Could reflexology relieve your migraine ?

Migraines can be described as extreme headaches, even killer headaches by some, and along with the stabbing pain of a migraine comes often other negative side effects such as nausea or blurred vision. Within society today, migraines are perhaps one of the most prominent and common health concerns in adults as those who experience them can be prevented from doing the most basic day to day activities.

Within traditional Chinese medicine the cause of migraines and headaches can be explained through the flow of Qi. Qi is a word used to describe our internal life force. Similar to how our bodies have a circulation system for blood, we also have meridians (or pathways) throughout our bodies for energy to flow. Asian culture believes that when energy is not flowing as it ought, it will eventually show up as a physical symptom or symptoms within the body. With regards to headaches and migraines this concept can further be explained by too much (fast flowing) Qi in the head area creating an intense pounding or throbbing pain and with too little energy (slow flowing) causing those kinds of headaches that tend to be dull and achy in feel.

reflexology and migraine

There are many underlying reasons and factors why someone’s Qi can be put out of balance. These may include an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, anxiety and stress and so on….. These factors may then induce tension throughout the body resulting in additional negative effects such as blocked sinuses, stomach disorders, emotional imbalances….

Environmental factors may also effect the energy flow in your body. External climatic factors such as excessive heat or cold, the change of a season and sensory elements such as bright lights, excessive noise and odours have been identified as contributing or causing headaches and migraines. In addition chocolate, alcoholic spirits, wine and cheeses are also commonly associated migraine “triggers”. Therefore a balanced healthy lifestyle without inclusion of too many of these triggers is often recommended.
Avoiding any or all of these triggers while regularly providing your mind and body with a sense of deep relaxation and well being is thought key to significantly reduce the occurrence of experiencing migraines.
A reflexology treatment may help to alleviate some or all of these symptoms, providing pain relief, inducing relaxation and wellbeing and restoring energy levels within the body.
Manipulating the reflex points on the feet may help relieve painful headache and migraine symptoms very quickly whilst also alleviating symptoms in the long term as the body is encouraged back to homeostasis.

fiona cowie reflexology
Within a reflexology treatment, emphasis will be to find energy imbalances and clear them in order to support and promote the body’s natural healing process. Therefore reflexology could be a natural alternative for the relief of headache and migraine pain.
A reflexology treatment may locate sensitivities to pressure throughout the intestines and digestive system as if these are sluggish, intoxication occurs which may then manifest itself as a migraine as may also an overloaded lymphatic system. Specific techniques used in reflexology aim to stimulate the blood flow and nervous circulation to the brain when treating migraines and headaches.
One of the principles of reflexology is to take into account the totality of the body, and treat the underlying

Reflexology,and how does it work?

Far from traditional western medicine and its allopathic treatments, reflexology is based on the energy of the body and the body’s believed ability to self heal. The basis of traditional Chinese medicine is qi (or chi), this is the natural form of energy that inhabits our body, when it flows easily, it is thought to participate in the maintenance of health. Therefore when disorders such as inflammation or tension hinder its free circulation around the body, this is what is then believed to cause dis-ease.
In our Western culture our feet are often neglected and are rarely acknowledged they may play the key role to safeguard our health.
Within reflexology, our feet are a miniaturized representation of the human body, each nerve ending, also called a reflex zone, corresponds to an organ or part of the body.

here's an ancient foot map from India

Ancient Reflexology Foot Map

When an organ, muscle or body part functions incorrectly, energy is impeded, and this blockage is reflected on a specific point of the sole of the foot. The objective of reflexology is to detect, (via specific techniques and massage to the feet), the body’s tensions, release them and restore a healthy flow of energy circulation throughout the body. Within every session, each treatment becomes tailor-made to the client, as a holistic approach is used to restore homeostasis throughout the body as energy flow is restored.
The intention of reflexology is to treat the cause, and not only the symptom of the dis-ease alone. Therefore all treatments are customised, depending on what reflexes are prominent (“come up”) on the feet. Reflexology takes into account the feet in entirety and does not focus solely on the organs/parts that appear unbalanced though rather the entire surface and surrounding area of the feet. Reflexology sequences follow a complete “circuit”, that incorporates all major zones, organs, parts with aim, to restore the body completely as a whole organism. Throughout the sessions, toxins and impurities may be eliminated due to the renewed energy within the blood, lymphatic and energy system. Feelings of well-being and vitality may be achieved very quickly as may any pain gradually disperse.

