Reflexology: It's Origin, History, Theory & Hypothesis, Anatomy & Physiology 12 hr

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Reflexology, also called zone therapy, is based on the principle that each body part is represented on the hands and feet and that pressing on specific areas on the hands or feet can have therapeutic effects in other parts of the body:

  • The body is divided into 10 longitudinal zones—five on each side of the body.
  • Each organ or part of the body is represented on the hands and feet;
  • The practitioner can diagnose abnormalities by feeling the hands or feet
  • Massaging or pressing each area can stimulate the flow of energy, blood, nutrients, and nerve impulses to the corresponding body zone and thereby relieve ailments in that zone.

Reflexology (0) may be defined as a practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands using thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oils, creams, or lotions. Based on a system of zones, that reflects an image of the body on the feet and hands which in turn effects the physical changes made in the body.




Using reflexology to restore the equilibrium balance by means of the foot or hand is a rather strange but totally accurate. Many people have tried reflexology to address specific medical problems with overwhelmingly successful results.


The pressure sensors in the feet and hands are all connected to various parts of the body’s systems. It functions like a network of intricate connections flowing from one to the other. By using reflexology the experienced practitioner is able to pinpoint the cause of the problem and manipulate it through a succession of pressure points on the feet or palms of the hands. All these sensors work and respond to the sometimes light but mostly painful pressures on the feet and hands.


Other deviations but equally suitable forms of reflexology are walking on a pebble path, using foot massages that simulate reflexology movements, and using rollers. Surprisingly other simple tools like a golf ball can also be used as reflexology item though they are not as good as the original natural way of the thumb and finger. Reflexology sessions ideally last for bout 30 – 45 minutes, as any longer might cause undue stress to the already pain heightened situation. The reflexologist uses pressure, stretches and movements to work thought the foot methodically. After which an assessment on the body condition may be given.

Click on Link to Review: Reflexology Interactive FOOT Maps

Click on Link to Review: Reflexology Interactive HAND Maps

Ideally the chart on the subject on reflexology reflects the various pressure points and their corresponding parts of the different organs, glands, structures, and systems of the anatomy. These charts can also be looked upon as maps of the intricate workings of the human body.


The Areas


Though popularly accepted as a foot and hand, palm focused style of treatment; there are also instances of having the reflexology points in the ear area. Simply put, reflexology sessions strive to open up the stubble energy channels thus directing reflexology pressure points to stimulation mode. There is a spot on each of your hands which for thousands of years has been rubbed by and for human beings, bringing notable relief to headaches. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is said to correspond to the adrenal glands, clearing blockages from this glands' energy circuit, bringing life force to these often overworked treasures.

History of Foot Reflexology

The foot reflexology's history dates back to the reign of Emperor Wendi but its most flourishing period was in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). Later, the foot reflexology massage was spread into Japan. Yet, there were some specialists in China who did not pass their knowledge to others or did not make any written records. This resulted in the degeneration of this art of healing. Fortunately, the foot reflexology massage was brought to the Western countries when more and more Westerners started to get in touch with the Chinese around the late Manchu Dynasty (1643-1912 A.D.).

Then in 1913, Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American doctor, wrote an article about foot reflexology massage. He developed a systematized chart of longitudinal zones in the body. The 10 zones, ending in the fingers and toes, illustrated reflex areas with their corresponding connections, as well as physical conditions influenced by the connection. Fitzgerald discovered that pressure on one part of a zone could affect other parts of the body within that zone. That's how this ancient modality was restored in the Western countries. And it was V. M. Bechterev, a Russian physiologist who coined the term "reflexology".

Afterwards, Fitzgerald's zone theory was further studied by Dr. Shelly Riley who added horizontal zones across the hands and feet to determine individual reflexes. After that, Eunice Ingham, a physical therapist and associate of Riley, refined the zone therapy into therapeutic foot reflexology through full scale researches with hundreds of clients. She made an anatomical model in which the organs of the body were mapped out on the feet. Her findings, published in 1938, resulted in more precise identification of reflex points and gave us the framework of foot reflexology as it is known today.

According to Chinese medicine, the sensory nerves of the internal organs that spread throughout the body are mainly gathered around the soles of the feet.

Foot Reflexology

Reflexology specialists work towards helping patients feel better by performing a specialized kind of massage to areas of the feet and hands. The art has actually been revealed to be practical in getting rid of numerous symptoms that happen in various other spots throughout the body, and reflexology is beginning to be more and more preferred of a choice for those finding a sort of alternative or complementary therapy. The basis of reflexology is that there are hundreds of nerve endings found in the feet that link to organs found throughout the body. By maneuvering these nerve endings, practitioners hope to acquire a significant enhancement in symptoms for several different sorts of diseases. Particular parts of the foot are called having various effects on the wellness, and reflexology charts have been developed that assistance to clarify exactly how specific locations of the foot represent various other organs. In that regard, in order to be a totally qualified reflexologist, you need to know all that you could about the anatomy of the foot. In this article, we'll work towards offering you a fundamental understanding of exactly how the foot works in order to increase your knowledge.

Foot Reflexology Theory says: there are 104 points on the bottom of your feet – these reflexology points represent specific parts of your body.The foot has lots of different bones. The toes include bones that are called phalanges, and there are proximital phalanges at the base of the toes, middle phalanages in the middle, and diatal phalanges at the end. Attached to the phalanges are the metatarsal bones, which are quite long and make up a good part of the bone structure discovered in the foot. The metatarsals connect to a series of bones at the base of the foot: the cuneiform bones and the cuboid bone. Behind these bones are the calcaneous bone, the talus bone, and the navicular bone, making up the complete bone framework of the foot.

