Functional Reflex Therapy for Schools

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sam bag and towelWhy use Reflexology in mainstream and
special needs schools?

• Encourages relaxation 'in the moment' and provides a new affective positive touch therapy experience. This gives the body the opportunity to calm and encourage the release of oxytocin which can help pupils to be in a better state of mind, helping them to prepare for ongoing activities and learning.

• Reduces anxiety and helps improves mood to support students wellbeing.

• By using the unique FRT tool kit and addressing issues highlighted by parents and school e.g. concentration, focus, sleep and digestive issues, the therapist works as a valuable and supportive member of the multi disciplinary team.

• Delivered as a regular timetabled therapy by a qualified Reflexologist.

Reflexology - using the Functional Reflex Therapy Approach in Schools.

Functional Reflex Therapy is a combination of relaxation techniques drawn from reflexology. A structured therapy session with a specific aim and purpose, it is delivered as a timetabled therapy in mainstream and special needs schools. It is used as a relaxation therapy by qualified Reflexologists who bring their own experience and specialism to the therapy time and may address issues that have been highlighted by parents and school. Supported with the use of the FRT tool kit to help with communication, preparation and responsibility, it also adds a little fun and most importantly meets the childs individual needs. Functional Reflex Therapy is suitable for all children, not only those with special needs, such as Autism or ADHD, it supports any child who would benefit from regular relaxation. Some of its many benefits: 

• Induces relaxation   • Helps improve mood   • Reduces anxiety   • Relieves tension   • Helps with sleep disorders   • Supports well-being   • Helps concentration and focus   • Encourages the receiver to be more receptive   • Encourages social interaction   • Encourages a better state of mind for learning   • Supports mental health issues such as stress and anxiety, exam pressures or general worries   • It has a positive effect on the issues that affect individuals and the people around them in many areas of their everyday lives. 

The 1:1 sessions offered in school give pupils quiet, calm time which can help them with preparation for ongoing activities throughout the day and support their well being. Using the Functional Reflex Therapy Approach gives a clear structured session that can be added to the timetable where the Reflexologist works as part of the multi disciplinary team alongside teaching and classroom staff to support pupils targets.

All sessions are recorded in written form and some are videod, which are then available for staff and parent viewing. The length of time out of the classroom is up to 30 minutes per child. Resources used during the 1:1 Reflexology therapy is the Lafuma reclining chair, an unscented natural reflexology balm, music and a blanket.

 "It gives pupils a chance to relax in a deeper way than perhaps they have ever known, and experience a relationship through positive touch. I am impressed with the way pupils with the most challenging behaviours have responded, and willingly choose to attend the sessions and willingly choose to engage". S. Davies, Harlow Fields, Essex 2014

"Video recordings gave us the opportunity to see how our son was enjoying the sessions, he lay still in the reclining chair (most of the time), quiet and happy. I feel this has been a valuable therapy."

"I use symbols to help me to say how I feel at the end of Reflexology".

 "Pupils are calmer, less anxious and therefore more able to learn after their sessions". K Lynskey, Rowan Park, Liverpool 2015 Children and Parent feedback.

How did FRT develop? 

Functional Reflex Therapy(FRT) was developed by Lorraine Senior, a UK based Reflexologist who, as a teacher for over 20 years supported children and adults with special educational needs, disabilities and communication issues. Delivering reflexology as a timetabled therapy in many environments Lorraine was encouraged with the results of her research and case studies (currently unpublished). Along with observations and feedback from staff, parents and receivers she created a structured approach for schools that effectively demonstrates the value and many benefits of Functional Reflex Therapy delivered by qualified Reflexologists.   

Sarah Bird, Bayside Reflexology - Functional Reflex Therapist.

I trained in Functional Reflex Therapy as I wanted to find a way to support my son who is on the autistic spectrum. FRT is a great communication tool that can help not only the child, but the parents too. I am passionate about offering FRT in mainstream and special needs schools for children, but also offer FRT workshops for parents, so they too can learn and use the techniques on their own children. Not only is this great for the child, FRT workshops are a fantastic way of being able to reduce parents anxiety and stress levels too, (as a parent myself I understand how stressful it can be when you can't find a way to help your child) FRT thereby helps the whole family.

For further information about Reflexology visit www.aor.org.uk  and for information about Functional Reflex Therapy  www.functionalreflextherapy.co.uk 

Reflexologists do not claim to diagnose, cure or prescribe and the therapy does not replace conventional medicine. It should not be used as an alternative without seeking professional advice, but as a complementary therapy it can be utilised alongside medication already taken. It is safe to receive with many medical conditions, although it is not possible to know exactly how the body will respond.

Background and up to date information will be collected from parents and carers and from the multi-disciplined team (MDT) before the therapy sessions commence. Any concerns by those giving the therapy must be made clear to the relevant professional.   

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