What Is Reflexology? Benefits Of This Ancient Chinese Therapy

Reflexology is a centuries-old Chinese therapy that dates back to at least the 2nd century BC.

It involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet and hands in order to promote health and relaxation.

But, should you try it for yourself? Have a read and decide for yourself.

Reflexology foot massage

What is Reflexology? (It’s More than Just a Foot Massage)

Reflexology is a type of massage that is based on the idea that points on the feet and hands correspond to specific areas of the body. And that manipulating those points will benefit the whole body.

It’s often referred to as foot massage because it’s traditionally done on the feet. But a trained reflexologist might strongly disagree with you!

What is a foot massage and how is it different from reflexology?

Reflexology massage is different from a regular foot massage because it focuses on the pressure points on different areas of the foot, and not just the feet themselves.

An ‘ordinary’ foot massage is about relaxing the muscles of the foot itself, whereas reflexology is about using the pressure points to stimulate the nervous system of the whole (or specific parts) of the body.

Is reflexology safe to try?

Yes, reflexology is safe to try.

There are no known risks associated with reflexology, but it is not necessarily recommended for people with joint pain or bleeding disorders because of the pressure applied during the treatment.

However, if you have any health conditions or concerns, it’s always best to check with your doctor first.

What You Can Expect During a Reflexology Session

A reflexology session typically lasts for around 30 minutes.

Usually, the session will take place with you seated, but some massage therapists prefer you to lay down.

The reflexologist will work on your pressure points with their hands and sometimes use different techniques such as aromatherapy or more general massage.

You can expect to feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a reflexology session.

When You Should Avoid Reflexology

There are certain times when you should avoid reflexology. If you have any kind of infection or illness, it’s best to see your doctor first.

They can advise you whether reflexology would be beneficial or could make your condition worse. The same goes for if you’re pregnant or have any other health concerns.

It’s always best to check with your doctor before trying reflexology.

Also if you are suffering from aching and sore muscle, there may be other massage techniques that would help you more.

Check out our article on muscle soreness for more info!

Why people with cancer use reflexology

It’s not unusual for cancer patients to utilize some of the benefits of reflexology.

For some, it is a complementary and alternative medicine therapy that offers them relief from stress and anxiety.

For others, it is a way to relieve pain.

It can be used in conjunction with other treatments or as a standalone therapy.

Although Reflexology is generally considered to be a safe therapy, with few side effects, it is important to choose a qualified reflexologist who has experience working with cancer patients.

Reflexology Benefits

Reflexology has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes.

According to some researchers, reflexology can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including stress, tension, and fatigue.

It also seems to be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation caused by a variety of conditions, including arthritis and other joint pain.

Specifically, it’s been reported to help with:

1) Increased circulation: Reflexology massage stimulates the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body, which can improve circulation throughout the body.

2) Reduced stress levels: Reflexology can help relieve stress and tension in the body, which can lead to improved emotional well-being.

3) Improved sleep quality: Reflexology can help improve your sleep quality by reducing stress hormones that can interfere with sleep cycles.

4) Relief from tension headaches and migraines: Referred pain from various parts of the body can often be relieved by reflexology massage.

5) Boosted immunity: Reflexology has been shown to boost your immune system in a number of different ways, including by increasing the production of white blood cells.

6) Enhanced well-being: Reflexology is a powerful tool for promoting overall well-being, both mentally and physically.

Massage therapist vs. reflexologist

There are many different types of massage therapists, but reflexologists are specifically trained in reflexology massage (as you’d expect!).

It takes around 20 months to become qualified – source Gov.UK

Many massage therapists also offer reflexology as part of their services, but it is important to note that not all of them are trained in this specific type of massage, if you’re unsure – especially if you have a medical condition, just make sure you ask for proof.

If they’ve done the training, they aren’t going to mind confirming to you 🙂

DIY Reflexology

Yes, you can do reflexology on yourself. It is not as difficult as it may seem.

You just need to know where the pressure points are and how to apply the right amount of pressure.

To get started, follow these simple tips:

  1. Get your feet nice and warm before starting. This will help reduce any pain you might feel.
  2. Place a towel or sheet on the floor, and sit or lie down on it with your feet flat on the surface.
  3. Find the reflexology points on both feet by feeling them with your hands and using your thumbs to press deeply into the skin just above the heel and below the toes.
  4. Hold onto these points for as long as you feel comfortable, then release them slowly. Repeat this process on the other foot.

You can find out where the right points are on your feet by asking a reflexologist or consulting a book like “The New Complete Guide to Reflexology”.

There are even find handy diagrams and charts online. 

Are you going to be as good as a trained practitioner?

Definitely not…but you might be surprised how much you can do for yourself!

Reflexology FAQ

What is reflexology therapy?

Reflexology is a type of foot massage that uses pressure and friction on the feet to treat various conditions across the whole body, including stress, tension, and fatigue.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

It’s said to be helpful in reducing the pain by affecting nerve endings and neural pathways, combat stress, promote well-being as well as inflammation caused by a variety of conditions, including arthritis and other joint pain.

Can reflexology be performed at home?

Yes, reflexology can be performed at home by yourself with a bit of research and a reflexology chart.

What is the difference between reflexology and a normal foot massage?

The main difference is that reflexology uses pressure and friction to treat various conditions across the whole body, while a normal one focuses on relaxing only the foot muscles themselves.


We hope you found this article useful – and that it helps ‘get you off on the right foot’ (sorry…).

If you are looking for a type of foot therapy that is different from the norm, reflexology may be the perfect solution for you, so why not give it a try?