VRT Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT) for the hands and feet was discovered and developed in the mid-1990's by Lynne Booth at The St. Monica Trust in Bristol it is one of the largest residential care home complexes for over 400 elderly residents in the UK.
Lynne Booth held weekly clinics at St. Monicas and became aware that wheel-chair bound clients responded well to reflexology. She would ask them to press downwards with their feet on the wheel-chair foot supports as she found it penetrates deeper into the dorsal reflexes. If their feet were swolen she would ask them to weight-bear their hands on a table or even a tray on their lap.
The concept of VRT was only formalised after the following incident:
A 74 year old woman was injured in a fall and had very limited mobility as she was too frail to have a hip replacement operation.
She was in great pain so Lynne knealt down and worked the hip, leg, spine and pelvic reflexes for no more than 90 seconds while she remained standing. Ten minutes later after Lynne had left, she had an acute pain in her right hip followed by soreness and tingling which lasted around 30 minutes. Her hip was then much less painful and by the next day she could move her foot and leg higher than she had done before the accident. Lynne realised at once that the missing link to her research was that the feet had to be fully weight-bearing for the reflexes to become so receptive. within ten weeks she had gained full mobility. She died aged 85, still mobile, fairly flexible and able to walk unaided, despite a medical prognosis of being wheelchair bound in 18 months.
Anatomically, the nerves in the hands and feet are desensitised when passive or reclining.
The theory is that an upright body appears to be in a position of increased vitality because it is weight-bearing: the nerves are sensetised, the muscles are taut, the bones have the pressure of the upright skeleton which will be less impacted by possible bad posture. The dorsal reflexes on the hands and feet are briefly worked while the client is standing taking around 5 minutes. The body seems to be alot more receptive to healing when the reflexes are under pressure.
Vertical Reflex Therapy enhances and compliments classical reflexology and should ideally be incorporated into full conventional reflexology treatments with a few minutes at the beginning and/or end of a reflexology session.
It is also a very powerful tool for "first aid" and shorter therapeutic applications when time is limited.
VRT provides deeper access to reflex points and tends to be very effective in a variety of situations especially for disabled, amputee or bedridden patients.
Professional and amateur sports persons have received VRT techniques and successful results have been achieved.
I trained in London with the International Institute of Reflexology for 1 year in 1986, a combination of assessments, theory and case studies. This is the only school licenced to teach the original Ingham method named after the founder Eunice Ingham.
I have attended VRT classes and studied Sleep, Mobility and new developments also additional advanced techniques all with the founder Lynne Booth.
A typical session lasts 40 minutes (first session 15-20 minutes longer as a free consultation is offered to assess your general state of health, diet, exercise and lifestyle are considered).
Treatment begins with a standing VRT (Vertical Reflexology Treatment) which takes around 5 minutes. Followed by 35 minutes of a seated reclining session starting with relaxation techniques to warm up the feet, working each body system with finger and thumb “walking” actions using light pressure within your comfort zone to investigate different areas of both feet. Any tender areas need to be worked on to unblock the nerve pathways.
Alot of people feel relaxed and sometimes sleepy after a treatment.
A shorter treatment is available using VRT a twenty-minute session in which conventional reflexology is sandwiched between two brief VRT treatments.
Reflexology and VRT can be used on their own, with other therapies or alongside orthodox medicine.
VRT can be used for self help and is easily done on the dorsal of the hands, twice daily for a minute or two for chronic conditions and several times daily for acute ailments.
A sheet of short specific instructions - "Homework" is often given to clients to continue the good work between sessions. This includes points on the hands to work for short periods of time.
A treatment plan can be an effective way to address various issues or many people have a monthly maintenance session for relaxation and to keep your immune system in check.
Reflexologists do not prescribe, diagnose or treat specific illnesses, but work with the body restoring balance and stimulating its own healing forces.
For a healthy person Reflexology may offer deep relaxation, improved sleep pattern, balance of body systems.
For a less healthy person it may reduce anxiety and fear, improve skin condition, help pelvic pain or an irregular cycle, help blood pressure issues, neck/back pain, digestive issues, circulation problems and many other ailments.
"Authorised member of the Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT) Network"
Acknowledgement to Lynne Booth for content on this page.