The nerve endings of the feet are the part of the body which reacts the most to reflexology therapy. There are about fifteen thousand nerve endings in the feet, and numerous reflexologists describe the feet as a ‘hologram of the body’ since so many nerve endings are connected to them. Maneuvering the nerve endings could increase blood flow to the area and assistance to separate any waste particles that could be found in the tissues, helping to flush them from the body.

All in all, there are twenty eight bones in the feet. Nineteen muscles help the foot to relocate effectively, and there are a complete one hundred and seven ligaments located in them. There are over a hundred thousand gland in the feet, thirty different joints, and thirty one tendons. Plainly, the feet are rather the compact system! They compose the biggest mass of energy in the whole body, so it is simple to see why reflexology can be a helpful practice when it pertains to helping somebody to remain in excellent spirits and wellness. If you are interested in which parts of the body represent which areas in the foot, it would be in your best interests to purchase a reflexology chart which will provide you a fantastic standard idea of where the unique reflexology points are.

Hand Reflexology

The hand has always been a focal point in the advancement of civilizations. We can state without a reasonable doubt, that without this anatomical member of the human body and its intricate functions, we would not be who we are today.

The function of the human hand with its opposable thumb is in essence, one of the most versatile and delicate tools in nature. It can perform a great number of tasks and functions with amazing ease. Just like the feet, the hands reflected all the body’s anatomical configuration. It should not be a surprise, that earlier human inhabitants on this planet has placed so much emphasize on the hand, the same way that we do! Like foot reflexology, a form of hand reflexology has been around for millenniums.

Variations from Foot Reflexology

Hand reflexology takes into account the following:

1. The hands are exposed all the time so they are less sensitive then the feet.

2. Anatomically they are different.

3. The reflexes on the hands are closer and more compressed than on the feet.

Each part of the body has a corresponding reflex, mapped out on the hand and fingers. The reflexology maps of the hands describe all of the anatomical location of all the glands, organs and other parts of the body.

Hand Reflexology Zones

Like the foot, each hand is represented and divided into 5 longitudinal zones. The hands are interconnected through the concept of zone therapy to all the parts of the body. Like the foot, the left hand represents the left side of the body and the right hand represents the right side of the body.

The hand is very similar to the foot and the spine since it has a similar number of bones. The foot has 26 bones, the spine has 26 bones, and the hand has 27 bones. It is quite interesting, that this anatomical part of the body has one more bone than the foot and the spine, when the foot and spine must bear the full weight of the body.

The hand is similar to the foot but is more delicate with long mobile fingers. It has 4 fingers and one thumb and the thumb is made up of two bones called flanges and each finger also has 3 phalanges. For someone to really learn hand reflexology one must study and comprehend the anatomy of the hand.

Anatomy of the Hand

Bones of the Hand

ULNA AND RADIUS - are the 2 bones of the forearm which articulate with the carpal bones at the wrist joint and with each other at the superior and inferior radio-ulnar joints.

CARPALS - (or wrist bones) - consist of 8 bones - Proximal row: scaphoid, lunate, triquetral, pisiform. Distal row: trapezium, trapizoid, capitate, hapitate. The bones of the proximal row are associated with the wrist joint and those of the distal row form joints with the metacarpal bones. These bones are closely fitted together and held in position by ligaments which allow a certain amount of movement between them.

METACARPALS - (bones of the hand) - consists of 5 bones that form the hand. They are numbered from the thumb side inwards. The proximal ends articulate with the carpal bones and the distal ends with the phalanges.

PHALANGES - (finger bones) - consist of 14 bones, 3 in each finger and 2 in the thumb. They articulate with the metacarpal bones and with each other.

Muscles of the Hand

SMALL MUSCLES - (Intrinsic muscles) - of the hand are used for fine co-ordination.

LARGE MUSCLES - (Extrinsic muscles) of the forearm give us flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and rotation.

THE THUMB - has its own flexor, extensor, abductor and adductor muscles.

Tendons of the Hand

EXTENSOR TENDONS - enable us to straighten the fingers.

FLEXOR TENDONS - enable us to bend the fingers.

Important Structures of the Hand

CARPAL TUNNEL - is a narrow, rigid passage formed by the carpal bones of the wrist and is a tough, inelastic transverse carpal ligament (Flexor Retinaculum).

Nine (9) flexor tendons and the median nerve pass through the carpal tunnel.
The median nerve branches into one motor nerve, which goes to the thumb muscles, and a sensory branch, which provides half of the hand sensation.

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME - The symptoms are: paresthesia (tingling), night pain, daytime pain and thumb muscle weakness.

It is caused by compression of the median nerve against the transverse ligament which can be caused by swelling of the synovial flexor tendon sheaths.

