What is Foot Reflexology?
Foot reflexology is an alternative therapy that involves the physical act of applying pressure to pressure points on the feet that are thought to be linked via a reflex channel to other structures, organs and glands within the body. Similar to foot massage, it is believed that application of pressure to these reflex points can be useful in relieving tension, improving circulation and promoting natural healing of the corresponding body part. Conversely, a reflexologist may also interpret foot problems or changes, such as tenderness, swelling, corns or calluses, as an indication that there is a health problem with the corresponding body part or organ.
How Is Foot Reflexology Performed?
Foot reflexology is best performed on bare feet, with the person lying on a bed or the floor to enhance relaxation. If you wish to perform reflexology on yourself, sit on a bed or a mat with your legs crossed. Using a foot reflexology chart as your guide, use a firm but gentle pressure through the pad of your thumb on each reflexology point. The pressure should be firm but gentle and can be held for anywhere from a few seconds up to a few minutes. You may wish to work your way through all the different reflexology points or you may wish to target specific correlating body parts or organs.
Does Foot Reflexology Work?
A foot massage using the foot reflexology pressure points can certainly be useful to enhance relaxation, improve circulation and promote healing in the feet. While it is widely accepted as one of the most commonly used alternative therapies within Westernised communities, there remains a significant lack of scientific evidence to support the efficacy of reflexology for the treatment of specific disorders of the human body. If you do decide to try foot reflexology with the goal of alleviating a particular complaint, be careful not to delay other medical intervention that may be necessary for the treatment of your problem. Due to the potential limitations of foot reflexology to assist with specific health disorders (such as heart problems, lung problems, headaches and oedema) it is recommended that you also consult your local medical practitioner promptly.