What is Reflexology?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Reflexology is a type of therapy that involves the massaging of the feet to treat and heal an individual's entire body. It is said to be a gentle type of therapy, used to restore the body's natural balance as well as to help maintain its equilibrium. Sometimes, reflexology involves the hands and ears as well as the feet. In most cases, however, only the feet are involved.

Reflexology may be used to treat migraines.
Reflexology may be used to treat migraines.

Historically, the use of reflexology dates back to ancient China, Egypt, and Greece. However, it wasn't introduced to Western civilizations until the twentieth century, when a doctor named William Fitzgerald first introduced it to the West. He referred to this type of treatment as zone therapy.

Reflexology uses foot massage as a holistic method of healing.
Reflexology uses foot massage as a holistic method of healing.

Today, reflexology is used as a therapeutic treatment for a full range of conditions, including back pain, sports injuries, migraines, and arthritis. This type of therapy is even said to be effective in treating infertility, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, and sleep disorders. Furthermore, many believe it to be particularly helpful in the treatment of a full range of stress-related conditions. However, it is not a cure for medical conditions or diseases.

Perhaps one of the most important uses of reflexology is for stress relief. In today's world, individuals are faced with ever-increasing levels of physical, mental, and emotional stress. Reflexology therapy can act as an effective tool in relaxing the body and the mind, relieving stress, and helping to restore a general feeling of well-being.

People of all ages may benefit from reflexology treatment. While some individuals may choose to enjoy the therapy on an occasional basis, many choose to receive such treatments regularly. Many individuals who seek regular treatments believe doing so helps them to maintain their health and well-being.

Reflexology is not just recognized by those interested in alternative treatments and therapies. Many medical doctors and other health care professionals also recognize it as an effective therapeutic treatment. Some recommend it to their patients as a supplement to medical care.

Reflexology is performed by a practitioner who is trained and educated in the use of zone therapy. It is said that a trained professional reflexologist may be able to detect subtle changes in the zones of the feet. By applying pressure to a specific zone, a reflexologist may be able to affect the organ or body system that is believed to correspond with that particular zone.

A reflexology treatment typically lasts for about an hour. During this time, a reflexologist uses his or her hands, especially the thumbs, to apply pressure to the feet. The amount and location of the pressure, as well as the effect of the treatment, is said to depend on the unique needs of each individual.

Reflexology can be performed on people's hands.
Reflexology can be performed on people's hands.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


Reflexology works on reflex areas in the feet that correspond to organs, glands and all parts of the body. It relieves stress and tension on a systemic cellular level, and so helps the body to heal naturally. Reflexology helps with many metabolic and other kinds of health issues for eg. PMS, Anxiety, and hormonal imbalances.


i agree with the article in spirit and word. reflexology indeed is relaxing and curative.

regards, dipankar bhagawati, india


Reflexology promotes deep state of relaxation, even deeper than massage. That is the primary reason why it helps the body to heal itself.

It is a nurturing and a non intrusive healing art. At the same time, gentle and firm pressure applied, helps create a relaxed and centered state.

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