Latest News

Welcome to the Association of Reflexologists’ Latest News Page! As the industry’s leading authority, we bring you timely updates on groundbreaking research, advancements, and trends in reflexology. Stay informed and connected with our community of professionals dedicated to promoting health and well-being through the ancient art of touch. Explore our recent content and expand your knowledge today.

June 2024

Shifting the Balance Towards Social Interventions

Why the UN and WHO are calling for mental health reform
Part of the College of Medicine’s Beyond Pills campaign

Link: Beyond-Pills-APPG-Shifting-the-Balance-Report-2024-1.pdf

This report is about recognizing the over reliance on the bio-medical model for mental health care. There is a global and urgent need to apply a human rights-based approach to mental health. Such that human rights should be respected and that over-medicalisation and coercion tactics should be reduced. This powerful message is coming from both the UN and WHO.  

Excessive reliance on the medical model has caused a crisis in mental health care, based on evidence and values, in all countries globally. Provision of more resources has only fed the status quo of disempowerment, coercion, over-medicalisation, power imbalances and biases of knowledge. There needs to be a human rights-based law reform to safeguard people’s rights in crisis. 

This is even more unacceptable as it is happening in high income countries. To put this in context, in the UK, over the last 40 years one quarter of a trillion pounds has been spent on mental health.  

Reflections on current approach in UK for mental health from Norman Lamb, Chair of the Maudsley NHS Trust: 

  1. Failure to notice what causes mental ill health. Passive care and only tries to meet need once in crisis. Antidepressants do not work for most people. Prescribing data mirrors poverty and other inequalities. 
  1. Ridged separation of physical and mental health. People with mental ill health die 15-20 years before those with physical ill health. 
  1. Old fashioned treatment model that rations availability of treatment.  
  1. Economic and social cost is enormous, loss of employment, impact on families, impact on health systems. 

But there are hopeful thoughts from NHS England there is an invitation to submit expression of interest trialing new models of care similar to those used successfully in Trieste in Italy, providing support for people in the community. This care also seeks to meet people’s social needs eg employment. 

As an addendum, an interesting comment was made at the launch of the report; that the majority of people seeking help are having a completely natural response to their painful emotional problem either experienced historically or in the present. We need to think differently about causes and solutions to physical distress. This is perhaps where our very holistic and touch based therapy could show its strength in the future.