or stress.

‘You can tell a lot from a person through their feet,’ she said. ‘I can tell whether someone has had an appendix removed or if they are recovering from a cold.’

Although there is not a large enough body of evidence to make clinical claims of effectiveness, the complementary therapy appears to be a popular way of mitigating the stresses of modern life.

‘For those that are cynical, I say just try it,’ said Judy. ‘My mother was a cynic when I first started as she couldn’t stand getting her feet touched.

‘She agreed to be my case study when I was training, and now she’s my biggest advocate.’


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