Reflexology – Is this treatment for me?

Author: Carolyn Hodson

What are your feet and hands telling you?

Have you ever wondered what Reflexology is all about and how it works or if indeed does it work at all?  

Those that practice Reflexology will tell you that Reflexology works around the generalization that the body has ‘reflexes’ in certain areas. These reflexes are linked to all different areas of the body through the vast map of our nervous system. The foot and hand are like a map of the whole body, so putting pressure on the left side of the foot corresponds to the left side of the body and so on.

They will also advise you that it will help the improvement of your blood circulation, it is a great stress reliever and can also help with aches and pains. Also could help with headaches and migraines, and improve your digestion

I guess the big question is then – are these facts true?

There are many different pools of thought regarding the above, but we still don’t really know the exact mechanism behind the treatment and its reported benefits.

Placebo Effects

There are those that think the treatment is producing a placebo effect which is fine if the person receiving the treatment ‘feels better’ during and after the treatment. It is good for the mind and body if you feel relieved and pain-free after the therapy after all isn’t that what we are wishing for?


The effect of reflexology of being so relaxing can aid with the body’s pain and discomfort. Quite an appealing idea.

Blocked Energy

‘Chakras’ and ‘Meridan Lines’ also play a part in some Reflexologists treatments. Some believing that the body’s energies are blocked causing you to have physical pain and discomfort.  By treating blockages with reflexology and Reiki (another complementary therapy treatment), the body will also have the chance to self-heal.

The Impulse Theory

The main theory of how Reflexology works is called ‘The impulse Theory’.  This is where, through precise pressure being applied to the hand or foot, it will cause a message to the brain via the nervous system to the corresponding part of the body. This is thought to give it the ability to self-heal.  

Okay then, where is the proof it works?

Unfortunately, there is very little medical proof due to the lack of clinical trials and funding for these trials too.  Reflexology is often dismissed as an unproven treatment.  Records do show that there has been a few ‘studies’ to which it was shown to indicate that it was good for relaxation. A small amount of pain release was reported. An increase of blood flow and circulation was evident.  Lots of anecdotal evidence, but no hard medical facts that equated to clinical evidence which most people make their decisions from.  

Why have Reflexology then?

People who have looked for this form of complementary treatment, swear it helps with stress release.  Stress if left to fester in the body, can magnify itself into physical issues. It can have a massive effect on energy levels. Can also affect the quality and sleep pattern of someone, all adding to the stressed body, both mind, and physical being. It is a natural form of healing. It may help ease your aches and pains in general and could bring peace and calm to the body and mind.

Who is this treatment for?

Absolutely anyone. If you would like to treat yourselves with complementary therapies on its own or alongside conventional medication.  Good for relaxation, and for anyone with the more targeted issues.  You can have this treatment as a one-off or if you feel it works for you, as a maintenance package. With therapists often adding massage of the feet and legs too to complement the treatment. 

If nothing else, it will leave you feeling like you are floating on air, totally relaxed and ready for the day! 

So, is Reflexology for you?

In today’s everyday life, we are all increasingly living more stressful and demanding lives day to day. Reflexology sessions could be very effective in helping this way of living, helping us to be more centred and balanced. Ultimately maintaining good health and well-being. It is important to remember that Reflexology is a complementary therapy and should always be used alongside conventional medicine and healthcare treatments.

Give it a go and see!  What have you got to lose?  You have plenty to gain…

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