The Seven Hand Reflex Sections

For locating the reflexes on the hands in addition to the zones, the hand can be divided into seven reflex sections as follows:

1. The head and neck area. (located in the thumbs and fingers)

2. The thoracic and open area of the abdomen. (located at the waistline of the hand usually found at the base of the metacarpal)

3. The lower areas of the abdomen and pelvis. (located over the carpel bones)

4. The reproductive organs including uterus, prostate, ovaries and testes reflexes. (located in parts of the wrist)

5. Spinal column. (located on the outside edge of the thumb extending down where it meets the wrist)

6. The arm reflexes. (located on the little finger of each hand)

7. The breasts, lungs and lymphatics. (located on the back of the hand and top of the wrist)

Ear (fetals-head down body mapped) Reflexology

The ear respresents the human body in the fetus position. The head starts at the ear lobe and the rest follows along the spine, or the outer edge of the ear with the organs located within. It is hypothesized as a highly effective system for analyzing areas of problems, and treating the entire body from the external ear. It originated in China, but has been redeveloped in Europe (primarily France and Germany) over the past 40 years. Prior to that, Egyptians used earrings to treat vision and fertility problems. Through Mediterranean trading routes, the Romans learned this technique and used it, for example, cauterizing specific points on ears for treatment of sciatica.

The ear also has various pressure points which are connected to the autonomic functions of the heart and stomach. When addressed these pressure points seem to successfully invoke stronger autonomic responses in the cardiac and gastric systems when compared to the foot or palms. The ear lobes seem to contain master sensory points which affect the eyes, pineal and pituitary glands. Ear Reflexology can be traced back to Chinese medical work undertaken 4000 years ago. The Chinese use it as a diagnostic and healing treatment that by stimulating points on the ear that are believed to correspond to different parts of the body. Pioneering work by the Chinese over the last 40 years has lead to the World Health Organisation authorising the standardisation of the points on the ear (1990). They defined 91 auricular points.

According to the principles of ear reflexology, each area of the ear corresponds to a different anatomical portion of the body. A large number of sites have been identified on the ear which become spontaneously tender or otherwise react to the presence of disease or injury elsewhere in the body. These sites are reportedly consistent from one individual to the next. These ear points have positive effects on those parts of the body to which they are associated.

As a comprehensive system of diagnosis and treatment, ear reflexology is of recent origin. A French physician by the name of Nogier, writing in a German acupuncture periodical in 1957, first drew serious attention to the correspondences between specific sites on the ear and other parts of the body. After years of careful observation relating points of tenderness, morphological and coloration changes on the ear to disease elsewhere in the body, more than 200 sites were charted on the auricle (ear) by Chinese medical workers. It has been hypothesized that ear reflexology is not only effective in the treatment of a wide range of common diseases, it can also be used with good results in the treatment of difficult emotional states.

Besides assessing the treatment effects resulting from , both French and Chinese physicians have reported that it is possible to diagnose a variety of pathological conditions by examining the ear. When there is a pain problem involving a given area of the body, the corresponding ear point is said to be "reactive", manifesting greatly increased tenderness and electrical conductivity as compared to the surrounding areas of the ear. Several investigators have provided clinical evidence supporting the therapeutic efficiency of ear reflexology for the relief of pain and the healing of disease.

With ear reflexology, clients are able to find out what is wrong with their body, way before signs show up on a typical physical or blood test. Whereas a physical exam or blood test is unable to treat abnormal readings, ear reflexology is hypothesized to be able to treat even slight abnormalities. That's the sheer beauty of natural health care says one researcher- actually treating abnormalities before they progressively worsen.

In 1957, Paul Nogier, M.D., a French neurologist noticed several of his patients had scars on the same spot on their ears (Nogier, 1972). They each related their scars to a prior treatment for sciatic pain by a local complimentary medicine practitioner. Nogier confirmed that treatment of specific points on the external ear alleviated specific problems in other parts of the body. He proposed and proved a somatotopic relationship exists between different anatomical areas of the body and specific points on the ear. He then began mapping auricular points based on an embryological model, and found somatic correlation's with mesoderm, ectoderm and endodermal auricular structures.

In the U.S., Oleson, Kroening and Bresler (1980) completed a conclusive study to determine the validity of auricular points. They achieved a 75.2% correlation between auricular diagnostic measurements and problem areas.

Researchers indicate the key is to treat at the exact point on the front and directly behind it on the back of the ear associated with the regional area of pathology. These areas they indicate are called corresponding points. They will be sensitive to pressure, sometimes long after the pathology is considered healed. The points Shen-men (literally, "heaven's gate"), Adrenal, and Subcortex (thalamus) should also be treated on the front of the ear for neuromusculoskeletal pain disorders.

What is Ear Reflexology?

Ear Reflexology is integrates Western and Chinese theories of health as balance and equilibrium.

The use of the ear is based on the rich and the multiple connections which it has on the central nervous system. The shape of the body is projected into the ear and every point of the body corresponds to a point of the ear. In a healthy person the link is not apparent but when there is an imbalance of the physiological equilibrium it's point of projection in the ear becomes painful.

What are the benefits of Reflexology?

Activates the meridian which regulated energy flow
Stimulates the internal organs
Improves the circulation in general
Aids in the flow of the lymphatic system
Induces deep relaxation
Stimulates the brain
Improves the immune system as prevention measure

Reflexology is a compression technique applied to specific reflexes on hand and feet. Pressure in one zone will effect the part of the body to which it relates. Tenderness to certain reflexes is an indication of congestion in the system. As the congestion breaks up, wastes are carried to the proper organs of elimination. Circulation improves as tension is reduced and the body normalizes its rhythmus.

The Ear

The basic concept of Ear Reflexology is that the nerves in the skin overlay specific areas of the external ear which correspond to specific parts of the brain, which has a reflex connection to the body. These reflexes are activated when problems in part of the body induce reflex reactions in the external ear, manifested as changes in tenderness and altered blood circulation. These reflexes are activated when points on an ear are stimulated to relieve pathology in another area of the body.

