Merryfields School

Life at Merryfields School

Functional Reflex Therapy  

Functional Reflex Therapy

FRT was devised by Lorraine Senior who has over 20 years teaching experience with children and adults with special educational needs.  She is also a qualified reflexologist with a private practice.  She developed this therapy for parents, carers and the multi-disciplinary team working alongside children who are on the autism spectrum, with learning disabilities and complex needs.  It is a relaxation and calming therapy taken from the theories behind reflexology.

It has been designed to bring a structured calming session to help those receiving it to prepare for ongoing learning and activities.

It is a short, repetitive routine focussing on the hands and lower arms with a combination of 8 relaxation techniques.  This follows the colours of the rainbow where each colour represents a different technique.


The theory of FRT

Positive, nurturing touch and sensory stimuli encourage the pituitary gland to release natural oxytocin into the blood stream.  This ‘happy’ hormone may release anxiety and increase overall calm.


The Benefits of FRT

  • Encourages relaxation, reduces anxiety and stress related conditions.
  • Induce calm and offers quiet time for a pupil whilst sharing time with an adult.
  • Promotes the release of ‘happy’ hormones particularly oxytocin.
  • Helps to improve mood.
  • Helps with focus and concentration to support ongoing activities.
  • Helps those receiving it to increase self-esteem and self-awareness.
  • Reduce challenging behaviour.
  • Encourage social interaction and where appropriate choice.
  • Offers links to individual and classroom targets when delivered in an educational setting. Sessions may be linked to curriculum area.