Youth is the Gift of Nature, but Age is a Work of Art…


I am holding the feet of an elderly client, my hands conducting a gentle conversation with the reflexes of her feet. She chats to me but as I work specific relaxation points, I watch her stop almost mid-sentence as she slips into a state of tranquillity and peace. This lovely lady has a Reflexology session once a fortnight as she feels it helps with the pain of her arthritis and makes her feel less anxious.

The improvements in average life expectancy in the 20th century have given ageing a high profile. More elderly people are alive today than at any time in history. According to Age UK, there are now more people living in the UK that are over 60 than are under 18 and the over 60s are expected to pass the 20 million mark by 2030. Though increasing life expectancy is one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, caring for our elderly and ensuring a healthy old age has become one of our greatest challenges. It has prompted many to start looking at ways of improving and maintaining health in old age to improve quality of life and help to reduce the strain on our health services.

Our bodies are hard-wired to repair and restore and when we are younger we mostly take this for granted as the vitality of youth carries us forward. Over time and with advancing age the renewal process becomes over-burdened, slower and even faulty. This is when we have to make time to think about our nutrition, how we exercise and reducing our levels of stress as this will help make us less vulnerable to disease and disability as we age. It’s important to remember that the process of ageing does not always have to be a negative decline and that the ageing body still has an immense capacity for regeneration and healing given the right impetus – but it is something we have to make time for and work at.

Reflexology is a particularly suitable therapy for older people as it helps to improve circulation (particularly relevant for those with blood pressure issues), normalizes bodily functions, can aid detoxification and acts to reduce stress and anxiety. The only clothing that needs to be removed is footwear and the techniques can be easily applied in a sitting or reclining position in pretty much any location. Touch is a potent force in and for some isolated or lonely older people, the gentle relaxing sensation that reflexology achieves is the one time they can be treated holistically – that is, on a physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic level.

According to AgeUK, smiling triggers mood-boosting hormones so I will end with something I heard which made me smile… A cheeky grandchild remarks on her grandma’s grey hair and her grandma, quick as a flash, replies “They’re not grey hairs sweetie, they’re wisdom highlights…!”

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