Reflexology is a type of therapy that uses gentle pressure on specific points along your feet (and possibly on your hands or ears as well) to help you feel better. The theory is that this eases stress, and that helps your body work better. It’s also known as zone therapy.
The feet have thousands of nerve endings, which explains why foot rubs feel so good. Our feet are complex anatomical structures that include 42 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, 250,000 sweat glands, 50 ligaments and tendons, and 15,000 nerve endings. The feet have 7000 nerve endings and every nerve ending is meant to detect pain stimulus. Any compression, even the smallest one, impacts around 500 nerves. Compression of nerves is perceived as pain in the brain so, during a reflexology treatment, it is common for people to feel the pain.
Reflexologists do not diagnose illness based on the treatment they provide. A reflexology session generally starts with an overview of your medical history with the reflexologist. This ensures the practitioner understands your needs and concerns and is aware of any underlying health conditions you may have.
Your reflexologist will assess the feet and stimulate various points to identify areas of tenderness or tension. Brisk movements and massage may be used to warm the hands and feet. Finger or thumb pressure is then applied to the foot using reflexology techniques.
Foot reflexology can boost the immune system, increase circulation, cleanse toxins from the body and balance energy. By applying pressure to points in the foot, called reflex areas, a reflexologist removes energy blockages and promotes health in the corresponding body area.