Reflexology is a safe and natural therapy that promotes well being and general good health.  It's a practice that involves applying pressure to the feet, or hands with the goal of encouraging a beneficial effect on other parts of the body, or to simply improve general health.


Reflexology is based on the idea that the entire body is “reflected” in the hands and feet.  That is, every part of the anatomy has a corresponding area (or “reflex zones”) in the hands and feet.  Think of these areas in the hands and feet as direct connections to these corresponding parts of the anatomy.  Manipulating and applying pressure to specific areas of the hand and feet can often benefit corresponding glands, organs and other areas of the body.


What Are The Benefits of Reflexology?

One of the significant ways in which Reflexology is helpful is that it can help in reducing overall stress.  The reason for this is because the hands and feet help regulate the level of physical tension throughout the rest of the body.  By stimulating the hands and feet, this can help balance the level of physical tension throughout the body.  In this way Reflexology has been shown to be helpful to:


·         Release stress and tension

·         Improve blood circulation and activates lymph drainage

·         Assist in elimination of toxins

·         Strengthen the immune system and harmonizes vital functions

·         Enable a deep state of relaxation and well being


What Can I Expect During A Reflexology Session?

A complete reflexology session uses many different techniques and includes all of the points on both feet.  (Some Reflexologists also incorporate the hands and ears, but this depends upon the individual Reflexologist. The session generally starts at the fingers or toes, and works down to the heel of the hand or foot, then works the areas on the sides and top.  By working all of the points, the Reflexologist is able to address internal organs and glands as well as muscle groups, bones, and nerves (sciatic) during a session.


Many people experience a tingling sensation in the body, as well as feelings of “warmth” throughout their body.  Some even have a sense that energy is moving at the point of the practitioner's pressure to the specific body area or organ affected.  Often times there is a physical perception of energy flowing through every organ, valve, gland, or muscle, as well as a sense of communication between each body system.


Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders in the U.S., millions of people around the world use it to complement traditional medical treatments, addressing a variety of physical conditions and ailments.  However, many countries across Europe and Asia have used Reflexology effectively as a preventive measure. One such example is in the country of Denmark, in which various companies, as well as municipalities have employed Reflexologists since the early 1990's.1


These impressive results over an extended period of time have prompted a closer look at the benefits of using Reflexology more extensively.  The University of Minnesota reported,


“Research studies in the U.S. and around the world indicate positive benefits of reflexology for various conditions. In particular, there are several well-designed studies, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health that indicate reflexology's promise as an intervention to reduce pain and enhance relaxation, sleep, and the reduction of psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.” 2

The University goes on to state that other research studies have shown Reflexology to be, “effective for a wide variety of health concerns”, including:


·        Improving anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women

·        Reduction of pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, and improved quality of life in cancer patients 

·        Improved blood flow in Diabetes Type II patients

·        Reducing pain symptoms associated with Migraine/Tension Headaches

·        Increasing renal blood flow during therapy in patients undergoing treatment for illnesses related to the kidneys

·        Improving symptoms related to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)


While further clinical studies are being conducted in examining the effectiveness of Reflexology as a form of medical treatment, you can still enjoy the immediate benefits Reflexology may be able to provide for you today!



1 Madsen, S., & Andersen, J. (1993). Postal Reflexology (Committee Report): Odense Danish Reflexologists Association Research Committee Report




Linda Ott is a graduate of Trinity College of Natural Health in Warsaw, Indiana.  She holds a Doctor of Naturopathy degree and is a Certified Natural Health Professional with additional training and experience in the fields of AcuTherapy (needle-free accupuncture), Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Herbology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Weight Management.









Copyright © 2012 LINDA OTT, ND, CNHP