Therapy Room or Home Appointment: which is best?


As you can see from my website, I offer appointments at The Garden Room in Hutton and, for those unable to travel to me or with mobility problems, home appointments in Brentwood, Billericay, Ongar and surrounding areas.

But, which is best?

Here are just a few of the advantages of each: –

Appointments at The Garden Room 

Home appointments

Free parking available. No need to drive anywhere
Everything all set up for a relaxing treatment; subdued lighting, relaxing music, comfortable couch I bring along everything I need to ensure your comfort, including lovely relaxing music
No interruptions Feeling at ease in your own home
Time away from home to totally relax Convenient if you are unable to drive
Additional treatments available such as Hot Stone Reflexology & Reiki No travel time
Day and evening appointments Daytime appointments available

The Garden Room is situated at the bottom of my  garden and there are steps (no handrail) and a loose stone path so, if you have mobility problems, a home appointment is probably more advisable.  There is an additional charge from home visits.

Pregnancy Reflexology

As a reflexologist who is trained and experienced in advanced maternity reflexology (SCQF level 8 awarded by Napier University), having now treated over 300 pregnant women, there are many questions that I am frequently asked; so here they are, with my answers:-

What is maternity reflexology?

Reflexology is a complementary therapy based on the belief that there are reflex areas in the feet, hands and face that are thought to correspond to organs and parts of the body.  When pregnant, you go through both physical and emotional changes, and as a reflexologist I will aim to support you during this time adapting the session according to your specific needs.  In the first trimester you may experience some anxiety as well as hormonal changes.  Reflexology will give you some time to de-stress and relax.

During the second and third trimesters you may have other physical symptoms such as back ache, heart burn, problems sleeping, swelling in the hands or feet.  A reflexology session will aim to address these and help you to relax and provide you with some ‘me-time’ before the baby arrives.

How often should I have reflexology when pregnant & when can I start?

I see many people throughout their pregnancies.  Often we will start with one treatment a month, increasing this to fortnightly or weekly as you near your estimated due date.  This is purely down to your personal preference.


Can reflexology induce labour?

There has not been sufficient clinical research to show that reflexology can induce labour.  However, there are specific points I would work on from about 37 weeks that are there to support and prepare your body in the final stages of pregnancy.  There is also a view that, by having reflexology and being in a more relaxed state, it may help prepare you for labour.

Are there any times when maternity reflexology would not be suitable?

At your first reflexology appointment, a full medical history will be taken, and this will be reviewed prior to each treatment to monitor any health changes.  There are some specific conditions where reflexology may not be appropriate;

  • DVT (Deep vein thrombosis)
  • Oligohydramnios (deficiency of amniotic fluid)
  • Polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid)
  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta Previa if grade II, III or IV
  • Pre-term labour; less than 37 weeks pregnant

Do you suggest any other treatments or practitioners during pregnancy?

I work closely with many other practitioners including pregnancy massage, doulas, hypnobirthing instructors, pregnancy relaxation and pregnancy yoga.

Do you have any leaflets/more information?

I have the Association of Reflexologists “Reflexology; Supporting you through pregnancy” leaflet that I can post to you if requested.  Or, click here for a YouTube clip.

What my clients say: –

 “The treatments really benefited me firstly by just giving me some “me time”, but with each visit I felt I was getting better at relaxing (really hard for me)!  I think I started at about 16 weeks. It would have been nice to start earlier and I’m glad I didn’t start later.  Penelope specifically put me at ease very quickly and I always felt that a weight had lifted after the sessions.”  EW, Chelmsford

“My fortnightly reflexology sessions during my pregnancy were something that I both looked forward to and relied on, and have recommended you and reflexology to everyone I’ve met since!!! My only regret is not having any sessions with you after to help my body recover. I think I started at 7 months but would definitely recommend starting sooner, I’ve never slept as well as after one of those sessions! I also did lots of pregnancy yoga which helped keep my body and mind in check”  KA, Shenfield.

