Our Therapist in Focus: Lynsey McCabe

This month, we wanted to find out a bit more about reflexologist, Lynsey McCabe.

Lynsey McCabe Footcare specialsitLynsey is a qualified practitioner of holistic therapies, including reflexology, aromatherapy and massage.

We spoke to her about her reflexology services, available to clients at Beehive Healthcare:

How did you become a reflexologist?

I did a degree in complementary medicine practice, that’s where I was introduced to reflexology. The theoretical basis of reflexology is that it works on reflex zones on feet which correspond to internal organs and systems within the body; by stimulating certain zones on the foot, a reflexologist can bring balance and homeostasis to the body. Reflexology doesn’t cure anything, but I believe that it does contribute towards balance and wellness.

Before my degree, I completed NVQs level one and level two in beauty therapies as well as the diploma in anatomy and physiology. I knew I preferred the holistic therapies rather than the beauty therapies, so I really liked the idea of studying more about complementary medicine.


How long have you been practising reflexology?

I graduated in 2013 and have been practising since then. I’m always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and take advantage of additional training opportunities when they are available. I’ll also read around particular conditions and understand how my work can help benefit particular clients.


Are there any aspects of reflexology which you are particularly interested in?

I am generally interested in the feet and how they contribute to our health. There is a course in fertility reflexology, which uses reflex zones on the feet to stimulate reproductive systems. That’s on my agenda for later this year.

I’m also studying Thai massage and I’ll be heading to Thailand later this year to get my accreditation from the Wat Po Training Academy in Bangkok. I’ll be in Thailand for at least two weeks, with up to ten days at the academy and a group of my colleagues who are personally and professionally interested will also be joining me.

The foot healthcare diploma is something I’ve completed, too. I don’t do surgical procedures or anything requiring anaesthetic, so my abilities here are similar to a podiatrist – I can treat corns, callouses, fungal nail infections, verruca and cut nails to generally make the feet look and feel better! People sometimes neglect their feet.


What is it about feet that captures your interest?

I became more interested in the feet when I was studying the reflexology aspects of complementary medicine. I’ll admit that at first I was somewhat sceptical and I couldn’t feel the reflex zones.

But it becomes interesting when you start to examine, or ‘read’, the feet: the colour of the feet, the condition of the nails and even the odour! As disgusting as it might sound, the odour is really important because it can reveal a lot about the feet, as can the nails, the skin and the colour of the feet. Ridges in the nails, for example, can indicate that a person has suffered with cancer or undergone chemotherapy, whilst the position of the feet could indicate a hip problem. Sometimes you can find crystals in the feet, too, which can indicate recent or ongoing conditions. The feet tell a person’s health story.


Can neglecting your feet can cause health issues?

Yes – things like hard skin, for example, which can lead to fissures (hard ridges in the skin) which can tear and be painful. For those with other conditions, infections caused by such tears in the feet could cause issues for them.

Foot care can be very straightforward though and, for most people, just regularly moisturising the feet can prevent a lot of issues. Our feet carry our weight for all of our lives!


It sounds like there’s a lot more to feet than most know! During reflexology then, what exactly is it you’re feeling for?

I’ll generally feel for normal structures, check for any abnormalities and seek out any sensitivities. Sometimes, the feet feel fine but someone can fall asleep and they’ll suddenly twitch when I stimulate a particular area of their foot. When they wake up, I’ll ask them about other issues, sometimes back problems are easily detected by stimulating spinal reflexes.


Tell me more about the crystals – what are they?

The body can deposit crystals under the skin and they can often be found in the feet after certain conditions.


What are the benefits of reflexology – what do your clients take from it?

Reflexology can reduce stress levels, stimulates a number of systems in the body and helps bring balance to the individual. Reflexology can also stimulate circulatory systems, removing toxins from the lymphatic system for example.

Generally, it’s a lovely, relaxing treatment to have. It’s important for people to realise that reflexology doesn’t replace conventional healthcare, however.


How does a typical session look?

I start my work with a client with a detailed consultation, using the consultation form endorsed by the Federation of Holistic Therapists. For me, it’s understanding a client completely so that I can assess how reflexology will best benefit them (as well as ensuring that everything is completely safe!).

After that, I’ll go through the treatment with the client and tell them exactly what will happen. Then it’s about relaxing the feet and the client before I start the actual reflexology treatment.


Is reflexology the type of therapy which a client might need multiple sessions of?

Personally, I don’t make recommendations to clients – I’ll leave it up to the client. Clients having just a single session can take benefits from that single session, but those who take part in reflexology treatment regularly realise the benefits of ongoing benefits.  Either way, it’s a great way of contributing to personal health.


You mentioned the relaxing of the feet, which leads me onto a really silly question: what happens when you get clients with ticklish feet?

Of course, people have ticklish feet so for me it’s about making sure the pressure of the touch is just right. I am yet to meet my match when it comes to ticklish feet – people with sensitive feet are usually very good with me!


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Lynsey practices reflexology and other holistic therapies and is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists. You can make initial contact with Lynsey, or book a session, by contacting Beehive Healthcare on 01244 915 603.

Lynsey McCabe is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists - Beehive Healthcare