Reflexology massage involves the application of pressure to the feet, hands, and even ears to affect various systems and organs of the body. Headaches, constipation, and sinus issues are a few of the conditions that are addressed through the manipulation of nerve endings or reflex points. There is little evidence supporting the relationship between pressure points on the hands, ears and feet to the internal organs of the body, however some studies do suggest a correlation. A study by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for example, found a significant decrease in premenstrual symptoms for women given 30-minute reflexology treatments once a week for two months when compared to a control group.
What’s the Difference Between Reflexology and Massage?
While massage therapists manipulate large areas of soft tissue over the entire body, reflexologists concentrate on specific pressure points on the feet, hands, and ears. Massage therapists, through various compression, vibration, and friction techniques applied to the soft tissue of their client’s bodies, affect the underlying muscle, fascia, tendons, and ligaments. Reflexologists on the other hand, believe that they can affect all of the internal organs of the body through pressure points on the hands, ears, and feet.
Who should not receive reflexology therapy?
Reflexology should be avoided by anyone suffering from circulatory problems in the feet, blood clots or inflammation in the legs, fever, open wounds including foot ulcers, gout, fungal infections of the hands or feet, or pregnant mother’s during the first trimester. There are other conditions for which massage may be contraindicated , so please consult with your doctor before scheduling a massage if you have any concerns.