What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the systematic treatment of pressure applied to the body in specific zones or areas that reflect and influence other parts, organs or systems of the body. These areas contain reflexes that can relieve stress, improve blood circulation, and help the body maintain homeostasis every treatment.

The oldest known traditions of reflexology come from Egypt, China and India. The most famous recorded account of reflexology probably comes from the tomb of Ankhamor at Saqqara in Egypt in which a wall painting shows two physicians working on the hands and feet of two others.

Reflexology has become more popular in recent years with the more research produced in support of many benefits of reflexology treatments. Conditions such as constipation, dyspepsia, poor sleep, impotence, menopause, migraine, pain, sinusitis, toothache, and more have all been shown to benefit from reflexology treatment.

The most common forms of reflexology today are foot, hand and ear reflexology. In a foot reflexology treatment, the reflexologist will massage the feet using various techniques that stimulate the area reflexes and encourage the body to respond appropriately.

It can be argued that the most beneficial part of reflexology is the relaxation it brings to people and the reduction of stress. Popular belief that stress and disease are related leads us to see percentages of 75-90% of diseases related to stress all across the internet. However, legitimate scientific studies have also shown that stress can contribute to chronic disease (Carnegie Mellon University (2007, October 10). Stress Contributes To Range of Chronic Diseases, Review Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071009164122.htm).

Whatever the mechanism that reflexology triggers within the body to help disorders, more and more people are turning to alternative and complementary forms of medicine to support their health.

One thing that reflexology can not help with is the diagnosing of disease. The treatment of reflexology follows standard techniques and protocols for most schools and simply treats the foot in a holistic way. Nor can most reflexologists prescribe medications like a medical doctor, and, therefore, reflexology is a perfect complement to today’s modern medicine.