Reflexology is the practice of stimulating reflex points (or zones) on the foot by trained practitioners to improve physical and emotional well-being. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the practice is thousands of years old with origins in ancient China and Egypt. Despite the lack of empirical proof, reflexology and its therapeutic benefits have stood the test of time with many Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) incorporating it into their sessions. Since training with a career college in Toronto specializing in alternative therapies over a decade ago, I’ve found it to be an effective, non-invasive therapy with many benefits.
What to Expect During a Reflexology Treatment
- Clients remain fully clothed as only footwear and socks need be removed. Most therapists prefer when lower leg is exposed as treatments often include a calf massage.
- Your therapist will need a general health overview and any specific health concerns should be brought to your therapist’s attention.
- During your treatment, you may be seated with legs extended or on a typical massage bed. The therapist may use a foot soak prior to the session or disinfect feet with a cleansing spray.
- Oil or cream is often applied to improve the ease of movement during the treatment.
- Each therapist has their own treatment style: some will immediately start treating all of the reflex zones, while others may provide a short massage in order to assess and pinpoint the areas of concern that they’ll focus on during the treatment.
- Some areas may feel more tender than others. This may be due in part to poor footwear or work related stresses, but can also be indicative of skeletal imbalance. For example, the circumference of the big toe represents the neck and the ball of the foot the shoulder reflex. Those hunched over electronic devices often feel aches in that particular region of the foot.
- After a treatment clients are advised to drink lots of water to help flush the lymphatic system. Many report a deep night’s sleep and feeling of tranquility.
Benefits of Reflexology
- The stimulation of internal body systems through the feet can aid digestive issues and migraines.
- Regular reflexology sessions can help with lymphatic drainage and detoxification.
- Reflexology can help improve blood circulation.
- Reflexology helps promote overall relaxation and wellness with many clients reporting a significant decrease in stress levels after their sessions.
Written by Anne-Marie Macloughlin, a Regimen Coach at Consonant Skincare. She has been practising reflexology for more than a decade and is also a freelance writer. Her philosophy is that self care should be a daily practice and part of achieving a healthy work, life balance.
- Tags: Healthy Living
- Anne-Marie MacLoughlin