The title of ‘Guru of Reflexology’ belongs to Andrea Hurst, world renowned for her 20 years’ experience in the healing art of Reflexology. Based in London’s most prestigious neighbourhood Mayfair, she combines a deeply rejuvenating and restorative holistic experience with a thorough and insightful analysis of reflex points. Queuing up at her door are a long list of VIP clients from A-list Hollywood stars to fashion designers seeking her pioneering treatments. With recommendations from Gwyneth Paltrow and features in Vogue and Tatler magazine, Andrea is certainly an A-Lister herself in the world of Reflexology.
An Interview with a Reflexology Guru
What prompted you to become a reflexologist?
My vocation started many years ago in the world of bereavement support and counselling, the main body of my training involved personally undertaking the arrangements of 350 funerals; this was the essential foundation that prepared me for the work I was yet to do. I felt drawn to the ancient Egyptian healing art of reflexology purely due to an unusual series of events. I initially explored an introductory course and the experience resonated on such a deep level with me, it just felt right, and from that point I simply never looked back and have worked extremely hard to take this beautiful ancient healing art successfully, to a new level of excellence.
What are the benefits of Reflexology and how does it work?
There are many benefits, including an overall increase in the sense of well-being, an increase in vitality and often a surge in energy levels. Reflexology can help with musculoskeletal pain and stiffness and assist in ascertaining musculoskeletal problems or areas of the body requiring adjustment. The reflex points are so specific that the practitioner can feel if there is tightness in the different muscles of the body or even if a specific intervertebral disc is causing pain. The practitioner can also suggestwhich muscles could be more effectively stretched by the recipient as a preventative measure or to ease pain.
You do not have to be unwell to have reflexology, however this powerful treatment can help with psychological imbalances such as depression, anxiety, lethargy, recovery following illness, digestive and hormonal imbalance. Due to its deeply relaxing effects on the body, it can also help strengthen the immune system.
The basic principle of this therapy is that the two feet as a whole represent a microcosm, an exact mirror of the entire body, including every organ, gland and body system. Each system of the body is worked via the reflex points or nerve endings throughout the feet, using an acupressure technique known as Shiatsu (shi = finger, atsu = pressure). Each time the reflex points are worked, within a day or two the body will experience actual physiological changes to a greater or lesser degree, over time ultimately bringing the body into perfect balance.
A lot of alternative treatments become popular then fade away, what makes Reflexology different and so popular?
In my experience people find the treatment itself absolutely fascinating as to how we translate the way we see and feel imbalances whilst applying a treatment sequence to the feet. Even very subtle imbalances can be detected and it always surprises my patients when I relay the information that I am able to compile during a treatment, this can be extremely helpful in order to give lifestyle guidance to help improve ones health condition. I believe the continued popularity is due to the effectiveness in correcting imbalances alongside the many interesting sensations that one can feel both during and following a treatment. Additionally, the deep trance like state that is reached by the recipient during a session, resulting in a release of stress, tension and anxiety, always makes for a wonderful, memorable experience, which tends to warrant a repeat experience.
Can you explain how the reflex points you work on enable you to identify ailments?
The reflex points like the human body have a point of balance and it is by this understanding that I receive clarity when treating an individual. In my experience the reflex points present themselves in a variety of different ways, and this is part of the skill that is required in the translation of the reflex points in relation to the corresponding body system. Often my initial observations of the feet will highlight an area in need of attention, but I will still need to work through the points in order to get the most accurate picture. As I work through the points I will feel levels of resistance and this helps me to identify ailments more clearly, this is also where the technique in application makes a vast difference to the outcome of the treatment. We have to bear in mind that Reflexology is both an art and a science, and much depends upon the skilful application of the practitioner in order to activate the points to bring about the physiological changes.
Is reflexology available to everyone?
Yes, anyone of any age can certainly enjoy the benefits of this treatment; we would of course tailor the application in respect of different ailments, recent injuries or operations and during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. The treatment can however, be provided to all age groups.
How long do the effects last from a treatment?
Initially the effects of a treatment will last for approximately 7 days. The objective is to take the patient to a new level of well-being upon each weekly treatment. Although, treatments do not have to be limited to once weekly sessions, I have always provided my treatments to my patients often several times per week with positive results.
What are your favourite aspects of your job?
I find it immensely satisfying immersing myself daily in the quiet concentration that is required for each treatment. Overall, the greatest fulfilment in my work is to witness improvements experienced over time by my patients and to share their joy at finding comfort and release from a painful or difficult condition or state of mind.
How does it feel that you have A-list clients and have recommendations from celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow?
I am naturally absolutely delighted, to have built up such a special rapport with so many wonderful clients over the years. Knowing that my work is so appreciated and held in such high regard is an enormous compliment to my efforts.