It goes without saying that 2020 has been a strange one. Being in lockdown didn’t seem so bad during the summer months, when we could get out and enjoy all that sunshine we had, boosting our vitamin D intake and maintaining a strong immune system. But I remember thinking to myself, what will our winter be like if we face another lockdown during those months?

Covid-19 is what’s on everybody’s mind as we face into the winter, but as the weather turns colder and more damp, the usual cold and flu viruses are also doing the rounds – thriving on the fact that colder conditions dampen our immune response.

To help keep ourselves healthy & strong, and to keep beds available in our hospitals for those who really need them, we should be looking at ways to help ourselves keep our immune systems in efficient working order! As well as eating a healthy and varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, drinking lots of fluids and getting sufficient sleep and exercise outside – we can also help ourselves by doing reflexology on ourselves now that we can’t go out to enjoy a treatment!

Reflexology has been found to be very effective when dealing with seasonal illnesses, and colds and flu are no exception. The main symptoms – headaches, congested or tight chest, blocked sinuses, runny noses, sore throat, low energy levels, muscle aches, feeling hot and cold and having swollen glands in the neck – can all be helped.

The lymphatic system is a network of channels and glands that helps defend against infections and fight these by carrying immune cells throughout your body and remove excess fluid. It works directly with your cardiovascular system to keep blood and lymphatic fluid levels in balance and flush toxins out of the body. When your lymphatic circulation slows it can cause fluids that normally carry waste away from the cells to become trapped and stagnant. The toxins start accumulating and immune cells are not being delivered to the areas of the body where they’re needed therefore compromising your body’s ability to fight infections and diseases. Your immune system is weakened. That’s why it’s important to stimulate the organs involved in your immune system in order to keep your lymphatic circulation going.

Reflexology could:

• stimulate our immune system and boost our immune response so we can fight off these seasonal germs.  This will, in turn, help the swollen glands to reduce, as the infection is fought off.

• balance and stimulate our respiratory systems (throat, tonsils, lungs, chest area) to get rid of excess mucus. In my experience, it encourages clients to cough a lot, which has been just as effective as taking an expensive expectorant and my lungs feel more open.

• boost our feel-good hormones (such as endorphins, melatonin and serotonin) which act as natural pain-blockers, so those sore throats, muscle aches and headaches will feel much better. In addition, melatonin encourages sleep and it is a strong antioxidant and ant-inflammatory, so this will also help those swollen glands, sore sinuses and headaches.

• stimulate the facial sinuses to clear themselves of mucus, so your breathing will become easier.

• encourage relaxation which will help you to get a good night’s sleep. This is essential for healing. Reflexology also increases energy, so you won’t feel quite so lethargic and run down.

So Reflexology can tackle all the main symptoms of a cold or flu virus, meaning that you’ll feel better faster and have the energy to carry on with life. Better than that, it tackles the reasons behind the symptoms so that you’ll actually heal faster from the inside out.

It is a very gentle and nurturing treatment so if you’re feeling grim, just being pampered could help – you’ll leave feeling relaxed and supported, hopefully breathing more easily, in less pain and with maybe with higher energy levels. Why not give Reflexology a try the next time you have a cold and find out if it could help you recover quicker without the need for painkillers and expectorants. (Once all of these restrictions are lifted)!

Here are a few points for you to work on yourself: (work these points for a few minutes, numerous times throughout the day, consistency is key!)

Have your partner or a family member work on your feet when you’ve a chance to relax and put the feet up, maybe while watching tv or reading. Have them focus on these specific points and using firm pressure. Working on your hands is a fantastic alternative, if you can’t reach your feet and it’s a lot more accessible during the day or whenever you think of it!

I hope you feel some benefit from using these tips, if you’ve any questions or would like reflex points for other issues, please feel free to get in contact! Take care & stay safe.

Neasa x