Stimulation of ear reflex points leads to an enhancement of diminished tender activity of the affected region. By correcting pathological reflex centers in the brain, stimulation of auricular points can lead to balance, where any form of stress or pain is lessened.

Auricular (ear) reflexology can be used to treat health conditions in distant parts of the body. By stimulating points in the ear can not only help problems in the face and head, but can also relieve pathological disorders in the chest, abdomen, lower back and feet. According to theory, it is not that there are direct connections between the ear and the back, rather nerves from the ear connect to reflex centers in the brain, which send neurological reflex pathways to the spinal cord and then to neurons going to the spine or to the foot.

Almost all health conditions can be affected to some degree by stimulated ear points. The most common reported uses have been for control of chronic pain, detoxification from addictions, (smoking and heroin and cocaine), relief from nausea, and high blood pressure.

Human studies have shown that stimulation of ear acupuncture points appears to cause the systemic release of endorphins.


According to medical research there are 10 zones or meridians that are logistically located in the human body. For instance, when pressure is applied to the big toe the benefits are seen in the brain area. Likewise, when pressure is applied to the base of the foot, it treats the neck and throat ailments. Pressure on the ball of the foot puts the connection through to the lungs and heart. The foot arch when pressured affects the adrenals, kidneys, gastrointestinal track, and bladder. The middle of the foot when pressured affects the waistline, while the ankle bone affects sexual functions.


Being supposedly easy to detect these various pressure points and their connections for treatment is not reason enough to completely discontinue an ongoing medical treatment program. Even if reflexology is considered as an added complimenting factor, a doctor’s opinion should always be sought, especially if the illness is serious.


Ideally when treating a particular illness, ailment or disease, it should not be the practice to only address the particular area affected but besides focusing on the affected area, the other parts of the body should also be looked into (0).


Kevin and Barbara Kunz, state:

The individual's foot reflex areas reflect the individual's overall state of tension that has resulted from a lifetime of adaption to stress. Stress cues in the feet are a roadmap to the reflexologist. Wherever it is found on a foot, it is a sign that stress and its effect have begun to accumulate in the corresponding parts of the body [1]

Reflexology was introduced into the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (1872-1942), an ear, nose, and throat specialist who called it "zone therapy." As noted in the diagram to the right, he used vertical lines to divide the body into 10 zones. Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974) further developed reflexology in the 1930s and 1940s, concentrating on the feet [3] Mildred Carter, a former student of Ingham, subsequently promoted foot reflexology as a miraculous health method [4-6]. A 1993 mailing from her publisher stated:

Not only does new Body Reflexology let you cure the worst illnesses safely and permanently, it can even work to reverse the aging process, Carter says. Say goodbye to age lines, dry skin, brown spots, blemishes -- with Body Reflexology you can actually give yourself an at-home facelift with no discomfort or disfiguring surgery [7].

Reflexology specialists have indicated that foot reflexology can cleanse the body of toxins, increase circulation, assist in weight loss, and improve the health of organs throughout the body. Others have reported success in treating earaches, anemia, bedwetting, bronchitis, convulsions in an infant, hemorrhoids, hiccups, deafness, hair loss, emphysema, prostate trouble, heart disease, overactive thyroid gland, kidney stones, liver trouble, rectal prolapse, undescended testicles, intestinal paralysis, cataracts, and hydrocephalus (a condition in which an excess of fluid surrounding the brain can cause pressure that damages the brain). Some indicated they were able to "balance energy and enhance healing elsewhere in the body." [2] One practitioner has even claimed to have lengthened a leg that was an inch shorter than the other.

Reflexologists have indicated that the majority of health problems are stress-related and that they can help people by relieving the "stress" associated with various diseases or body organs [1]. Pauline Wills, author of the Reflexology and Color Therapy Workbook, teaches that colors can be applied to "areas where an abnormality has been diagnosed but which has produced no noticeable symptoms in the physical body." She states that the application can be done by imagining colors transmitted through the practitioner's hand or by firstly, if the practitioner is sensitive to color, they can visualize it being projected or by using "reflexology crystal torch." [8].

Training, "Credentials," and Legal Status

Some nurses and massage therapists are reported to offer reflexology as part of their licensed practice. Some courses are accredited for continuing education for nurses and massage therapists. The most widely publicized training source is probably the International Institute of Reflexology, of St. Petersburg, Florida, which has indicated that it has about 25,000 members worldwide [9]. Its seminar on the "Original Ingham Method of Foot Reflexology" are taught by Ingham's nephew, Dwight Byers. Its "Certified Member" status requires 200 hours of instruction plus passage of written and practical tests. The Institute's Web site states:

The Ingham Method™ of Reflexology is used primarily for relaxing tension. Doctors agree that over 75% of our health problems can be linked to nervous stress and tension. Reflexology improves nerve and blood supply, and helps nature to normalize.

The International Institute of Reflexology® wishes to make it perfectly clear that it does not purport to teach medical practice in any form; or is the Ingham Method™ of Reflexology intended to replace conventional medical treatment.

Reflexology is a unique modality in the health field. Its purpose is not to treat or diagnose for any specific medical disorder, but to promote better health and well being in the same way as an exercise or diet program. Its practice should not be compared to massage or any other kind of manipulative procedure.

