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The Healing Benefits of Foot Reflexology Massage

February 28, 2017 Posted by James Colquhoun : Food Matters


Reflexology, also known as zone therapy or acupressure, dates back to ancient China and Egypt, and is documented in ancient medical texts as far back as 4000 B.C.E.. Similar to acupuncture’s potential benefits and methodology, reflexology uses pressure rather than needles to activate points and organs throughout the body to relieve pain, stimulate circulation, and bring balance to the bodily systems.   

Though one of the oldest healing practices, reflexology wasn’t adopted in the Western regions of the world until at least the 1500’s, and again later in the 20th century when it was Westernized and perhaps simplified in practice in Russia and Europe.

Despite its age and longevity, reflexology’s long list of potential benefits are not well documented or well researched. Much like acupuncture, reflexology is not based on pure scientific fact, but rather a millennia of trial and error, patterns and an elaborate mapping of the energies of the body. Though it is still a somewhat controversial practice that has been deemed “alternative”, its reported benefits range from stress relief and relaxation to increased blood circulation.

Generalities aside, just because we cannot prove a response does not necessarily negate the wide ranging potential benefits that reflexology may provide. Reflexology is said to stimulate individual organs and bodily symptoms, remove blockages, and reverse disease.

In line with a traditional holistic mentality, if we view disease as an imbalance or blockage in the body versus a diagnosis, this means once we remove this blockage and allow the energy to flow freely the symptoms will subside and heath will be restored.

The Potential Benefits Of Reflexology Are:

  • increased immunity
  • improved energy
  • eased stress and anxiety
  • pain relief
  • circulation stimulation
  • reduced blood pressure
  • congestion relief
  • internal organ stimulation

The practice of reflexology follows the meridians – energy lines or channels that map the entire body. Each organ corresponds with different channels which can be accessed through different points on the body. There are fourteen major channels of the body, and when it comes to reflexology, over two thousand points throughout the body.

Though acupressure and reflexology can be practiced anywhere on the body, it is common to do so on the hands, ears or feet, where the meridian channels end and all come together. Concentrated in these areas, we can access every organ and system on the body.

When it comes to our feet, these points can be accessed through the soles of our feet was well as the tops. Simplified, there are four main areas of the soles of the feet that correspond to organs relating to the head and neck, spine, chest, and pelvic areas. The left foot corresponds to the left side of the body, and the right foot, the right side of the body.

Areas Of The Body which correspond with areas Of The Foot

Head and Neck Regions and Organs - Toes

Spine - Inside strip of each foot, running the length of the entire foot

Chest Region and Organs, Stomach, Intestines, Bladder - Chest area corresponds with the widest diameter of the foot. Waistline area of the body corresponds with smallest diameter.

Pelvic Region Organs, Legs, Buttocks - Heels, hind foot.

For instance, the tips of the toes correspond to sinuses. The line running down the edge of the inner foot corresponds with the spine. The kidney and bladder area is located in the center of the foot as well as along the inner arch. The small intestine area just behind this in the center back of the hind foot.

There are many foot reflexology map references that help you to understand the organ relationships and the corresponding areas of the feet.

When we feel pain, have swelling, or tension in these areas, it may be an indication of a blockage or issue with these corresponding areas of the body

When massaging, heavy pressure is not necessary. The real benefit is more about accessing these points specifically. Once found, each point is usually held for about a minute.

Though massage has benefits in and of itself, reflexology is most effective when practiced by a trained professional. Check out these Reflexology Associations for more information and help finding a reputable practitioner.

Reflexology 'as effective as pain killers'

April 09, 2013 Posted by The Telegraph UK : Science Article


Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found that people felt about 40% less pain, and were able to stand pain for about 45% longer, when they used reflexology as a method of pain relief.

Dr Carol Samuel, who is a trained reflexologist and who carried out the experimental procedures as part of her PhD studies, said it was the first time this therapy had been scientifically tested as a treatment for acute pain.

She said the results suggested that reflexology could be used to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions associated with pain such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers.

Participants attended two sessions, in which they were asked to submerge their hand in ice water.

In one of the sessions they were given reflexology before they submerged their hand, and in the other session they believed they were receiving pain relief from a Tens machine, which was not actually switched on.

The researchers found that when the participants received reflexology prior to the session they were able to keep their hand in the ice water for longer before they felt pain, and that they could also tolerate the pain for a longer period of time.

Dr Samuel said: "As we predicted, reflexology decreased pain sensations.

"It is likely that reflexology works in a similar manner to acupuncture by causing the brain to release chemicals that lessen pain signals."

Dr Ivor Ebenezer, co-author of the study, said: "We are pleased with these results. Although this is a small study, we hope it will be the basis for future research into the use of reflexology."

