Over the past 7 years as a foot reflexologist, I’ve noticed that the same questions and misconceptions within the public, keep coming up for clarification.
I would like to present these questions to you and then answer them to the best of my knowledge – in the hopes of shedding more “light” on this beautiful art.
A Little Q & A
* Isn’t foot reflexology a foot massage? – No. This is probably the biggest misconception about his modality.
Massage is a modality that works on the soft tissue of the body. Techniques include: effleurage, friction, percussion and stretching. It very often involves the use of oil, lotion or cream. Massage is a DIRECT modality. It works ON the area of concern.
Example: If a client has concerns about their neck and shoulder areas, a massage therapist will work directly on these areas.
Foot Reflexology is a modality that focuses on specific reflex points found on the feet. Techniques include: thumb and finger walking, thumb hooking/rotating, and pin-pointing. It commonly involves the use of cornstarch powder or nothing at all. Foot reflexology is an INDIRECT modality. It works AWAY from the area of concern.
Example: If a client has concerns about their lower back area, a foot reflexologist will work specific reflex points on the feet – which correlate to that area.
* Is foot reflexology diagnostic? – No. This is the second biggest misconception about this modality. Diagnostic is primarily used in medical terms, and foot reflexology is not medical. It works with the holistic principle that the body was designed to function in a natural way – which this modality profoundly supports.
Foot reflexology can however, sense any imbalance within the body – but from a energetic view. It’s sole purpose is to continually recycle the body. It does not concern itself with any disease, it only knows…..what should be.
*Is foot reflexology ticklish?– No. Many people ask this. Because the feet are held in a confident, firm manner – ticklishness is soon forgotten. I once had a client who was extremely concerned about this, and almost cancelled the appointment because they feared not being able to tolerate someone touching their feet. I told them that I would not have a problem with stopping the session if it did in fact bothered them. After about 10 minutes into the session, I began to hear snoring. When I looked up at their face….the mouth was open and the snoring didn’t stop until I was finished (1 hour later). They immediately made an appointment for the following month!
* Is foot reflexology painful?– No. Absolutely not. This modality is meant to induce deep relaxation. When the body is relaxed, it will return to it’s natural rhythmic state. There may be reflex points on the feet that feel slightly tender. This is due to congestion in the energetic pathways within the body. Once these reflexes are gently worked, congestion is dissipated and the energy resumes to a natural flow.
I would like to add here, that some practitioners do work more aggressively – this is their professional approach – and some clients prefer this. Few practitioners will also use specific tools (wooden/plastic probing devises) – that allow for a deeper penetration into the reflex points. This can be quite effective. However, my approach is very gentle. Whichever you prefer, be sure to ask the practitioner prior to scheduling your appointment, so that this will be absolutely clear to you. No way…is the right way…it’s simply a preference.
* How often should I receive foot reflexology? – This depends on your stress level. If you have been experiencing high levels of stress, it may be advisable to receive a full session once a week for the first month, then twice a month (every other week), then gradually move into once a month for good health maintenance. You must realize something very important. Stress is a slow, gradual occurrence. So therefore, it will take some time to gradually reverse it’s affects. This modality works with the body….to restore balance.
* Are there any contraindications with foot reflexology? – Yes. Contraindications are precautions that give the practitioner “guidelines” to client awareness.
Sores or infections (such as an outbreak of athletes foot), recent or previous foot fractures, current podiatric treatment, cuts or bruises, extreme edema, varicose veins, ingrown toenails.
Proper professional protocol, is to ask the client about these things, prior to scheduling an appointment. However, my advice to you, is to be aware of these things, so that you can advise the practitioner in case this is overlooked. Your awareness is first and foremost.
* Does foot reflexology really work?– Yes, absolutely! It works to restore, rebalance, recycle and rejuvenate……naturally!
So there you have it folks…..a brief Q & A. My sincere wish, is that I was able to shed some “light” on a particular passion of mine….. The Art of Foot Reflexology.
Now go ahead….. and bare your soles……you won’t regret it!