What is Reflexology...

"Reflexology is a powerful natural health science that studies the relationship of the reflex areas in the feet, hands and the ears to the rest of the body so that these areas can be worked on with the fingers and thumbs in a manner that will lead to improved health and the maintenance of good health."
- Bill Flocco, Director, American Academy of Reflexology

Reflexologists apply pressure on "reflex zones" found on the feet, hands and the ears, which are said to correspond to the different parts of the body. Application is done through thumb, finger and hand technique. Reflex areas, like hand and foot, composed of 7200 nerve endings are stimulated by pressure applied. An improved instruction to every gland, single part and organ of the body could be achieved by such a health science. The body is then believed to pursue a biologically correct, strengthened and reinforced state.

There should be a preliminary talk with the practitioner before treatment. The reflexologist then begins to work on the client's feet, or hands if necessary, noting problem areas.

For the most of the part, the sensation is pleasant and soothing. There may be discomfort in some places, but it is fleeting, and also an indication of congestion or imbalance in a corresponding part of the body. Reflexology can help relax the client and is believed to stimulate the body's own healing mechanisms. Usually a treatment session lasts for about one hour. A course of treatment varies in length depending on the need of the client body. The reflexologist will discuss this with the patient at the first session.

Many people try reflexology as their first foray into the world of massage, finding the treatment more relaxing than a general body massage. During the treatment, clients are only required to relax and expose their feet to the reflexologist. Treatment components also include soft music, essence oil and soft lighting, which combine to create a drowsy effect. Clients often fall asleep and describe the experience as the most relaxing hours of their day. After the treatment, they describe themselves as feeling "refreshed".

Approximately 75% of all illnesses are said to be related to stress. Stress can lead to headaches, neck and shoulder stiffness, as well as contracting the common cold and the more serious influenza. "Prevention is better than the cure", it is said, and so it is not surprising to see the growing popularity of reflexology as a means of relieving stress.

It is claimed that reflexology opens pathways to renew ourselves and boost our energy level, immediately after treatment and for several days afterwards. It could keep us free from the feeling of lacking motivation, tiredness, and inability to concentrate. Reflexology advocates say that reflexology not only relieves symptoms, but also acts on improvements of our body as a whole.

Other potential effects/uses of Reflexology:

  • Improvement in acute and chronic conditions

  • Stress related conditions

  • Sleep disorders

  • Sports injuries

  • Preventative therapy

  • Improvement of mental alertness

  • Stimulation of creativity and productivity

  • Helping to improve inter-relationships between body systems

Reflexology treatment

Below are a few pictures of reflexology treatments in action:

Reflexology zone chart

You can see the areas of the body that zones on the feet are related to in the following image (click the image to make it bigger).

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