Several studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Reflexology is low risk, so it can be a reasonable option if you seek relaxation and stress relief.
The underlying theory behind reflexology is that there are “reflex” areas on the feet that correspond to specific organs or parts of the body. For example:
- The tips of the toes reflect the head.
- The heart and the chest are around the ball of the foot.
- The liver, pancreas, and kidneys are in the arch of the foot.
- Lower back and intestines are towards the heel.
Medical or clinical reflexology is where specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques are used – mostly with deep pressure – on the various congested reflex areas. This holistic approach will optimise blood, lymph, and nerve flow to a specific area, thus minimising pain and muscle tension and facilitating the body’s natural healing and detoxifying process.
Reflexology will often hurt when the congested reflex areas are treated and in no way resembles a foot massage. As the condition improves with several reflexology sessions, so will the soreness on the corresponding reflexes. Pain on a specific reflex is always brief and only lasts if the reflexologist is applying pressure. Pain is always kept at bearable levels. The well-trained reflexologist will adapt his pressure to the pain levels of the patient.
Although not scientifically proven, some people reported that reflexology helped them:
- boost their immune system
- clear up sinus issues
- correct hormonal imbalances
- boost fertility
- improve digestion
Mild side effects after reflexology treatment may include:
- tender feet
- emotional sensitivity
Reflexology is recommended as a complementary therapy and should not replace medical treatment. Seek advice from your medical practitioner before making your reflexology appointment.