Reflexology is a foot massage therapy where specific areas called reflex zones are rubbed, based on the principle that different parts of the foot are connected with different organs of the body. In this way, reflexologists attempt to treat pain, stress and other conditions, including digestive disorders and asthma, although they do not claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe, and say reflexology should be used to support other medical advice.
There is no evidence in the current understanding of science to support the concept of reflex zones corresponding to parts of the body. Some small-scale studies suggest some effect of reflexology in some patients, but this could be explained by the placebo effect and the relaxing experience of a foot rub by a supportive therapist.
Reflexology comes in slightly different forms but is generally a very simple procedure. The session would begin with a medical history to ensure that reflexology is suitable and a consent form is usually signed. Treatment begins with the client removing their shoes and socks, having their feet cleansed and then lying on a couch. The therapist would then apply pressure on the feet and leg areas depending on the ailment. The treatment is supposed to be very relaxing and one session usually takes an hour to complete.
Reflexology is considered to be generally safe and does not pose significant health concerns. Side effects reported include minor headache or aching after initial therapy. Ensure your reflexologist is registered with one of the bodies representing reflexologists, and is qualified to treat your condition.