Sophia Smith – Reflexology
Holistic Reflexology for Wellbeing, and Natural Fertility and Maternity Support
Holistic reflexology is a wholesome natural therapy. It involves specific touch and massage strokes sensitively applied to the feet (and sometimes the hands) in tune with subtle energy fields and according to the mirror reflection of all body anatomy and systems on the feet. Calming, nurturing and strength-giving, it may be helpful for men, women and children, to ease myriad issues, to discover more about oneself, or simply to enjoy “me-time”. It may be precious stressmanagement aid. It also makes a lovely birthday, postnatal time, Christmas, or Valentine gift.
Maternity reflexology was devised by experienced midwives in Australia and the UK to assist pregnant women in a natural and earthy way. It is based on ancient natural therapies, holistic understanding of the human being, combined with modern knowledge. It works with the subtle energies in the feet, to help balance and harmonize a pregnant woman’s being in pregnancy and after birth. It is rapidly becoming popular as it is “second to none in pregnancy care”*. It is medically safe and mostly very pleasurable. Sophia has undergone in-depth foundational training with pioneering midwife Susanne Enzer*, and continues to refine her approach, adapting appropriately to non-natural situations (such as IVF pregnancies), liaising with midwives, obstetric carers and other health practitioners, where required (for example for post due babies and VBACs). Although the focus of sessions might be the easing of specific physical discomforts and complaints, the overall approach is holistic, taking into account the context of the woman’s life, her own soul-spiritual being, her thoughts and emotions, her lifestyle and other relevant practical considerations, as well as encompassing the evolving medical picture. Sessions can be very quiet and lead to multiple ‘40 winks’, or more interactive, according to the need of the moment. Last but not least, the baby, or “Incoming Soul”, derives significant benefit from the mother’s deep relaxation and integration process. Not only has reflexology been described as “Nature’s tranquilizer”, as it promotes endorphin production, decreasing adrenalin and cortisol levels, it also encourages “love hormone” production (natural oxytocin), in a safe balanced way. Hence babies benefit as the blood communication with the mother brings messages of calm and wellbeing, furthering the natural bonding and preparation for parenting process.
Some common pregnancy discomforts which may be alleviated are: heartburn, nausea, fatigue, circulation problems (energy, lymph and blood), swollen ankles, varicose/piles, pelvic discomfort (PDS and sciatica), backache, sore ribs, ligament and joint pains, sleep difficulties, “nerves”, digestive issues… Sophia is also trained to help with breech turning (after 36 weeks), warming up for birthing (post due date babies), preparing for/recovering from caesar (or a traumatic birthing), mild post natal illness, miscarriage etc., all within safe parameters and obstetric carer consent or recommendation.
Ideally a course of maternity reflexology would encompass 3 sessions (if possible, monthly from the start) before the due date, and one or two post EDD (especially with a first pregnancy), plus one or two postnatally, within the 4th trimester of pregnancy (first 3 postnatal months). However even a one off can make all the difference.
Reflexology is helpful in preconception preparation, for overall health and wellbeing, and may further support fertility issues in men and women, when challenges such as PCOS, endometriosis, irregular cycles, poor sperm quality, or “unexplained infertility” are present; either as a therapy on its own or as a complement to an orthodox or alternative medical approach.
Sophia Smith BSc, ITEC, MAR, NFSH (student) is an experienced reflexologist of 21 years’ practice; she may weave in her sessions elements of spiritual healing, intuitive insight and commonsense lifestyle advice. Also known as “a midwife of the soul” (in the original meaning of helping birth the new within us), she lives in Berkhamsted with her husband, their daughter (now at university after attending the Kings Langley Rudolf Steiner School). Sophia practises from home at Eaux Vives and at Carmenta Life Centre, in Berkhamsted, and at the Active Birth Centre Therapy Clinic in London. She is French, of Polish descent, and grew up in South America (Brazil).