What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific areas on the feet, hands and ears.

Reflexology is an ancient practice passed down through oral tradition. It is thought that ancient pictographs in the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor in 2330 BC, and markings on statues in India and China represent reflexology symbols . The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body and that pressure applied to these areas affects those organs and supports health and healing.

Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Sometimes these practitioners use items, such as rubber balls, rubber bands and sticks of wood, to assist in their work.

There are numerous studies on reflexology, and some surgeons prescribe reflexology treatments to their patients prior to and following surgical procedures. Ongoing studies at the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Studies also show that reflexology may help support standard medical care of people with cancer.

Additionally, reflexology is very popular in Europe and Asia. There are interesting studies in Denmark where reflexology treatments are sometimes offered by corporations. Studies suggest that reflexology treatment can reduce employee sick time.

More resources on reflexology: