Just over a year ago, I had a malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer, dug out of my face. It left me shattered and with a hole about the size of a 50p piece in my left cheek. Initially, I had a skin graft, followed by reconstructive surgery, and waited for the scar to settle down.
After nine months, I still had a hard, two-inch Z-shape on my cheekbone, while the area underneath was raised and puffy. The healing process seemed to have ground to a halt. It was then that a friend suggested I try facial reflexology.
Reflexology gets a mixed reception in this country, particularly from doctors. This is understandable, given the lack of evidence in its favour: one review of the research from 2009 could find no studies to “demonstrate convincingly” its effectiveness for any medical condition.
It was used by the ancient Egyptians and Chinese, and the theory is that applying pressure to certain points on the feet can trigger a healing process in corresponding areas of the body, although there is no scientific explanation as to why this technique might work. As the name implies, facial reflexology concentrates on the face rather than the feet.