What is Reflexology?

Truly, reflexology is best understood and appreciated through EXPERIENCE!

Reflexology is used to help bring about balance and healing to the internal and biomechanical systems of the body.  This balance, called homeostasis, is a state in which the body, mind and spirit are at peace and working to fine-tune internal systemic mechanisms.  The feeling when you’re in this state is dreamy – like a relaxing vacation on a calm, warm beach; not a care in the world.

What is Reflexology?

When stress abates to this extent, the body has a chance to attend to its internal healing work.  This quiet state allows the body’s systems of communication to better receive messages of imbalance and to respond and help things get back on track.  When the functionality of your internal systems can be refined and healed in this way, the result is enhanced health, clarity and peace of mind and more capacity to respond enthusiastically to the opportunities that your daily life brings forth.

What is Reflexology?   There are many definitions of reflexology. Here’s mine:

Reflexology is a scientifically validated complementary health care modality that works with natural healing properties of the body to promote internal balance.  It is based on the principle that a microcosm (mini-map) of the body is reflected in parts of the body including the feet, hands, ears and face. Reflexologists use various special and individualized techniques to stimulate specific points on the microcosms, enabling the entire body to re-balance itself through mechanisms such as the nervous system, fascial pathways, and improved circulation and energy flow.

The crux of this modality is the theory that the entire body is reflected into smaller areas of the body, like the feet or hands, in the form of mini-maps (microcosms of the body, similar to the reflection of the world seen in a drop of dew). Reflexologists can learn to communicate with the body through this map, having tactile conversations that create fundamental changes in the entire system.

The beauty of the map is that it is two-directional. It reflects the body as a whole and also sends status messages back up to the body. Therefore, by working certain areas of the maps a reflexologist can affect and promote balance to the individual parts and systems of the body with an aim of relieving tension, illnesses, and imbalance system-wide.

Benefits of Reflexology include balance and healing of all the internal systems of the body, improved biomechanical function of the entire body, and improved function in the local area being worked (i.e. the feet, hands and ears).

When the structure of the body can relax, circulation improves system-wide.  With better hydration and nutrition to the tissues, the body has better elasticity and suppleness and is less likely to break down and more likely to heal and experience a reduction of body pains, aches, stiffness and foot pain.

With improved circulation, nutrients, oxygen and hormones can be more effectively distributed to all cells of the body and toxins can be more efficiently removed.  This enhances the function of all organs and systems.

Many people have found benefits when addressing the following:

  • structural ailments like neck pain, low back pain, leg, hip or knee troubles, and arm or ribcage pain
  • functional issues like headaches, migraines, insomnia, diaphragm limitation, food allergies, digestive pain and dysfunction
  • circulatory problems that affect the urinary, lymphatic, and cardiovascular systems
  • hormone distribution issues resulting in reproductive challenges like fertility or difficulty getting pregnant, troublesome symptoms during pregnancy, challenges during childbirth, symptoms of menopause, and libido and prostate issues
  • respiratory system complaints like chronic cough, asthma, and environmental allergies
  • energetic blockages
  • emotional pain and traumatic history that might be trapped in the body
  • foot pain

For a list of over 380 scientific studies done with reflexology on specific ailments, please visit http://www.reflexologyresearch.net/

How does Reflexology Work?

There are many complex ways that reflexology works. Here are some:

  • multi-directional nervous system communication between macrocosm and microcosm
  • biomechanical feedback between the structure and its parts (muscles, bones, ligaments)
  • proprioception (pressure, stretch and joint angulation receptors feeding into the brain)
  • adaptation (changes within both the microcosm and the nervous system through reflexology techniques)
  • improved circulatory and lymphatic flow, allowing for improved endocrine functioning
  • soothed integumentary system
  • energetic channels that flow through and around us – within every cell (this includes the concept of meridians, biospheres, etc.)
  • facilitated fascial networking and communication running through the entire system (fascia can contract like smooth muscle and can disrupt musculoskeletal dynamics)
  • stress reduction allows for self-healing through homeostatic balance
  • dispersing deposits (substance P) at the area of nerve endings improves essential messaging between the mini-map and the body
  • reducing adhesions between tissues layers of the microcosm
  • bringing the foot into better basic function improves “natural reflexology” experienced when walking


Reflexology is a safe, noninvasive way to stimulate better circulation and the body’s natural healing impulses. However, reflexology is not a cure-all and is not a substitute for medical care, if needed.  Specific results are not guaranteed. Please consult with your primary healthcare professional on matters relating to your personal health and well-being.

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