Foot Reflexology: Pressure Points And Benefits Of Zone Therapy

Discover the benefits of foot reflexology and learn about foot pressure points.
Foot reflexology is an alternative medicine involving the application of pressure to the feet.

 

Our feet are one of the most critical parts of our body, and it is also where the reflex points of our organs are located. Foot reflexology is a zone therapy that involves applying pressure on the feet to relieve pain and generate benefits in other parts of the body.

There are many benefits attributed to foot reflexology and most people who undergo reflexology foot massages feel very relaxed and notice improvements in their health status.

Throughout this article, we will discover what foot reflexology is, the difference from a classic foot massage, learn about foot pressure points and their corresponding areas of the body, as well as discover some of the benefits of foot reflexology. 

What is foot reflexology?

Foot reflexology is a form of body therapy whose premise is the existence of specific points or areas reflected in the feet and hands that are energetically connected to certain organs and parts of the body. The way this connection is made is determined through energy channels (hand reflexology works based on the same principle).

Reflexotherapy involves applying pressure to the reflex areas, in order to eliminate energy blockages and promote health in the related body area. The goal of reflexology is to release stress and congestion from the nervous system and balance a person's energy. A reflexology session may be general or may focus on specific problem areas. Reflexology is not a medical treatment nor does it treat particular diseases.

Each body responds differently to this therapy, and we may not notice any improvement after the first session. In a massage session, the professional can massage our hands, feet, ears or a combination of the three. Most sessions last between 30 and 60 minutes.

In foot reflexology, all areas of the foot are treated. According to the theory of zone therapy, working with the entire foot opens nerve pathways and blockages and promotes relaxation throughout the body.

Foot reflexology vs. foot massage

Although during a foot massage we can have similar sensations as in a foot reflexology treatment, reflexology will work on specific areas to promote a healing response in the corresponding organs. 

When we perform a foot massage, however, we manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues to improve circulation, relieve pain and heal lesions in the area or to induce general relaxation.

Foot reflexology pressure points

Almost all the areas of the body have a corresponding reflexology point located on the foot. Applying pressure on an area of the foot can affect the functioning of the corresponding organ. The right foot corresponds to the organs on the right side of the body and the left foot to the organs on the left side of the body. Not all professionals agree on the exact location of the reflex points, but there is consensus when it comes to the primary foot pressure points.

Foot reflexology chart

 

Foot reflexology is not based on scientific evidence, so more research is needed to demonstrate its exact health benefits, but scientific documentation points to the existence of links between internal organs and certain pressure points on the skin.

Below you can find a list of pressure points in foot reflexology, with the reflex areas and their corresponding parts of the body:

  • The tips of the fingers reflect the head

  • The heart and chest are in the lower part of the forefoot

  • The liver, pancreas, and kidney are located on the bridge of the foot

  • The lower back and intestines are reflected in the heel

According to reflexologists, the pressure on the reflex points also helps to balance the nervous system and stimulate the release of endorphins that help reduce pain and stress.

Main areas in foot reflexology 

As mentioned earlier, there are primary areas of reflexology in the soles of each foot. It is essential to know them to perform the massage correctly. 

1. Head and neck 

The area of the head and neck covers the five toes. In this area, we will find the points corresponding to the sinuses, eyes, and ears.

2. Spine

The spine, which extends into the inside of each foot, is located where the toes connect with the rest of our foot. This is the most critical zone in foot reflexology. We can consider it as a way of communication between our brain and our nerves, bones, and muscles.

3. Chest

The chest area is located in the lower part of the forefoot, before the bridge. This area is usually a darker color than the middle of the foot. It is associated with the lungs and shoulders.

4. Waist

The waistline is located in the most extensive section of the foot. This area is related to the stomach, liver, intestines, and will generally have a lighter color.

5. Pelvis

The pelvic area is located in the heel of our feet. It is typically of a darker color. This area of the foot corresponds to the legs and buttocks.

Benefits of foot reflexology

Reflexologists believe that good health starts at our feet and goes up through the body. The benefits of foot massages are endless, and although the actual benefits of reflexology have not yet been scientifically proven, both professionals and patients are firm believers that reflexology can generate various benefits for our health.

For example, they claim that a foot massage can help cure colds and minor ailments and even prevent sports injuries. You can also successfully treat skin allergies via foot reflexology therapy.

The practice of reflexology divides the body into reflex zones, which covers the entire body.
 

According to the theory, by having foot reflexology, we can:

  • increase our energy levels and relieve stress, pain, and anxiety
  • mitigate the impact of migraines and headaches
  • chemotherapy and postoperative pain is ten times less than what it would typically be
  • improves our blood and lymphatic circulation
  • stimulates the activity of the internal organs
  • helps treat digestive disorders and liver dysfunction, as well as hormonal imbalances

This type of zone therapy helps pregnant women relieve pressure in their legs and feet and alleviates premenstrual syndrome symptoms.  

However, the benefits of foot reflexology are not purely physical. A good foot massage can also improve our mental and emotional state. Patients who attend a reflexology session also seek relaxation and stress relief.

What to expect from a reflexology session 

A foot reflexology session lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. First, you must provide your medical history and detail your state of health and lifestyle. The reflexologist will use this information to personalize your reflexology massage session. 

The patient will then remove their socks and shoes and sit in a reclining chair or on a massage table. Next, the reflexologist will evaluate the feet and stimulate several pressure points to identify the areas of sensitivity or tension.

The therapist will perform rapid massage movements to warm the hands and feet. Then, they will apply pressure on the finger or big toe using reflexology techniques. The reflexologist can use instruments such as balls, brushes, and pegs.

Check out the original article: Reflexología podal: puntos y beneficios de la reflexoterapia at viviendolasalud.com

References:

Willis, P. A. U. L. I. N. E. (2005). Manual de reflexología. Barcelona: Timun Mas.

Gómez, Á. V. (2000). Una revisión sobre la efectividad de la reflexología. Medicina Naturista, (1), 9-16.

Stormer, C. (2005). Reflexología podal. Editorial Paidotribo.

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