Foot reflexology is not foot massage. The distinct difference is that foot massage is ultimately to benefit the feet and reflexology is not. Massage therapy is applied to the whole body for the purposes of local muscular relaxation, to improve circulation and to reduce muscle tension. Reflexology is applied to the reflex points in the feet, hands or ears using specific hand and finger techniques in order to affect the corresponding body part or organ.
Although reflexology is proven to be beneficial for a multitude of problems, your reflexologist cannot diagnose or claim to cure any diseases. They are not medically trained. Reflexology is meant to bring your body to a state of well-being. Only in this state is your body able to heal itself. If your body is full of toxins, your immune system is severely compromised, making you much more likely to succumb to sickness.
So what can you expect at a reflexology treatment? The reaction to a reflexology session varies greatly from person to person. Your therapy session will begin with a questionnaire or one on one question and answer session. This is, of course to get your personal history and determine where your therapy should be most concentrated. For example, if you are going in suffering from frequent migraines and neck pain, your reflexologist will concentrate on the areas of the feet and sometimes the hands, in areas that deal with the head and neck. Of course, you will be treated in all areas of the feet. In order to bring your body to a state of well-being, you must detoxify your organs and this is exactly what happens during reflexology therapy.
After the initial interview, your ears, feet and hands will probably be thoroughly looked over for discolorations and tender spots. According to the theories reflexology stems from, these things can be warning signs that correlating body parts are not functioning, as they should.
Reflexology should not be painful (overall). The reflexologist does apply firm pressure deep enough to reach the reflexes, however the feeling mimics a deep tissue massage. If sensitivity is felt, it is an indicator of where tension is in the body, and that is a good thing. Without locating these areas, you cannot take care of the problem. The areas that show the most sensitivity usually form a pattern that corresponds to the medical condition reported before the therapy.
The reflexologist should work within your comfort level and if not, find another one. Reactions, which may occur between sessions, are usually mild and last only a day or two. In actuality, this is a good thing, as it indicates the body is returning to a state of balance and is eliminating the toxins the therapy released. Overall, clients usually feel energized and naturally more positive after a reflexology session.
Success with reflexology depends on the level of commitment you are willing to contribute. The more often you go for therapy, the more energized you will feel and longer lasting results you will have.