Kathy Chapman believes it is important people open their minds to alternative therapy.

A growing number of residents across the county are becoming increasingly aware of words such as homeopathy, feng shui, reiki and reflexology but are not 100 per cent certain what they are all about.

Miss Chapman, from Shoreham-by-Sea, is a qualified reflexologist and reiki healer and has organised an exhibition to provide all the information those interested in taking up the treatments might need.

She said: "The purpose is to project to a wider public audience the ethos behind both alternative medicines and more general aspects and benefits of embracing a healthier alternative lifestyle.

"We hope that, in achieving this type of exposure, alternative' will become mainstream.

"We want to give people the chance to take a gentle look at all aspects of life, to help us become more aware of how we feed ourselves and exercise, the products we use on an everyday basis and regard for our general wellbeing."

Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that allows everyone to tap into an unlimited supply of life-force energy', to improve health and enhance the quality of life.

Reflexology works on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and hands that correspond to all the body organs and systems and that, by applying pressure to those reflexes, you can bring the body back into balance.

Reflexology is not new and has its origins in ancient Egypt, China and India.

There are drawings on the walls of a pyramid in Egypt showing people having their hands and feet worked'.

The knowledge that unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times.

Miss Chapman s a y s reflexology can be a useful tool in everyday life and she often holds workshops to teach people how to carry out reflexology on themselves.

She said: "People cannot always make appointments to come and see you, so showing them what to do can help.

It can be used in an office to help with migraines, sore backs and stiff necks.

"It can also help to ease stress and tension if you are particularly busy or nervous.

"In the middle of a busy day, if someone can take a break to perform some reflexology, it can make all the difference.

They become calmer and more relaxed and the stress eases off.

"In this way, it can help with absenteeism, as people are more able to cope and do not have to take time off because they have become ill through stress."

Andrea Watson, from Hove, is a strong believer in reflexology.

She said: "It has helped me tremendously. I am in an stressful job and suffer a lot from tension around my shoulders and back.

"But when I have a session with a reflexologist, it makes all the difference.

"I used to take pain-killers but I didn't like the idea of taking so many. It was then that a friend told me to try reflexology.

"I was a bit sceptical at first but I went along anyway and I was amazed at how well it worked."

Miss Chapman said: "All we are really saying is give these therapies a chance.

A lot of people are beginning to show interest in what is around as they want to try something a bit different to conventional medicine."

The exhibition, which will feature talks on health and fitness, life management, transcendental meditation and diet and nutrition as well as a range of information on other therapies, takes place at Hove Town Hall, Church Road, Hove, on October 7, from 10am to 6pm.