Reflexology is a complementary medical approach, which works alongside orthodox medicine, in which pressure may be applied to any body area but is commonly used on either the feet or hands.

In this study reflexology was applied to the feet.

Dr Ebenezer, from the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Dr Samuel used a small study of 15 people to determine whether reflexology would be more effective than no pain relief at all.

Dr Ebenezer said: "Complementary and alternative therapies come in for a lot of criticism, and many have never been properly tested scientifically.

"One of the common criticisms by the scientific community is that these therapies are often not tested under properly controlled conditions.

"When a new drug is tested its effects are compared with a sugar pill.

"If the drug produces a similar response to the sugar pill, then it is likely that the drug's effect on the medical condition is due to a placebo effect.

"In order to avoid such criticism in this study, we compared the effects of reflexology to a sham Tens control that the participants believed produced pain relief.

"This is the equivalent of a sugar pill in drug trials.

Dr Samuel added: "This is an early study, and more work will need to be done to find out about the way reflexology works.

"However, it looks like it may be used to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions that are associated with pain, such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers."

The study has been published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

10 Fabulous Benefits Of Reflexology Massage

February 22, 2019 Posted by John Staughton : Organic Facts


The benefits of reflexology include its ability to stimulate nerve function, increase energy, boost circulation, induce a deep state of relaxation, and eliminate toxins from the body. Moreover, it helps stimulate the central nervous system, prevent migraines, and treat urinary tract conditions. This type of massage speeds up recovery after an injury or surgery, reduces sleep disorders, and relieves depression and pain. It also helps in relieving side effects associated with cancer treatment and even soothe the pain of pregnancy, even the one occurring after delivery.

Whether you work in an office, a factory, a field, a hospital, or anything in between, there is a good chance that you put a lot of weight and stress on your feet every day. It is not always the back, stress can manifest itself in the other parts of our body too. People often opt for massages, so it makes sense that there should be foot massages too, right? Reflexology is much more than a foot massage, but at its foundation, that’s the easiest way to describe the process. This specific area of massage therapy also includes hands and ears, making it a holistic massage.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is an alternative treatment for a variety of conditions and has been in use for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese and Egyptians have documented practices similar to reflexology as a treatment for certain afflictions. It involves the reflexologist applying pressure to specific areas in the hands, feet, and ears that affect certain reflex areas of the body.

Imagine there is a connection between zones of your feet and hands that represent certain areas of your body that can be adjusted or managed through these zones. A lot of the theory behind reflexology has to do with aligning your qi, but even for those who normally don’t invest much in this discipline, there are plenty of studies that have supported the claims of reflexologists.

It is not widely accepted in the medical world, but thousands of physicians across the globe have been using reflexology for generations, with surprisingly positive results. If there are treatments for more than a dozen health conditions affecting various parts of the body, isn’t it worth giving reflexology a try?

Benefits of Reflexology

The health benefits of reflexology include its ability to improve the nerve functions, raise energy levels, increase circulation, and much more.

Improved Nerve Function

As we age, our nerve endings become less sensitive in many parts of our body, particularly in our extremities. That being said, reflexology has been connected with stimulating more than 7,000 different nerve endings in a single session, thereby increasing their function and reactivity. Opening and cleaning out neural pathways can help improve functionality and flexibility in many areas around the body. Neural pathways are like muscles, so it is good to work them once in a while to keep them sharp!

Boosted Energy Levels

By aligning the functioning of various organ and muscle systems, reflexology can increase metabolism and energy creation processes within the body. If you need a boost of energy or are always feeling sluggish, perhaps a reflexology session can help put some pep back in your step!

Increased Circulation

One of the most well-known and verified benefits of reflexology is an improvement in circulation throughout the body, which means that blood and oxygen are being cycled through the body more effectively. This means more oxygen reaches vital organs, thereby optimizing their functioning and further increasing the metabolism. This also results in faster healing and re-growth of damaged cells.


As mentioned above, reflexology has been known to open neural pathways, and this sort of free-flowing neural activity results in a more relaxed state in the body. For this reason, reflexology can flood your system with relaxation, inducing a state of calmness throughout your body and mind. In this same vein, reflexology is commonly used to cure sleep disorders. Insomnia can be a very troubling condition to suffer through, but reflexology helps your body relax and get back to its normal, healthy circadian rhythms.

Elimination of Toxins

Reflexology has been shown to improve bladder function and reduce urinary tract issues. What this means in terms of toxicity is a more efficient system of eliminating toxins and other foreign substances, thereby protecting your body from the various diseases and health conditions that can often arise from a compromised urinary system.

Nervous System Stimulation

The open neural pathways can benefit our central nervous system in a variety of ways. It not only enhances the brain’s ability to handle inputs more effectively, thereby speeding up our cognitive powers, but also boosts memory.

