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Whether you’re a pro-athlete, semi-pro or regularly keep active to maintain fitness, integrating regular reflexology into your routine can be extremely beneficial.

I work with golfers, runners, gym goers and walkers, many of whom also come for reflexology as a preventative medicine to maintain their physical health.



During high intensity exercise, our main systems: endocrine, muscular, circulatory, cardiovascular, respiratory, and lymphatic are involved. Reflexology can help to balance and relax all these systems by stimulating thousands of nerve endings in our feet and various ‘reflex points.’

These nerves and reflex points correspond to different glands, organs, muscles, joints, limbs and anatomical systems in our body. By using specific reflexology techniques on the foot and its ‘reflexes’, we are stimulating the body’s own natural healing abilities and addressing imbalances throughout the whole body.


Numerous benefits have been reported for sports (and injured) people, including helping to:

  • Stimulate the function and reactivity of over 5000 nerve endings in the feet, which in turn can interrupt or change the way you feel pain and support injury recovery.

  • Increase blood circulation to injured areas of the body thereby removing toxins and waste (generated by extended muscle exertion) and supplying oxygen and nutrients to those muscles. Increased circulation can help prevent cramps, spasms and aches and pains associated with exercise and speed up recovery periods.

  • Encourage lymphatic action which inhibits the production of lactic acid. According to the Bonash University, Australia. Reflexology can remove lactic acid from the legs four times faster than massage – great for tired legs.

  • Reduce pain such as leg, knee, hip, foot, shoulder, arm and hand pain. Treatments can help to address numerous sports injuries including, sprains and strains, shin splints, back pain (which can also be felt in the shoulders, neck, buttocks or lower limbs), spine injuries, joint inflammation (e.g. bursitis, tennis elbow, tendonitis), knee pain, shoulder pain (e.g. rotator cuff disorders, fractures), as well as conditions such as plantar fasciitis, neuroma and other types of pain.

  • Reduce inflammation by stimulating the adrenal gland to trigger a natural yet powerful anti-inflammatory response by encouraging the production of glucocorticoids, the most plentiful being cortisol (hydrocortisone).

  • Create a positive effect on overall physical and emotional health and performance by enabling deep relaxation and faster recovery from intense exercise, injuries and surgeries.

  • Identify areas of stress before they manifest physically as pain or weakness therefore reducing the likelihood of potential injury.


There are many examples of professional sportspeople turning to reflexology to support recovery from injury and intense exercise.

International field and track athlete Steve Watson had his Olympic dreamed smashed in 2016, at the age of 22, after he injured his spinal discs during training. He also suffered severe muscle damage to the lower back – leaving him unable to bend and requiring assistance in order to move. After 18 months of working with a physician to repair the muscle and bone damage, Steve made little progress and still had limited mobility. In October 2014, Steve was introduced to reflexology expert Mr Parham Donyai. Within two weeks his pain was considerably less and within a month it was gone. Steve has since become a fitness model and inspirational body builder.

Many prominent PGA Tour Pros including Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, John Daly, Fred Funk, David Duval, Fred Couples have also benefitted from reflexology. Fred Funk indicated in a testimonial that reflexology has helped him deal with ‘over use injuries’ he has from playing golf.

Reflexology research into pain

Dr Carol Samuel, a trained reflexologist, carried out a series of studies and experiments into the treatment of acute pain as part of her PhD studies at the University of Portsmouth.

She established when reflexology was used as a method of pain relief, people felt 40% less pain and were able to stand pain for 45% longer. Her study concluded that reflexology could be used successfully with traditional pain relief and as a therapy it has much to offer athletes and sports people.



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