A brochure for a Byers seminar at the Big Sky Somatic Institute quotes him stating:

As a Reflexologist works each reflex, it triggers a release of stress and tension in the corresponding area or body zone, as well as an overall relaxation response. The release of tension unblocks nerve impulses and improves the blood supply to all parts of the body. Because reflexology works from the inside, it also has a balancing effect on each gland, organ and body region. . . ." [10]

Prior to practicing massage therapy, reflexologists need to be licensed in their State.  In some states that license massage therapists, unlicensed reflexologists might be prosecutable for practicing massage therapy without a license [11].  Sandals, shoe inserts, foot-massage devices and a steering wheel cover based on reflexology theory are being marketed.

Research Findings

A few researchers have conducted investigations on reflexology/massage therapy:

  • The first study was supervised by William T. Jarvis, Ph.D., a professor who taught research methods to graduate students at Loma Linda University. Using questionnaires, 70 subjects were asked to state whether they had had health problems during the previous two years in any of 43 anatomical areas. These data were then compared with the findings of a reflexologist as recorded on a report form. To prevent the reflexologist from asking questions or observing subtle clues, the experimental subjects were asked to remain silent and a curtain was placed so that their feet were the only part of their body visible to the reflexologist [12].
  • In another study, 35 women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were randomly assigned to ear, hand, and foot reflexology or to placebo therapy done on sham reflex points. The women kept a daily record of 38 possible symptoms selected from previous PMS research questionnaires. The treatment group reported significantly fewer symptoms than the placebo group, and these improvement persisted for 2 months after treatment. Many women in this group fell asleep during the 30-minute sessions and reported feeling more energetic during the next day. The placebo group reported that they thought they were receiving genuine reflexology, The authors note, however, that it was very difficult to develop a credible placebo control group, which may have been the study's flaw. Normally, reflexology is soothing, but the placebo treatment was described as "either overly light or very rough." [13] Thus the differences could have been differences in the quality of the massage being administered. The study suggests that massage may relieve PMS symptoms, but it does not validate the alleged connection between reflex points and body organs
  • In another study, three experienced reflexologists examined 18 adults with one or more 6 specified conditions identified from their medical records. The data showed no significant relationship between the patient's medical diagnoses and the reflexologists' findings [14].
  • Another study compared the effects of foot reflexology, simple massage, and conversation on 130 patients who had undergone abdominal gynecologic surgery under full anesthesia. The patients were asked how they felt, and data were recorded on general condition, pain intensity, movement of the bowels, urination, and sleep, from the day before the operation until until the tenth day afterward. Simple massage turned out to be a relaxing, positive experience, whereas foot reflexology had various effects, some of which were negative. The researchers concluded that foot reflexology is not effective in acute, abdominal postsurgical situations in gynecology and can occasionally trigger abdominal pain [15].
  • Another study examined the popular claim that reflexology treatment benefits bronchial asthma. Ten weeks of active or simulated (placebo) reflexology were compared in a controlled trial of 40 outpatients with asthma. Objective lung function tests (peak flow morning and evening, and weekly spirometry at the clinic) did not change. Subjective scores (describing symptoms, beta2-inhalations and quality of life) and also bronchial sensitivity to histamine improved on both regimens, but no significant differences were found between groups receiving active or placebo reflexology. The researchers concluded that they had found no evidence that reflexology has a specific effect on asthma beyond placebo influence [16].

The Reflexology Association of Canada [17] defines reflexology as:

"A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.

Walking Reflexology

Kings County states the following about reflexology and constructed paths in their path for walking reflexology:

Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the belief that reflex points exist in the feet, hands, and ears that correspond to all parts of the body. A recent study shows that walking on specifically placed uneven, natural stones stimulates acupressure points in the feet and can improve circulation and reduce overall stress. Common in Asia, people walk reflexology paths daily to enhance health and well-being.

Health and wellness are vital to the residents of King County [18], and our parks are the perfect venues to provide reflexology paths accessible to everyone. Through a partnership with Aegis Living, we've installed at reflexology paths at Marymoor Park, Steve Cox Memorial Park, and 132nd Square Park.

Tips for Walking a Reflexology Path

  1. Walk each section of the path at your own pace, following instructions and breath slowly. Your feet may be tender at first, so start with just a few steps.
  2. For the best acupressure effect, walk barefoot, in socks or with soft-soled shoes.
  3. Use the hand-railing for balance assistance and for rocking exercises to the arch of the foot. Rest on benches between walking sessions and massage areas of soreness on your feet.
  4. After walking the reflexology path, drink water to help flush away toxins.

The Heart


When a reflexologist treats an individual this is the primary concern.  The reflexologist not only focuses on the problem but also try to ensure all the other connecting factors are addressed too. Therefore the individual facing cardiovascular problems should expect to be treated holistically as the art of reflexology demands.


As the cardiovascular system is made up of various corresponding part, which are the heart, arteries, veins, arterioles, venules and capillaries, it should be notes that the actual heart may not be the problem area. Its purpose is to carry all the nutrients and oxygen to the various parts of the body. When these are blocked for one reason or another then reflexology is a good first address. Using reflexology to reestablish the optimum flow and circulation in the system is a good non invasive way of treating the problem before it escalates to a more serious level.


Using reflexology the heart reflexes are addressed as this organ is the instrument that pumps the blood thought-out the body. Then the kidneys are the next in line to be addressed. The kidneys filter the blood constantly. The diaphragm and chest are also noted by the reflexologist because these reflexes would be worked to encourage relaxation in the chest cavity and promote deeper breathing.