Reduction in Headaches

Reflexology is primarily used by many people as a method of eliminating pain. As an analgesic treatment, reflexology can reduce the severity of a migraine and headache, simply by relieving tension in the muscles that can often result in these conditions. A headache induced by stress can also be eliminated since stress and psychological factors often manifest in the physical symptoms of a migraine.

Speed Healing

The combination of increased nerve activity and circulation, as well as the balanced functioning of the metabolism, means that cells re-grow faster and wounds are able to heal quickly. Also, the pain-relieving qualities of reflexology mean that patients recover rapidly, and are willing to get back into routine life!

Relieves Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Although reflexology isn’t directly connected to curing cancer, it has been known to ease the side effects of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. It helps cancer patients get a sound sleep by reducing anxiety and also reduces the chances of vomiting or other commonly experienced indigestion issues. The more general effects of reflexology, such as clearing neural channels and increasing circulation help patients.

Easy Pregnancy

Studies have shown that reflexology can be very beneficial for pregnant women, particularly in terms of labor lengths and their need for analgesics during labor and postpartum recovery time. Beyond that, due to many of the health benefits already outlined above, it can reduce the chances of postpartum depression and can also help a woman’s body heal itself faster and get back to its normal metabolic activity quickly.

Although much of the research on reflexology has been criticized or cited as unprovable, thousands of years of tradition and reports of success speak rather loudly. That being said, reflexology should be considered as a supplemental treatment to formal medical advice and treatment for the conditions that have been touched on in this article.

Reflexology 101

Unknown Date, Posted by Deborah Flanagan : Doctor Oz


Reflexology reduces stress (a major contributing factor to disease), enhances the body's ability to heal itself, and balances both body and soul. Research shows that a single reflexology session can create relaxation, reduce anxiety, diminish pain, improve blood flow and decrease high blood pressure.

What is reflexology?

Reflexology is based on the idea that a map of the body is reflected on the hands and feet, and by applying alternating pressure to specific points on the hands and feet you can affect various organs and parts of the body.

Reflexology balances the nervous system by stimulating the nerve endings of the feet, which connect with the spinal nerves and their corresponding organs. It works with the circulatory system, breaking up congestion and deposits in the feet, which in turn help detoxify the body.

Numerous studies have shown that reflexology is able to help:

  • Promote balance and normalization of the body’s functions
  • Reduce stress and bring about relaxation
  • Improve circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells throughout the body

There are two major factors that set reflexology apart from other therapies. The first is that it’s an all-encompassing treatment. All organs, glands and the skeletal system can be stimulated through the feet and hands. (In other words, it’s very efficient!)

The second is the personalized self-help reflex exercises that can be done at home between sessions. These exercises only take a minute or two a day, and the results are often impressive.

How can reflexology help me?

Although, as a professional reflexologist, I never diagnose or prescribe, in my experience, clients have found reflexology helpful in dealing with back/shoulder/neck pain, all things reproductive (PMS, fertility, prenatal, menopause), digestive issues, depression/anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few.

In addition to my private practice, I work with patients at the Initiative for Women with Disabilities (IWD) at NYU Medical’s Hospital for Joint Diseases. Many of the patients I see are dealing with issues such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and rheumatoid arthritis, and find reflexology a beneficial way to incorporate integrative therapies into their treatment.

Is there any evidence, or scientific studies, that support the effectiveness of reflexology?

In 1991, the first US reflexology study published in a scientific peer-reviewed medical journal, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, reported the effects of reflexology on PMS. The double blind study showed a 47% reduction in symptoms, not including placebo effect.

More recently, based on the success of an initial grant, the National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) awarded a second round of funding ($10 million) to Michigan State University to continue studying the impact of reflexology on women undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 and 4 breast cancer.

While reflexology is much more widespread in other countries, it’s increasingly being used in wellness programs and cancer treatment centers in hospitals and medical facilities throughout the US.

Any advice or tips for someone considering reflexology for the first time?

Always make sure the reflexologist you’re considering is certified by The American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB). They require rigorous testing to become certified, and it’s the gold standard in the field of reflexology in the United States.

I recommend trying more than one session, because reflexology has cumulative benefits. It’s important the client assesses if this is working for them or not. Depending on the issue or health challenge, I often suggest at least three sessions close together (every week or two weeks), and then we evaluate initial results. Remember, acute conditions tend to balance faster than chronic ones. In other words, the longer you’ve had the issue, the longer it takes to get rid of it.

How can I find a certified reflexologist?

Check with the ARCB or your state reflexology association by researching online or calling.

What self-help reflexology techniques can I use?

While the majority of people tend to get professional reflexology sessions for their feet, the hands can be just as effective. In the self-help reflexology segment I did on the show, I explained what to look for on your palms to get to know your own body better. Here’s a recap for you to try for yourself. Of course, this is not a substitute for medical care; always be sure to consult with the appropriate health practitioner in case of any medical condition.

