This is probably the biggest misconception about Reflexology.I can’t tell you how many times, even after giving a written explanation of Reflexology in my business brochure and then once again explaining to a potential client on the phone, the modality of Reflexology- I still hear, “Oh……I thought it was going to be more like a foot massage.”
So let me clarify the differences:
Massage is defined as a systematic manipulation of the soft tissue of the body. Techniques include: sliding, percussion, kneading, friction, stretching and vibrating. It may also involved the use of oils or creams. Massage is a direct modality. It works on the area of concern.
Example: If a client is experiencing lower back concerns- a massage therapist will work directly on the lower back area.
Foot Reflexology is defined as a system of applying pressure to specific reflex points on the feet. Techniques include: finger and thumb walking, thumb hooking and rotating, and pinpointing. It is received with either cornstarch powder or nothing at all. Foot Reflexology is an indirect modality. It works away from the area of concern.
Example: If a client is experiencing lower back concerns-a reflexologist will use pressure applied to a reflex point on the foot- indirectly associated with the lower back area.
Both of these modalities have wonderful results in their applications, yet they are completely different techniques.
One of the unique benefits to Reflexology- is that if an area of a clients body is extremely tender, and direct touch is not advisable- an indirect approach can be very helpful.
I’ve also known several massage therapists who in some client cases have used both modalities achieving amazing results.
They stand alone…..or in harmony.
I hope this information has given you a clearer understanding.