“I can honestly say that I found reflexology so beneficial in my pregnancy.  Penelope really helped me.”  JC, Chelmsford

“I suffered with SPD, PGP and water retention during my pregnancy, seeing Penelope once a week for the last weeks of my pregnancy gave me an hour to allow my hips to be eased and fluid to move from my feet and ankles. I certainly felt lighter and my hips easier after a treatment.”  HD, Chelmsford

“I had reflexology towards the end of both my pregnancies. Both times my baby was transverse. Unfortunately the first time he didn’t shift but together with Acupuncture, moxibustion and seeing a chiropractor, reflexology helped turn my second son.   Second time round my waters broke and nothing much happened. I was desperate to experience a natural birth after an elective section and you answered my mercy call and managed to fit me in that afternoon. You came to my house and worked on various points for well over an hour, possibly two, and things did start to ramp up. I was so excited to be experiencing contractions! In the end I had another section as the baby was not budging, but I am forever grateful to you for coming over that afternoon and helping me so much. I was in such a calm, happy state during and after my treatment and know that I did all I could to facilitate a natural birth, in the end it was not to be. (I also had a doula, did hypnobirthing, saw a chiropractor, did aquanatal yoga, and had acupuncture throughout my pregnancy, you can’t say I didn’t try!!)”.  JP, Chelmsford

What is Facial Reflexology?

Facial reflexology

Most people when they think of reflexology immediately think of a lovely foot massage. Obviously I believe it is much more than that; the whole body is mapped on the feet and by working on specific points reflexology may help re-balance the body. Many of my clients feel sensations in their bodies in the corresponding areas that I am working on their feet – which is always very exciting.
As well as foot reflexology, I am also trained in hand reflexology and I often give my clients specific hand reflexes to work on between appointments.

Earlier this year, I trained in Bergman Method Facial Reflexology. This method has been developed by Ziggy Bergman over the last 20 years and as with all our training, before being ‘let loose’ on the public, we have to carry out a number of case studies and pass a level of competency before we can be registered as practitioners. I was not short of volunteers to be case studies as this is such a fantastic relaxing treatment. Like other reflexology methods, it is based on Zone Theory (the body being divided into 10 longitudinal zones) and the organs of the body have been mapped onto the face. A number of techniques are used; including sweeping moves, metamorphic technique, pulsating on specific reflexes and ‘finger walking’ (a very specific reflexology technique). As well as stimulating specific reflex points, it is an incredibly relaxing treatment which in addition may help your circulation, the release of toxins via your lymphatic system and, with the use of Neals Yard facial oils, leaves your skin feeling lovely and refreshed.

So far, all my clients who have tried both the short and full length facial reflexology treatments have loved it. If you would like to find out more, just give me a call.

There is also ear reflexology, known as Auriculotherapy, although I think I’ll just stick to foot, hand and facial reflexology and Ear Candling for now.

I’m fine thank you – February 2016

Fine 2.1

How often do you use that expression when someone asks how you are?  How are you really feeling?

When I ask people how they are and they respond with “Fine”, I wonder if there is something else going on.  When someone says “Fine” what that is really telling me is that they have “Feelings Inside Not Expressed”.  I’ve said this so many times when meeting clients for the first time, and they can usually identify with what I am saying.

We have all sorts of reasons for not telling people exactly how we are feeling, and I do this as much as the next person: –

  • We don’t want to bore or trouble the person who is asking with all our problems and woes
  • Sometimes it is just easier than going into detail
  • We are very private and really don’t want to share our feelings, especially with a stranger
  • Stiff upper lip, we just carry on regardless
  • We may be feeling really ecstatic, but the person asking seems a bit low so we tone it down a bit.

And many, many more reasons.

This expression is very often used by people who have an “invisible illness”.   If you have a broken leg, everyone can see you hobbling around with your leg in a cast, will show some sympathy and may ask you how you broke your leg.  But with invisible illness such as mental health issues, ME, fibromyalgia (too many to name them all), it is difficult to put into words your pain (both physical and emotional) or anxiety and often peoples misunderstanding of your condition puts you off even attempting to explain.  One friend of mine, Liz, at BuBakes writes a very insightful blog on living with depression and anxiety and I really urge anyone who either lives with or wants to have a better understanding to take a look.

Most of the treatments I offer work on both a physical and emotional level.  Although some people may view reflexology as just a foot massage (at this point I flinch just typing those words), it can work so much deeper and often brings raw emotion to the fore.  Whether this is from the actual reflexes worked during the session, or if it is just putting aside an hour devoted purely to that person and their needs, it doesn’t matter.  If it makes the person feel valued, cared for, relaxed and ultimately better about themselves then my work has been done.

So next time someone tells you they are feeling fine, think about what they are really saying.


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