5 Secrets in the Palm of Your Hand

1. Digestion: Intestines Reflex

I see a lot of clients with digestive issues, so this is one of my favorite self-help tips: the Million-Dollar Golf Ball Technique created by leading reflexologists Barbara and Kevin Kunz. This technique helps regulate and support your digestion.

  • Interlock fingers.
  • Roll the ball around the lower area of the palms, or heels of the hands.
  • This corresponds to the digestive reflexes for the small and large intestines.
  • You might notice the area feels a little crunchy or bumpy if you have digestive issues.
  • Do this daily for a minute once or twice a week for 2 weeks, and then as needed.

2. Insomnia: Pituitary Gland Reflex

This is a great technique if you have trouble sleeping. The pituitary gland is like the master conductor of the orchestra; it oversees the entire endocrine system, so this is a really important point to help the body balance itself.

  • Find the middle of the whorl of your thumbprint. This is the reflex for the pituitary gland.
  • Take the side of the nail of the other thumb, and press it into the center of the whorl of the thumbprint and hold.

Good metaphors to let you know you found the right spot:

  • It might feel like a little metal ball under the skin.
  • Or, it might feel like you stuck a needle in your thumb.
  • It might feel more sensitive if you’ve had trouble sleeping.
  • You can do this in the middle of the night if you wake up and have trouble getting back to sleep.
  • Do both thumbs, holding each for 45 seconds, 2 or 3 times a day.

3. Colds and Flu: Head and Sinuses Reflexes

This is great for any kind of congestion and often helps immediately.

  • The fingers are the reflexes for the head and sinuses.
  • Press and rub from the base of each finger to the tip.
  • If you’re congested, your fingers might feel a little tight or puffy as you get to the tips.
  • Do this on each finger on both hands a few times, 3 or 4 times a day, or as needed.

4. Back Pain: Spine Reflex

With back pain, it’s hard to find things you can do yourself to help alleviate it, so this one is also a favorite. It’s quick and easy.

  • The side of the thumb down to the wrist is the spine reflex.
  • Press with the flat of the opposite thumb, inching along from the top of the thumb down to the wrist.
  • For professional reflexologists we use a special thumb-walking technique, but this also works.
  • It might feel tender in some areas if you’re experiencing back pain.
  • Spend more time on tender areas, but you don’t need to apply a lot of pressure if it hurts. No pain no gain doesn’t apply with reflexology!
  • Do this on both hands; go down this area 3 or 4 times, 3 or 4 times a day.

5. Low Libido: Ovaries and Uterus Reflexes

This technique is called the Wrist Twist and was created by a reflexologist in the UK, Lynne Booth.

  • The reflexes for the ovaries and uterus are on the sides of the wrist.
  • Grasp your wrist with your thumb and forefinger forming a circle.
  • Twist the opposite hand.
  • This also applies to men – instead of ovaries and the uterus reflexes, you are targeting the prostate and testes.
  • Clients often report feeling invigorated and energized immediately.
  • Twist your wrist 20 times or so and then do the opposite wrist, 2 or 3 times a day.

I often tell my clients that they can do all of these techniques as a general tune-up between sessions, as a way to prolong the effects of their session or to see faster results. Many clients report feeling energized and relaxed with all of these techniques. It’s a quick and easy way to interrupt stress.

Reflexology as a complimentary therapy for Body & Soul

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Reflexology is perfect for Everyone!

Reflexology is a wholistic, non-invasive therapy which compliments other therapies and modern medicine. Reflexology has been practised for 1000s of years and is once again becoming part of health care systems around the world. A Reflexology treatment comprises of pressure and soothing techniques to the areas of feet, hands, face or ears. It is based on the principle that all of the bodies organs, parts and systems are reflected in the feet (or hands). Reflexology stimulates the circulation to restore energy flow which helps clear blockages which may have occurred due to stress, toxins, illness, emotions and injury. Some proven benefits are:

  • reduces stress and eases tension
  • balancing the nervous system
  • improve sleep quality
  • boost lymphatic function
  • improves circulation
  • detoxifies the body
  • enhances the body's natural healing process
  • improves flexibility and endurance
  • balances all body systems
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Balance and Realign Body & Mind!

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There are approximately 7,000 nerve endings in the human foot and each of them are a reflex point that corresponds to a body part. Reflexologists use special finger and thumb manipulations to stimulate these reflex points and they know exactly which area of the foot corresponds to which body part by learning and following Reflexology chart.

When pressure is applied to these areas and points, it stimulates the movement of energy along the nerve channels and helps to restore homeostasis balance in the body

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Some useful Reflexology Articles!