Reflexology is a form of body work that focuses on the feet, hands, and ears. Applying pressure to these “reflex” areas is said to correspond with other areas of the body that are linked to these pressure points, promoting health and well-being through the energetic pathways in the body.
For example, the tips of the toes reflect the head, the balls of the feet reflect the heart and chest, the heel of the foot is linked to the lower back and intestines, and the arch of the foot is linked to the liver, kidneys, and pancreas (to name just a few).
Reflexology is said to promote relaxation and pain relief, as well as improved circulation, soothing tired feet, and an overall healing of the body. The overall goal of reflexology is to return the body and mind to a balanced, harmonious state. The theory is that once the body is in a state of peace and harmony, any pain or other health concerns will naturally subside. The reflexologist stimulates the nervous system to work so the body can “fix” itself, rather than the therapist.
Depending on the specific health concern, reflexologists will work on the feet, hands, ears, or all three. A complete reflexology treatment includes many different techniques; by working all reflex points, the therapist is addressing internal organs, glands, muscles, bones, and nerves.
Clients seek reflexology for a long list of reasons, including:
- Stress and related conditions
- Tension headaches
- Hormonal imbalances
- Menstrual disorders
- Digestive disorders and concerns, such as constipation
- Back pain
Keep in mind that reflexology should never be painful. Some areas may require firmer pressure, and discomfort may be felt as the tenderness is worked away. However, it is important for the client to speak up if something hurts.