Reflexology: Part Of Massage Therapy At WIN


By WIN Contributor: Coleen Martuccio, RMT, R.Kin.

Reflexology is a natural healing art that is based on the idea that all of our body parts, nerves, organs, glands, and tissues, end in reflex zones in our feet, hands and ears.  By manipulating or applying pressure to these reflexes in the hands and feet, reflexology can bring your body back into a state of balance, healing, and relaxation.

Reflexology is not a massage therapy treatment.  Massage therapy differs because it is the manipulation of soft tissue of the full body, not just the hands and feet. The main goal of massage therapy is to relieve pain and assist in maintaining or restoring physical function. 


How Reflexology Works

There are 10 zones in the feet or hands that basically act as a road map to the body.  By pressing on reflex points within these zones, it stimulates the bodies nervous system and natural meridians to help break up any blockages to the corresponding body part.  This in turn helps to normalize the body. 


Benefits Of Reflexology

A massage therapist can use the benefits of reflexology to assist in bringing the patients’ body back to a state of normalcy and relaxation.  A treatment can help to reduce tension and stress, improve circulation and provide general preventative health care.  A therapist, however, is not able to diagnose, prescribe, or treat for any one specific ailment by using reflexology.


What To Expect

Anyone can receive a reflexology treatment.  Care and decreased pressure should be used for the ill patient, children, elderly, pre-and post surgery, pregnancy, diabetics, or heart and cancer patients.  Even though reflexes of the body end in the feet, hands and ears, it is most common practice to do reflexology on the feet.  Even for a ticklish person a treatment is not usually a problem because of the pressure being used and the state of relaxation that the person can attain.  A treatment, however, should never be painful. If tender points are felt along the feet, pressure should always be used within a comfortable tolerance. 


Possible Responses During Treatment

During a treatment it is most common to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.  However, a person may experience other positive, or not so positive side effects.  These could include decreased pain, improved digestion or urination, light-headedness, sweating, nausea or headaches.  While most of these symptoms are rare, they can be a very normal part of a treatment.


Integrating Reflexology & Massage

Even though reflexology is its own separate practice, it can often be applied during a massage therapy treatment. A massage therapist who is certified in reflexology, or has taken some form of reflexology training, can apply it as a complimentary modality to any treatment.


I was a certified reflexologist for over twelve years.  Now, as a practicing registered massage therapist at WIN Health Solutions, I am able to add reflexology as a compliment to any of my massage treatments. Not only are the benefits significant, but it feels great too!  So, the next time you want a foot massage as part of your treatment, consider adding a bit of reflexology and allow it to help bring your body back into a state of balance and relaxation.