What is Reflexology Massage Therapy?

Published: Dec 31, 2020 | Updated: Apr 26, 2022

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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology Massage Therapy — also called Reflex Zone Therapy or Zone Therapy — works with certain pressure points (Acupressure Points or Acupoints) or areas on or in our body, such as points on our ears, feet, and hands. It’s thought that manipulating those areas or locations with pressure stimulates the healthy functioning of connected, related, or corresponding organs or other parts and systems of our body and mind.

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The core idea behind Reflexology is that Life Energy flows in our body through Energy Pathways or Energy Channels, and that certain specific Reflex Points (Acupoints or Contact Points) can be found on or along these Energy Channels. By means of giving pressure on these Acupressure Points or Reflex Points, blockages in our Life Energy flow can be removed, which typically results in alleviating or curing a whole range of health complaints.

These therapeutic Acupressure Points can be found all across the body, scattered here and there, or in specific areas, not only on the feet or hands, but also in the abdominal area, on the back, in the groin, on the head and in the face, and so on. Yet, the best known reflexology treatment is undoubtedly that of Foot Reflexology, which is often applied in combination with a Foot Massage.

Other well-known Reflexology therapies and massages are for example: Hand Reflexology, Facial Reflexology, Finger Reflexology, and Ear Reflexology. In addition, a distinction is also made according to function and you will also find terms such as Pregnancy Reflexology, Fertility Reflexology, and so on.

A Reflexology treatment is performed by applying acupressure techniques, mainly by the use of the fingers and thumbs, but sometimes also by using certain tools, such as small wooden sticks or gemstones, to exert pressure on well-defined Reflex Points.

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Reflexology massages have been (and are still) in use for centuries, if not millennia, in a range of ancient societies, such as in China, Japan, Greece, India and Egypt. Nevertheless, when it comes to “reflexology maps” or “zone maps” describing pressure points on the feet, hands, ears, abdomen, and so on, you will find a variety of maps, charts, and theories that often seem to contradict each other.

For example, zone maps with designated Reflexology Points can come from China, Thailand, the United States, the United Kingdom, India or Egypt, to name a few countries, and each map can assign different functions to points in the same location, or the same function to different Acupressure Points.


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