What is Reflexology?

    Reflexology is a science which deals with the principle that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands which
    correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body.  It is a non invasive treatment to complement your
    current medical  and holistic care.

    The application of appropriate pressure by thumbs and fingers to specific points and areas on the feet and or hands in
    order to improve the recipient’s health. The areas and reflex points in the hands and feet correspond to different body
    organs and systems, and that pressing them has a beneficial effect on the organs and person’s general health. For
    example, reflexology holds that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder point. When a
    reflexology practitioner uses thumbs or fingers to apply appropriate pressure to this area, it affects bladder
    functioning.

    Stimulating these reflexes properly can help many health problems in a natural way, a type of preventative
    maintenance. Reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders, millions of people around the world use it to
    complement other treatments when addressing conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular
    issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis.

    Some people confuse reflexology with massage. While both massage and reflexology use touch, the approaches are
    very different.

    Massage is the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, using specific techniques (for example, tapping,
    kneading, stroking, and friction) to relax the muscles.
    Reflexology focuses on reflex maps of points and areas of the body in the feet, hands, and ears using unique micro
    movement techniques such as thumb or finger walking and hook and backup


    Another difference between massage and reflexology is that a client will stay fully clothed for a reflexology session
    except for removing footwear, whereas clients remove clothing for a massage session.

How old is the practice of Reflexology?

    The idea behind Reflexology is not new - in fact, it was practiced as early as 2330 B.C. by the Egyptian culture.  
    Reflexology as we know it today was first researched and developed by Eunice Ingham, the pioneer of this field.  Her
    first book on the subject was published in 1938.

Where are the reflexology points and areas?

    In reflexology, points and areas on the feet and  hands  correspond to specific organs, bones and body systems. These
    points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top)  to affect organs and systems throughout the entire body.

    Each foot represents a vertical half of the body:

    The left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all organs, valves, etc. found there.
    The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs found there. For example, the liver is on the
    right side of the body, and therefore the corresponding reflex area is on the right foot.

    Reflexology is similar to acupuncture and acupressure in that it works with the body’s vital energy through the
    stimulation of points on the body. However, acupuncture/acupressure points do not always coincide with the reflex
    points used in reflexology. Reflexology and acupressure are both “reflex” therapies in that they work with points on
    one part of the body to affect other parts of the body. While reflexology uses reflexes that are in an orderly
    arrangement resembling a shape of the human body on the feet, hands, and outer ears, acupressure uses over 800
    reflex points that are found along long thin energy lines called meridians that run the length of the entire body.

How is Reflexology beneficial to the healing of the body?

    Reflexology is beneficial for restoring balance and harmony in the body and releasing tension. It can help facilitate a
    deep state of relaxation, calm the emotions, and produce a serene mind.

    Many people describe a profound sense of relaxation and increased energy following their session. In addition, specific
    studies have shown that reflexology can reduce pain and anxiety, decrease premenstrual symptoms, and reduce
    fatigue and insomnia.

    The art of reflexology  enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum
    functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste
    removal). It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.

    Another theory that may also explain how reflexology can produce pain relief is the gate control theory, or, more
    recently, the neuromatrix theory of pain. This theory suggests that pain is a subjective experience created by your
    brain. The brain does this in response to the sensory experience of pain, but it can also work independently of sensory
    input and create pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. Thus things that influence the brain, such as your
    mood or external factors like stress can also affect your experience of pain. According to this theory, reflexology may
    reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.

    Yet another theory holds that there is a "vital energy" in the human body. If stress is not addressed, it leads to
    congestion of energy, which in turn causes bodily inefficiencies, which can lead to illness. According to this theory,
    reflexology helps keep the energy flowing.

What can I expect for a session?

    Experiences with reflexology treatments vary from a general sense of relaxation and rest to a conscious awareness
    internally of the area of the body where the practitioner is working through the foot, hand or ear.

    Many people experience a “lightness” or tingling in the body, as well as feelings of warmth, a sense of “opening,” or
    “energy moving” from the practitioner’s pressure to the specific body area or organ. There is often a physical
    perception of energy flowing through every organ, valve, gland, or muscle, as well as a sense of communication
    between each body system.

Other reactions during the treatment range from physical to emotional and may include:

  • Perspiration of hands or feet
  • Sensation of being cold or chilled
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Crying
  • Sighing deeply
  • Overwhelming desire to sleep
  • Disappearance of all pain and discomfort
  • Loose, relaxed muscles
  • Feeling like all organs are hanging freely, not stressed and connected
  • Thirst
  • Rarely, contraction of muscle groups (pain)

    Most reflexologists have some type of calm, peaceful way of closing the session that involves stroking the hand or foot
    and holding the limb in some manner. The important aspect is for you to feel comforted and nurtured, and to feel that
    you have had time for yourself during the treatment.

    The practitioner may recommend that you drink water, rest if necessary, and pay attention to your body in the next few
    hours.

    Various reactions may occur following a reflexology treatment. These, too, are subtle, and are often not recognized by
    many people as a result of the treatment. Many of the reactions are positive signs that the treatment is part of a
    healing process; other symptoms are indicative of the body’s attempts to return to a state of balance and harmony.
    Symptoms usually last for 24-48 hours. Reactions may include:

  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced sleep
  • Relief from pain
  • More mobile joints
  • Tiredness (some clients find that they need more sleep in order for the body to rest and repair)
  • Skin rashes, pimples, or spots (due to elimination of toxins)
  • Kidney stones passed with ease
  • Frequent bowel movements, diarrhea (cleansing, elimination of toxins)
  • Increased mucus (nasal discharge, vaginal discharge)
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Emotional or psychological release (crying)


When you should not have a session

While reflexology is an extremely safe treatment, it is important to be aware of a few contraindications or times when
reflexology might not be a wise choice.

These contraindications include:

  • Reflexology on the foot is discouraged in patients with foot fractures, unhealed wounds, or active gout in the foot.
    Patients with osteoarthritis that impacts the foot or ankle, or those with vascular disease of the legs or feet, should
    consult with their primary provider prior to beginning reflexology on the feet. An acceptable alternative would be to
    use reflexology on the hands.
  • Clients who report current thrombosis or embolism (which is an obstruction of the pulmonary artery or a branch of it
    by a free-floating blood clot or embolus) should not receive reflexology treatment. Since reflexology improves
    circulation, it could potentially cause a clot to move towards the heart or brain.
  • For women in early pregnancy (the first 6 weeks), the reflexology treatment is altered by treating the uterine and
    ovarian reflex points more gently or by avoiding them altogether. In general, caution should be exercised during
    pregnancy because of reports that stimulation may cause contractions.
  • Babies and young children will receive benefit from many techniques, but rarely have the patience for a whole
    treatment. Thus, sessions are abbreviated in length.
  • If you are using other touch therapies, such as massage, allow at least 48 hours between touch therapy sessions to
    avoid an overload on your system.
  • In general, practitioners will stay away from open wounds, and may choose to wear plastic gloves or not to treat areas
    that are compromised.


To schedule an appointment or to add this to your next massage session
contact me!
Reflexology is a science which
deals with the principle that
there are reflex areas in the
feet and hands which
correspond to all of the glands,
organs and parts of the body.  
It is a non invasive treatment to
complement your current
medical  and holistic care.

It can be combined in a
massage & healing session.

~ Schedule your session today  ~