Reflexology for the health of your body
What reflexology can do for you
Reflexology focuses on the zones of energy in our body. It involves stimulating pressure points distributed throughout the body, but mostly on various parts of the foot. If pressure is applied to the right points, energy can flow through the body to remove toxins and support the nervous system.
How reflexology massages work
Reflexology stems from the Chinese art of healing and a reflexology session usually addresses personal concerns and specific health issues. Your reflexologist will discuss these with you before the treatment, which typically lasts between 30 to 60 minutes, and will then focus on the correct points to stimulate the energy flow in the area of your body that needs support. Many conditions can be treated with a reflexology massage; for example, studies have shown that reflexology in patients with chronic lower back pain can decrease pain severity.1
The most important reflexology points
Different areas of your foot correspond with different organs and systems in your body.2 The left foot corresponds with organs on the left side while the right foot communicates with the organs on the right side.3 Your reflexologist should explain the exact procedure and tell you which pressure points in your foot can be assigned to a specific concern. There will often be a reflexology foot chart on display where you can see these yourself. Working with the feet is generally preferred, but a combination of feet, hands and ears can also be used in a reflexology massage.4
Reflexology of the ears
As the nerve endings of the ears are directly connected to the feet, it can be helpful to practice ear reflexology and foot reflexology together. Ear-reflexology can partly be tested at home and can be used to treat tinnitus – or ringing in the ears. Your ears contain thousands of nerve endings, but the main reflexology points are found near where you would insert an earring, slightly to the right side of the piercing on the right lobe and the left side of the piercing on the left lobe. Starting with the right lobe, stroke from the top to the bottom continuously for 10 seconds and then do the same to the left ear lobe, repeating the routine several times a day until your symptoms ease.5
Hand reflexology also uses the energy system of the body to promote healing, although it’s not often the first choice taken by reflexologists during a treatment as the nerve endings are distributed in a much more compressed way, making it harder to focus on specific body systems. Both hand and foot reflexology have been shown in studies to be effective in relieving pain though.6
Reflexology of the foot
Studies on reflexology have shown that applying pressure to the right point on the foot can increase energy and can reduce stress and fatigue.7 Your foot can be imagined as different zones, with the top near your toes relating to the areas closer to your head, and the bottom, near your heel, relating more to your pelvic area. Therefore, stimulating the toes will have benefits for your ears, eyes and brain, while organs such as your bladder and intestine are linked to the zones on the bottom of your foot.
Reflexology benefits for your everyday life
Reflexology is a complementary therapy, as opposed to an alternative therapy, so should not be used as a substitute treatment for serious health conditions. Studies have shown though, that when used in conjunction with traditional treatments to address conditions like asthma, headaches, or anxiety, it may help strengthen the body and help to promote healing.38 Finally, even if you feel in perfect health, the massages of pressure points has been shown to provide relaxation and stress relief and can be enjoyed by anyone.2