March 2008 Wellness Ezine
Boulder Therapist Spotlight: Nicola Rigby
At first glance, there isn’t a lot of overlap between Nicola Rigby’s former work as a humanitarian aid worker and her current job as a massage therapist. However, there’s a lot of similarity between the two professions, she says.
“I do [everything] with a focus [on] helping people,” she says. “Massage therapy fits with that because I can help people one on one. I work with the individual as a whole.”
Rigby graduated with honors from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in June of 2007. Rigby uses foot reflexology in addition to different massage techniques, such as Thai massage and neuromuscular therapy, to treat patients.
Foot reflexology, not to be confused with foot massage, is a healing practice that connects different reflex areas (pressure points) in the foot to glands, organs and other parts of the body. In foot reflexology, the arch of the foot is believed to correspond to the spine of the body, while the big toe is believed to represent the head of the body. Practitioners use an inching technique with their thumbs to stimulate specific points and treat health problems.
“Within the foot you have the map of the body,” explains Rigby. “For example, on the right side of your foot, you have the liver [point]. It’s the same as the liver on the right side of your body.”
Science has studied reflexology and found successful treatment on conditions ranging from PMS to asthma to headaches. For Rigby, a combination of massage therapy and reflexology have successfully treated food allergies, carpel tunnel of the ankle, shoulder injuries, TMJ and foot conditions such as Metatarsalgia.
For a specific example of how this works, Rigby says that when treating tendonitis, she often uses a reflexology point in the foot that helps to reduce inflammation. This point works within the whole body system, she says. She combines her reflexology point-work with massage work to the affected area, which eases fluid drainage and soft tissue recovery. When applicable, she also recommends strengthening and stretching exercises.
Overall, reflexology can be a great bonus to traditional massage therapy. Call the Boulder Center at 303-938-0388 to experience Rigby’s reflexology and massage therapy techniques.
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