Lastly the spinal area is also checked. Located on the inner edges of the feet the spine reflexes would be stimulated to promote communication through the nervous system.


Sometimes reflexology can also be used in the case of an actual heart attack, though it is not recommended if there is immediate medical response available.


Assisting Kidney Function


The kidneys in a human body have a vital part to play in maintaining the body at its optimum levels. This organ is responsible for eliminating all the waste and toxins from the body’s circulatory system. When there is a buildup of all these negative elements the problems like renal failure may occur. Therefore the cleansing method or condition the body should adopt to keep the negative buildups from occurring is by using reflexology.


About The Toxins


Reflexology is a safe and proven method of addressing this, before it becomes a major problem for the body system. Making reflexology a good part of the health care regiment for an individual will help avoid any serious medical issues. Vectorial reflexology methods use very precise reflex points developed from the anatomy to eliminate any possible kidney problems.


When starting a reflexology session the individual hand and feet should be easily accessible. The reflexology kidney zone is in the palm and feet


In using the reflexology exercise the intention is to create the ideal circumstance to assure the flow of energy is restored to its optimum levels again. These pressures should trigger the brain to discharge the negative direct current of regeneration in to the deficient are of the body. The intention is to help clear the interstitial space of congestive debris and bring the body to a more efficient cellular level.


Help With PMS


All women go through the time where a menstrual cycle is part of their lives. The lucky ones breeze through this time of the month comfortably while there are others who are not so lucky. They may experience symptoms like bloating, sleepless nights cravings mood swings and many others.


Reflexology has been known to be able to provide some form of relief to ease the discomfort brought on by the menstrual cycle or otherwise referred to as PMS.


Most people who sought this method to address the discomfort endured every month have been pleased with the results. The reflexologist will begin the session from a holistic point of view.


With this in mind, certain reflex parts will be emphasized as these areas are in direct correspondence to the body parts and organ being affected by the PMS condition.  The reflexologist will spend an extra amount of time on the kidney reflex area if the individual is complaining of bloating or of water retention symptoms.


The glands and organs responsible for regulating the hormones would be another area the reflexologist would focus on as this area generally affects the specific symptoms being experienced.  The areas that might be addressed are as listed below:

  • The brain – this area is pin pointed because of the serotonin pathways
  • Digestive system – also because of the serotonin element which can be found in the intestinal walls
  • Central nervous system – is another reflex area
  • Endocrine system reflexes
  • Relaxation techniques - using reflex points this area of tension is addressed as it does negatively affect the PMS cycle.


Reflexology should only be sought if the PMS symptoms are fairly mild or irritatingly uncomfortable.  If the PMS symptoms are of a more severe nature other medical sources should be consulted first.  As in all things disregarding proper medical treatment in favor of alternative style treatments should only be done with the knowledge and advice of a medical physician familiar with the individual’s medical condition.


Bettering Quality Of Life For Cancer Patients


When an individual first discovers a dreaded disease like cancer is present in his or her body, the effects can be mentally devastating to say the least. Most people fall apart initially, for the lucky ones however, after absorbing the initial shock, they dive in and find out about the disease as much as possible and also all the relevant styles of medical or natural treatments that are available. 


Some Relief: Reflexology has been one such discovery made. Many who use reflexology as a treatment that compliments the ongoing medical treatment have attested to being completely satisfied with the positive results. The commencement and incorporation of reflexology into the general treatment regiment, of course should only be done with a doctor’s consent.


When the reflexology therapy is used to treat the patient, it is done with various intentions in mind. Some of these intentions are to provide comfort and peace of mind, to lessen the impact of side effects caused by the medical treatments, such as pain, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, stress, depression, and fatigue. Other areas also to be addressed by reflexology are the improvements of the quality of life after chemotherapy, mood swings, quality of sleep, morale, and vital signs.


All cancer patients experience stress at various levels and at various intervals during the onset and treatment of the disease. As most negative medical conditions are somehow linked to causing more damage in the body system, reflexology can be used to correct the stress levels effectively. Reflexology is a gentle, effective tool used to assist in supporting and encouraging the patient to be in a better frame of mind and body.


By trying to create some sense of harmony in an already traumatic condition, reflexology works to play a positive role in creating a healing environment during and after the course of medical treatments.


Increasing Energy and Feelings Of Wellbeing


A good percentage of people today are very concerned with their health. This concern may lead them to take better care of the diet and prompt them to exercise more frequently and consistently.  However when there are medical problems, the first choice they usually make is to seek medical advice. While this is of course a wise thing to do, some other alternatives may solve the problem better without the individual having to ingest foreign elements into the body to treat the condition.


The human body already comes with its own healing tools, but sometimes these tools just need that little help to ensure optimum successful results.


Step Up Your Vigor: One option to choose when experiencing mild medical problems is reflexology. Reflexology address the problem is a holistic manner and not just the problem itself.


All contributing factors, needs to be addressed, while detecting the root cause, and meting out the necessary pressures. As the toxins build up in our body systems, something should be done to address this condition before these said toxins begin to cause negative medical conditions. Reflexology helps to ensure all the body organs are working efficiently toward this goal.


In a reputably conducted reflexology session the individual can expect to benefit holistically because there are various aspects that are addressed. These include improving the general circulation in the body system, relieving pain, and stimulated the immune and nervous systems. Each body system is addressed individually with the intention of correcting any disorders that may be present.


