Reflexology is the application of pressure, stretch and movement to the feet and hands to affect corresponding parts of the body. The feet and hands are a mirror image of the body. By applying the technique, patterns of stress in other parts of the body break down.
Although reflexology is sometimes called foot massage, it is more than simple foot massage. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. Reflexology is very relaxing, especially for people who stand on their feet all day or just have tired, achy feet.
Reflexology is a form of bodywork that focuses primarily on the feet.
How does it work?
The underlying theory behind reflexology is that there are "reflex" areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body.
- the tips of the toes reflect the head
- the heart and chest are around the ball of the foot
- the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot
- lower back and intestines are towards the heel
What will I feel?
Most people find reflexology for the most part to be very relaxing.
Reflexology shouldn't be painful. If you feel discomfort, be sure to tell the reflexologist. He or she should work within your comfort zone.
Some areas may be tender or sore, and the reflexologist may spend extra time on these points. The soreness should decrease with pressure.
If you're ticklish, not to worry. The reflexologist applies firm pressure to the feet.
Why do people get reflexology?
- Stress and stress-related conditions
- Tension headaches
- Digestive disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sports injuries
- Menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome(PMS)
- Digestive problems, such as constipation
- Back pain
What is a typical reflexology treatment like
A typical treatment is 45 minutes to 60 minutes long and begins with a consultation about your health and lifestyle.
You are then asked to remove your shoes and socks and sit comfortably in a reclining chair or on a massage table. Otherwise you remain fully clothed.
The reflexologist will assess the feet and then stimulates various points to identify areas of tenderness or tension.
Lotion or oil may be used.
How will I feel after?
Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. They may even feel sleepy.
Occasionally, people feel nauseous, anxious, or tearful, but this is only temporary and is considered to be part of the healing process.
If you're pregnant, talk with your doctor first and let the reflexologist know.
Be sure to give the reflexologist a complete and accurate health history.
If you have foot ulcers, injury, or blood vessel disease such as blood clots, consult your doctor before having reflexology.