What is Reflexology?

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Classical Definitions & Benefits of Reflexology

ARCB definition of Reflexology: A non-invasive, complementary practice involving thumb and finger techniques to apply alternating pressure to reflexes shown on the reflex maps of the body located on the feet, hands, and outer ears.

RAA definition of Reflexology: Reflexology is a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb and finger-walking, hook and backup and rotating-on-a-point, applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet and hands. These techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function optimally.

Reflexology is an easy-to-learn, powerful modality. The effectiveness of reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complementary practice within the field of holistic health.

How can Classical Reflexology benefit you? It…

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves circulation
  • Cleanses and detoxifies your body
  • Revitalizes energy flow
  • Improves the flow of nerve impulses throughout your nervous system
  • Aids your body’s self-regulation toward homeostasis
  • Provides powerful, preventive health care

How Are Reflexology and Massage Different?

Massage works through the musculature, using methods of stroking to restore metabolic balance within the soft tissue.

Reflexology works predominantly through the nervous system and the body's subtle energy pathways to improve the function of every body system.

Reflexology is non-invasive. Your body is clothed, only the feet, hands, face and ears are exposed, so clients feel safe and secure.

Clients remain on their back throughout Reflexology session, maintaining the flow of the session, so they can deeply relax and often fall asleep!

Reflexology is time-efficient because no undressing/dressing and showering required.

A Brief History of Reflexology

Many ancient cultures practiced Reflexology, including those in Egypt, India, China, Japan, Greece, and Native Americans in North and South America.

1917: Dr. William Fitzgerald published Zone Therapy - Relieving Pain at Home.

He used zone therapy to help a well-known opera singer who had lost her voice! And he identified 10 energy zones running throughout the body as pathways for healing.


1930’s: Eunice Ingham discovered feet were the most responsive areas for working zones and mapped the body onto the feet. She discovered that alternating pressure on various points on the feet had therapeutic effects far beyond the previously limited use of zone therapy for pain reduction.



1970’s–present: Laura Norman educates the public about the benefits of Reflexology and popularizes it through mass media. She appears on national TV, radio shows, magazines, newspapers, speaking engagements, Internet, including Youtube and podcasts. She becomes a founding member of the Reflexology Association of America, creates her own holistic Method of Reflexology, trains thousands of Reflexologists in her Method, and publishes the best-selling book Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, in print in several languages, and in the hands of over half a million people worldwide.

Laura Norman Heatshot

How Does Reflexology Work?

Energy - Reflexology supports energy flow within body and between organs via electromagnetic/vibrating exchanges between body and spirit.

Lactic Acid - Reflexology breaks up accumulation of micro-crystals deposited in feet, releasing resistance, and allowing energy to flow more freely.

Proprioceptive Receptors - Reflexology facilitates direct and other, still unclear, connections between areas on the feet, hands, face and ears and the rest of the body.

Relaxation Response - Stimulating the thousands of nerves in the feet, hands, face and ears soothes the nervous system.

Electrical Impulses - stimulated by pressure applied to reflexes.

Autonomic Impulses - Reflexology reaches subcutaneous receptors through compression therapy on the skin in the feet, hands, face and ears.