Reflexology, an integrative health practice, maps a reflection of the body predominately on the feet, hands and outer ears. It uses unique manual techniques to deliver pressure to neural pathways assisting the body to function optimally.
– Reflexology as defined by The American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB), National Council for Reflexology Educators (NCRE), and the Reflexology Association of America (RAA)
Reflexology vs. Massage
How are they similar?
Both reflexology and massage:
* Strive to support the overall health of the client
* Use hands-on techniques performed directly on the physical body
* Tend to help promote circulation and relaxation
How are they different?
Massage is generally performed on the whole body, using hands, arms, elbows, etc., and focussing on muscles and other soft tissues. The emphasis is on therapeutic stretching and release of tension (specialized massage techniques may have other unique goals and benefits).
- Is performed on the feet, hands, and/or ears
- Uses alternating pressure delivered by fingers and thumbs
- Emphasizes stimulation of the neural pathways
- Promotes homeostasis in the body by acting on the nervous system through specific reflex points
Where will my reflexology session take place?
Your reflexology session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table or reclining chair especially designed for your comfort.
Must I be completely undressed?
No. If the practitioner is working on your feet and ankles, you will only need to remove your shoes and socks.
What parts of my body will be worked on?
For a foot session: all sides of your feet may be worked on, including the soles, tops, sides, toes, heels, and up to the ankles. If you are having other types of reflexology (hands, ears, etc.), the practitioner will work on those specific parts. If there is any part you do not want touched, please be sure to inform your practitioner.
What will the reflexology feel like?
The session will combine relaxation movements with reflexology techniques. The practitioner will use her fingers and thumbs to apply gentle but firm pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, and/or ears. Sometimes she will use her thumbs or fingers to “walk” up or down the surface of the foot, or she may use her whole hands to rock the feet or ankles with a gentle motion. No tools or devices are used in this practice.
What should I do during the reflexology session?
Prior to the session, feel free to ask any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the session, make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session. Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, a blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.
How will I feel after the reflexology session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a heightened awareness of their body. Some people also find that drinking one or two extra glasses of water after the session helps to flush out any toxins that may be released during the work.
What are the benefits of reflexology?
Reflexology can help relax the body and mind, improve blood and lymph circulation throughout the body, balance the body systems, and support the body’s ability to heal itself.
Are there any medical conditions that would make reflexology inadvisable?
Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for reflexology prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.
I want to try foot reflexology, but my feet are in such bad shape that I feel self-conscious. What should I do?
Many people feel their feet are too ugly or in such bad shape that they don’t feel comfortable showing them. I honor and respect all feet, regardless of appearance, because I know that they do so much for us. Healthier feet are happier feet, and they all deserve some TLC. I will do my best to help your feet feel celebrated for the amazingly hard job that they do every day.