Reflexology origins comes from Asia ( China, India, Thailand ... )

Origins of Reflexology

There are many common conditions and ailments that may benefit from a reflexology treatment and reduce symptoms and discomfort. Such as:

  • Toxin cleansing
  • Pain relief
  • Improved circulation
  • Enhanced sleep patterns
  • Reduction in tension headaches
  • Improved digestive disorders
  • Reduction in PMS symptoms
  • Reduction in high stress levels

Therefore, reflexology may restore the body back to homeostasis in a natural way. It is a wonderful, rejuvenating and restorative therapy with aim to increase energy, vitality and an overall sense of well being.
“Bring the feet to life and the body will heal” (Anon)

The Benefits of reflexology in pregnancy

With pregnancy comes major changes within the female body. Whether it be physically, physiologically or psychologically in early pregnancy women may experience anxieties and negative thoughts due to the often discomfort experienced in early pregnancy.  These discomforts include symptoms of nausea, fatigue, feelings of vulnerability and anxiety, bloating or stomach cramps as the body prepares to carry the baby.

reflexology and pregnancy

Throughout pregnancy women may experience other discomforts such as sleep disturbance, imbalances within circulation, digestion or urinary disorders and nervous or musculoskeletal tensions. Aches and pains are common as are muscle cramps in the feet, thighs or legs which is thought caused by the expansion of the uterus putting pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the legs thus causing cramps and occasional pain. Constipation may occur in pregnancy caused by increased production of the hormone progesterone which relaxes the muscles of the intestinal wall and stomach resulting in digestion slowing down and blood volume increasing. Therefore if not enough fluids are consumed to keep up with this process, dehydration occurs – resulting in constipation. Backache is common due to posture and torso being out of alignment in later pregnancy as the baby grows (and becomes heavier) thus putting a strain on the back as the centre of gravity shifts. With any of these discomforting conditions sleep may be strongly effected and insomnia may frequently occur.

reflexology for pregnant woman in edinburgh

reflexology and Pregnancy

After the first trimester, reflexology may be a very effective and beneficial treatment to have throughout pregnancy. With aim to maintain a sense of wellbeing and focus on relaxation, regular reflexology treatments may be incorporated within a healthy pregnancy plan. Treatment is light and gentle with aim to boost energy levels and overcome tiredness. Although each treatment is entirely bespoke to the mothers needs the following are typical reflexes that when “worked” may help during pregnancy.

  • Pancreas – normalise blood sugar levels
  • Thyroid – maintain energy levels and balance metabolism
  • Lymphatic’s –  clear any congestion
  • Heart – improve circulation
  • Sciatic – relax the pelvic muscles ready for birth
  • Liver – drain any toxins present in the body
  • Spinal – help induce relaxation
  • Ovaries –  relax and balance hormones
reflexology and pregnancy in edinburgh

reflexology and pregnancy

Therefore reflexology treatments may be an effective, safe and enjoyable treatment to have throughout pregnancy to induce a deep sense of relaxation which is paramount in assisting a straightforward labour and birth.  In addition a reflexology treatment during pregnancy may:

  • Significantly reduce stress (the cause of many physical and psychic dysfunctions.
  • Regulate the nervous and hormonal system by relaxing the axis of stress.
  • Detect, locate and remove deposits formed by crystals of uric acid and toxins.
  • Activate blood and lymphatic circulation.
  • Prevent, relieve or possibly eliminate presenting disorders as the body is encouraged to return to homeostasis.


Fiona Cowie – Reflexologist – Edinburgh



Vegan Survival guide to PARIS


I’m not only a reflexologist in Edinburgh but also a strong Vegan advocate. For alsmost 30 years now, i have either been Vegetarian or Vegan.

I’m living with a true Parisian and often accompany him in the city of lights.

As you can imagine to find Vegan/Vegetrian cuisine in Paris might be challenging.

Therefore i decided to create a short guide to help all Vegtarians and Vegans survive in the “Grande Cuisine” capital City.

You’ll find here: restaurants, specialist stores …

Fiona Cowie – Blogger and reflexologist in Edinburgh – February 2017



42 Degrés, “first vegan raw food restaurant in Paris”
109 Rue du Faubourg Poissonière, 75009 Paris – Website


Les Apotres de Pigalle
2 Rue Germain Pilon, 75018 Paris, France   +33 6 51 21 69 66


Brasserie Lola “Traditional French brasseries and quality vegan fare”
99 Rue du Théâtre, 75015 Paris – Website


Sol semilia
23 rue des vinaigriers, 75010 Paris – Website


Dune, “a fashionable restaurant”
20 rue Keller, 75011 Paris –  Website


Gentle Gourmet Café,  “Fancy trying some of that fine cuisine France is so famous for, but vegan style”
24 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris – Website



Oat meal Paris, “Cosy Café”
11 bis rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris – Website


Café ginger, “the French Canteen”
9 rue Jacques-Cœur, 75004 Paris – Website



Vegan Folie’s ,”first 100 percent organic and vegan shop in France”
53 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris – Website


Le Tricycle, veggie Fast Food
51 rue de Paradis, 75010 Paris –



Un monde vegan, the Veggie supermarket
64 rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth 75003 Paris – Website


Causses, “luxury grocer in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, which supplies the bobo community”
55 Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette 75009 Paris – Website



Jay & Joy,  “artisanal cheese shop”

5 rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris – Website
Vegetable specialties made with almond milk and cashew nuts milk



Vegan mania, Vegan Cosmetics Shop
96 rue Quincampoix, 75003 Paris – Website


Lamazuna, Cocoon “Boutique” for Bath
31 rue Louis-Blanc, 75010 Paris – Website




all photos by courtesy of the shops and restaurants