A growing health trend, reflexology, has progressively become the alternative to conventional treatment for a sizeable number of Rwandans.
Reflexology is a spa treatment where a therapist works on reflex points on one’s feet, hands and head.
The theory behind reflexology is that these points relate to specific organs and glands in the body and stimulating those points through finger pressure promotes health in those organs and glands via the body’s energetic pathways.
Jane Umulisa, 44, a secretary and regular user of reflexology treatment, says that the procedure has ‘restored’ her health.
“Before I started using reflexology treatment, I used to suffer from severe back pain for a whole year. I went for an X-ray and the results showed that I had no problem yet I was feeling intense pain. The doctors could only recommend pain killers which helped a bit, but I was still in pain.
“I just had 15 days of massage at a Reflexology Centre and I now have no pain at all. Before, I couldn’t drive anymore, but, now, I can comfortably drive with no pain in the back,” Umulisa said.
According to Dennis Victor Nkundineza, the head of the traditional and complementary medicine department in the Ministry of Health, more Rwandans are now more exposed and, therefore, seek reflexology treatment as an option.
He said that more people are aware that health is more than the absence of diseases, adding that traditional medicine, coupled with exercises, is also effective.
“Reflexology and complementary medicine has less side effects compared to conventional medicine. It involves use of natural and herbal medicine,” he said.
Nkundineza added that more people have realised how effectual this type of treatment is, thus leading to more patients to seek it.
A reflexologist at Must Med Natural Health Clinic (Kisimenti road), Gerald Ruzindana, says that the number of patients he treats everyday has been on the rise.
Ruzindana emphasised that reflexology is a compliment therapy to conventional medicine but both can be employed concurrently.
He says that most diseases are linked to physical inactivity and lack of exercises, yet reflexology entails exercises and herbal medicinal prescriptions.
“Not every disease is supposed to be treated by use of only conventional medicine because it becomes too much for the body to contain,” Ruzindana noted.
“So, sometimes it’s better to go for the organic medicine as well and nutritional food supplements”.
He said that reflexology replaces exercises, which are medically recommended and advised the public to visit a reflexologist even when they feel healthy.