The blood circulation system is addressed because it contributes to the wellbeing condition of the varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and high blood pressure. In the case of the digestive system, reflexology is sought to keep the following conditions under control or eliminate them all together; stomach upsets, stomach bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, diarrhea, and ulcers. The nervous system is for addressing any possible sleep disorders, depression, and lack of concentration or energy and memory loss.


Emotional Healing With Reflexology


The most common reason people seek out reflexology sessions is to ensure their stress levels are kept under control or eliminated altogether. This is because a stress free body is a healthy body.


Even if a foot massage is given without any real reflexology techniques, the receiver would be induced into a state of relaxation and peace. The more often an individual is able to have the peace and relaxation condition within the body system, the less stress levels are detected is any at all.


The Mind


Therefore using reflexology to control emotions is beneficial to the overall health of an individual. As reflexology is used in general to support and encourage the body to right itself, it can be a major element in controlling the emotions that are the byproduct of various negative medical conditions.


Reflexology can be used to resolve the negative emotional states brought on by anger, grief, fear, guilt, stress, jealousy, and depression.  The negative energy is released out to the individual’s system using the various pressure points related to addressing this particular issue.


As the meridian system is the communicator between all the various organs any physiological systems the energy flow can be sustained at an optimum level using reflexology.


The effects of emotions have a direct impact on the health condition of the body as previously pointed out. The body consists of fluids like blood, lymph, urine, sweat, semen and cerebral-spinal fluid all of which are reflected in the feet and can be recognized by a trained and experienced reflexologist.


The fluids need to be in a constant flowing motion and when they are prevented from doing so, due to reasons like blockages then the problem cycle begins. Using reflexology to remove these blockages through the various pressure points is a good non invasive excepted action.


Boosting Your Immune System


The human immune system is the first line of defense the body has for addressing potential negative elements. These elements may consist of viruses, diseases, illnesses and others. Understanding the immune system is very important to an individual’s who intends to always stay healthy.


The Whole Body


Besides removing waste matter of the different forms, the immune system is responsible for protecting the body from external influences that are harmful to the body and facilitating the smooth flow of the interstitial fluids. It also identifies all bacteria and pathogen cells and eliminates them.


The immune system helps the various body parts to stay at optimum conditions in order to carry out all its particular functions successfully.  The smooth flow of the fluids can sometimes cause complications to the other functioning organs when there is a blockage. Reflexology can address this blockage of fluids properly and in a reasonable amount of time.


By listening to the bones, the reflexologist is able to tell if there are pulls in the connective tissues. If not remedied, these pulls, can affect the fluid flow patterns in the body. 


Reflexology is also beneficial as a preventive measure for good health, with particular attention being paid to the immune system; the individual is able to keep the balance of the equilibrium thus aiding the body systems to work more efficiently. Regular treatments to address a specific problem, or just to ensure the body condition is in shape is a good habit to form.


If one’s immune system is working efficiently then, there would be no need or a lesser need to visit the doctor so often. Also the immune system will be able to fight off any outside infections more successfully.


How To Do Self Reflexology, Find A Practitioner and Possible Side Effects


In order to address certain specific problems a careful study of a reflexology chart must be done and Visiting a certified reflexologist for the initial consultation would be better.


The Inside Info

Specific illnesses and problems are treated by targeting specific points. This can be located at the foot, palm of the hands and ears.


Wrapping Up

Though it may seem fairly easy to perform the reflexology moves on one’s self there are some precautions that need to be taken and also some points that everyone needs to be weary off.  Certain conditions may not permit the reflexology to be done on the feet, perhaps due to the pain factor, then the exercise has to be done on the palms of the hands.


When already ill, if reflexology is done on the feet, further toxins will be emitted into the body and this will cause a further deterioration of health.


If a fracture of broken bone condition has occurred it would be a serious folly to administer the reflexology style of treatment, as the pain involved will stress the individual further.


All in all reflexology is safe, but always make sure to check with your doctor or reflexologist first.



Reflexology is an ancient modality that has seen resurgence since the late 1800’s and more till today. It is a unique form of healing as, by working feet, hands and face, the depths of the body are reached, both physically and mentally. Research, using Doppler sonography and fMRI, shows that working specific reflexes on the feet increases activity in the organ worked as well as in the section of the brain that relates to that organ. Foot and hand reflexology were researched by Eunice Ingham over a period of some 30 years. She extensively mapped the body on both feet and hands based on feedback from clients during and after the treatment. Working on the face for healing has been practiced across cultures and continents. Facial reflexology today has two main streams. Dr. Prof. Bùi Quôc Châu, adapted auricular acupuncture to facial acupuncture and eventually to facial acupressure. He used various projections of the body on the face. Years of research led to the creation of effective treatment formulas using points and zones on the face. He called this method as Dien Chan. Lone Sorenson created facial reflexology sorensensistem. Lone, an Avid student of Natural therapies witnessed many healing traditions across the world including Asian cultures and South American tribes. Chosen and selected techniques from these ancient healing arts have created an effective modality that reaches deep into the body. Reflexology today is a vibrant modality.


Reflexology History

Reflexology history from 2000- present

Australia, Canada, Europe, UK, USA... all over the world

Reflexology Associations formed all over the world decades ago and has grown in strength and number, influencing government legislation, promoting and educating the community about reflexology.

