In reflexology, pressure is applied to specific reflex points on the foot. These points correspond to organs and areas of the body. The treatment is said to induce a healing response, even alleviating some ailments.
Reflexology is one of the most popular types of massage. Beyond the feel-good effects of the treatment, the practice and purpose go deeper than the skin and muscles. Kneading the soft fleshy ball of the foot, pulling on the toes, tracing around the heel and pushing deep into the arch are just a few of the movements you’ll experience during a treatment.
But what is all of that for? Well, there is a method to the treatment, and it all revolves around the charted areas of your foot.
Understanding a foot reflexology chart
The image below is an example of a reflexology foot chart or map. It shows which part of the foot connects to each organ or area of the body.
A reflexologist will use a diagram like this one during the session. Reflexologists sometimes also work on the hands or ears to trigger relaxation, but foot reflexology is the most common treatment.
As you can see, there’s a spot on the map for every organ or system in the body. A reflexologist can treat specific parts of your body by targeting that area of the foot.
How reflexology differs from a foot massage
These two treatments might seem similar, but there are some key differences. Both can be beneficial! Here’s what you can expect during a foot massage versus a reflexology massage.
Massage therapy is the manipulation of tissues to relax the muscles, relieve tension, and improve circulation. This can improve overall health and well-being.
Reflexology, on the other hand, uses a targeted, pressure-point massage to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. The treatment usually focuses on the feet, but it can also include the hands and ears.
There can be many potential benefits of this kind of treatment, which leads to the next question you might be asking.
What are the benefits?
Reflexology can address anything from headaches to sinus problems to stomach issues. If sensitivity or tenderness is experienced when an area is stimulated, it usually indicates bodily weaknesses or imbalances within the corresponding organ.
With repeated pressure and manipulation of nerve endings, reflexology can help to clear any channels of blocked energy. It is said to do so through moving the flow of blood, nutrients and nerve impulses. This ultimately improves overall health and balance.
Other potential benefits:
- Cleanse the body of toxins
- Boost the immune system
- Increase circulation
- Promote healing
- Balance energy