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Reflexology's role in a holistic approach to stress and anxiety management

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Does your daily stress eventually find a path to calmness, or does stress often seem sustained?

Gauging how exposed to stress we are, this TED talk presentation is


Continuous exposure to elevated stress may develop into anxiety. Any individual, whether as a predisposition or a learnt emotional response, is at risk. Anxiety is a constant state of alertness (in extreme cases, hyper-alert), that leads to a range of physical symptoms such as: adrenal fatigue, poor/restless sleep, poor digestion, nervous eating, lack of energy, dry skin, just to name a few. Also, individuals may present mental and emotional resilience to the world as a coping mechanism, but actually be quite fragile privately.

So, how do we address these health issues? What changes should we take

as a community in limiting stress’s physiological impact? How can we apply

practical remedies to help bring about change? These are just some ideas:

  1. Acknowledgement, either from family, friends or colleagues, is a valuable first step. Owning any ‘label’ is an individual’s choice, however obvious it seems to others. Being mindful to their situation is important, and helps to provide a safe space for open discussion. There can be a risk of emotional withdrawal or dismissive attitude if the discussion becomes too uncomfortable or confrontational.

  2. Self-care tools can be very useful, with options for everyone, including reflective meditation, self-dialogue writing (journaling), active listening, or time out zones. Reflective meditation focuses on ‘positive’ daily events and actions, and reinforces self-confidence while balancing or reducing negative thoughts. Self-dialog writing (journaling) allows the ‘self’ mind to download and materialise the day’s experiences, rather than holding on to them. Active listening provides a safe, non-judgemental space with no need to ‘fix’ anything for the person you’re listening to. Time out zones offer quiet and undisturbed spaces for an individual to contemplate in.

  3. Targeting stress before it escalates would be the optimal action to take. Body therapies like reflexology support deep relaxation, with the added benefit of a quiet ‘self-reflective’ space and the potential for that ‘active listening’ opportunity too.

A holistic approach is always superior, and how reflexology delivers this is unique. By de-stressing the whole body, with attention to stress symptoms, the physiological response is profound and lasting. The therapy directly influences body systems (i.e. nervous, hormonal, digestive, circulation) to a state of re-balance (homeostasis) that will support wellbeing and a calmer individual.

Reflexology appears to be such a simple way to achieve so much, and yet it is this simplicity when combined with regular treatments, that allows the true benefits of its long-term effectiveness to be revealed. The key is to maintain sanity and serenity to function consistently, in same way other things are maintained, so we are always ‘good to go’ all the time, not just on our best days.


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