Reflexology is a non-invasive treatment option for medical
conditions such as anxiety and pain relief. Learn about this complementary
therapy, how it works, and how it can help you.
What Exactly Is Reflexology?
Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is a type of
alternative medicine that involves applying pressure to specific points on the
How Does Reflexology Work?
Reflexologists, like practitioners of acupuncture,
acupressure, and other complementary therapies, believe that reflex points on
specific areas of the foot correspond with various internal organs and parts of
the body, and that applying pressure to these points has measurable health
benefits. A reflexology chart, which depicts pressure points and their associated
body parts, is used by practitioners.
Does Reflexology Work?
The effectiveness of reflexology is still being debated.
Randomized controlled trials reveal that reflexology massage is no more
beneficial than a foot massage. However, when combined with complementary
therapies, it may provide a sense of well-being and relaxation, which can have
a positive impact on emotions and overall health.
One theory about the effects of reflexology treatment is
that massage therapy calms the central nervous system and releases endorphins.
Because the nervous system connects throughout your entire body, stress
reduction through relaxation of this system via foot reflexology may alleviate
symptoms of a variety of health conditions.
6 Potential Reflexology Benefits
Reflexologists believe reflexology can help with the
following symptoms and conditions:
1. Anxiety: Studies show that reflexology reduces anxiety in
people recovering from heart surgery or cancer treatment. Reflexology also
boosts your mood and alleviates stress.
2. Digestive issues: Practitioners believe reflexology can
help with digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
3. Cancer treatment effects: A 2011 study found that women
undergoing breast cancer treatment experienced reduced symptoms (such as
shortness of breath) after reflexology sessions.
4. Immune system problems: According to anecdotal evidence,
reflexology boosts the immune system, alleviating the symptoms of colds, sinus
problems, and bacterial infections.
5. Pain: Reflexology alleviates pain, particularly back pain
and pain caused by medical conditions such as arthritis. Because relaxation and
stress relief reduce the severity of pain, pain relief is the most likely
benefit of all the claimed benefits.
6. PMS symptoms: Another small study found that reflexology
treatment helped some women reduce PMS symptoms.
Is Reflexology Safe?
In most cases, reflexology is a safe and comfortable option
as long as it is not viewed as a replacement for traditional medical care. The
most secure method combines reflexology with other treatments. If you have any
of the following conditions, you should avoid reflexology:
Circulatory issues: Avoid reflexology if you have blood
clots or circulatory problems because applying pressure to reflex areas affects
Foot or leg injuries: Avoid reflexology sessions if you have
any injuries, chronic conditions, or medical issues with your feet or legs
(such as gout, infections, or wounds).
Pregnancy: Due to the increased risk of blood clots,
pregnant women should avoid reflexology.
If you have any concerns about the safety of reflexology for
a specific medical condition, consult your doctor first.