Numerous studies have been conducted into the role of reflexology in cancer treatment.

Some include the Stobhill Hospital at Glasgow, Scotland, where a study was performed with twelve palliative cancer patients. The School of Nursing at East Carolina University, USA, performed a study with twenty three breast and lung cancer patients, and more than twenty four other studies have been completed, all with the same results;

Reflexology improves quality of life, reduces anxiety, and in some cases eases symptoms of cancer treatment and other similar illnesses.

Unfortunately more studies are needed of larger sample groups to determine if and what effect reflexology has on treating cancer and other medical illnesses, but fundamentally reflexology does not cure anything.

1980s- present


Inge Dougans is a contemporary reflexology champion.

She has written many books on reflexology and also established the International School of Reflexology & Meridian Therapy, and is constantly pioneering new ways to take reflexology to the world.



In the late nineteen thirties, Eunice Ingham worked with Dr William Fitzgerald and together they furthered his discoveries.

She learnt from Dr Fitzgerald that you can apply pressure to the foot or hand and make a specific area on the body go numb.

From this she discovered that by applying repetitive/ pulsing pressure to the foot or hand you can make a specific area on the body heal better!

She took these discoveries to the world and shared reflexology universally for the first time in history.

Eunice Ingham wrote books, travelled, and spent her life educating and working with communities all over the world to teach about the wonderful healing powers of reflexology very much like Inge Dougans did later. 



Ear, nose and throat surgeon, William Fitzgerald, discovered how to operate on his patients without using painkillers.

He did this using a theory he made up calledzone therapy, which was the start of western reflexology history.

He found zones that run up and down the body, and realised that by applying constant pressure to a particular area on the finger or toes you can make a completely different area of the body go numb! He used this technique to make areas in the face or jaw go numb.

Now he could operate without painkillers!

Nearly unbelievable for the 1930s but it still works today. 

4000 years ago


In Egypt there is much evidence of reflexology history and this is the most exciting example;

There was found in the tomb of Egyptian Vizier (second in charge after the king Ankhmahor), many pictures of different tradespeople, people making jewelry, craftsman etc.

In the room dedicated to medical pictures they found one of the people practicing something that looks an awful lot like reflexology.

One man is shown having reflexology administered on his feet, and another picture illustrating reflexology application on his finger.

Underneath the picture is this writing (rough translation):

the patient is saying "do not cause pain"

and the physician replies "I will give you only pleasure" 

just under 5000 years ago

Ancient China

Many ancient chinese books talk about techniques that are similar and sometimes identical to modern reflexology (example: they practiced the "examining foot method").

There are also many references in a treasured ancient text called The Great Yellow Emperors Medical Book (The Inner Cannon, The Classic of Internal Medicine. It has a few names depending on where you look)

The information in this text is still used by Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners all over the world today.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is great- it incorporates energy, body systems, weather seasons, and in TCM the key is to avoid ever being ill, and see physicians when you are well, and to stay well.

5000 years ago

Ancient India

The very beginning of reflexology history, according to ancient chinese records, buddhist monks brought early reflexology from India to China about this time.

Reflexology does 3 amazing things!

1.    It is relaxing

2.    Promotes harmony & balance in your body & its systems

3.    Slightly increases blood circulation 

Reflexology cannot cure anything!

Reflexology is not safe in these circumstances:

·        Deep vein thrombosis

·        Thromboplebitis

·        Severe cellulite on the feet or legs

·        Acute infection with high temperature

·        Stroke-in first two weeks

·        An unstable pregnancy

People with these conditions should not receive reflexology by anyone except an Accredited Reflexologist:

·        Pregnancy in the first trimester

·        Insulin dependent diabetes

·        Cancer, especially lymphoma

·        Epilepsy

·        Anti-coagulating drugs i.e. warfarin or heparin

·        People taking high dosage drugs or a variety of drugs

·        Up to six months after heart surgery

·        Hypersensitive people (example: chronic fatigue)

·        Contagious conditions (example: plantar warts, tinea, AIDS, Hepatitis B or C)

Another reflexology caution step to consider is to always thoroughly check the foot, hand, face or ear.

Look for bruises, cuts, swelling, blisters, infections or anything that appears contagious or is painful to touch.

Things like these mean you should definitely not do reflexology on that area of the body.

For example:

·        If someone has a bruised foot or ankle, then they cannot receive foot reflexology

·        If someone has warts or blisters on their fingers, then they cannot receive hand reflexology

Reflexology is only for healthy feet, hands, face and ears.

Reflexology helps restore balance, but does not cure diseases or illnesses and should be used to help maintain a healthy state.

Water is extremely important to reflexology and it is vital to have a big glass of water every single time you receive it.

Always have a large glass of water following reflexology and continue drinking water a little more than usual for the next 24 hours.

Water helps many body processes work more efficiently after reflexology.

One of water’s main functions is to help transport waste from the body through the blood system.

Reflexology slightly increases the dispelling of waste from your body cells, and you need extra water there to ensure it can be taken away.

If you want to double check that reflexology is safe for you, please contact your local doctor or medical professional for advice.

Reflexology cannot cure anything and information on this website is followed at your own risk.

What is Facial Reflexology?

Facial Reflexology stimulates fixed points and body ‘maps’ on the face, and is considered a multi-reflexology method. Quick and deep results are achieved in balancing the body, as the face is so close to the brain.

Not only is this technique therapeutic – as in better health – it also stimulates microcirculation in the skin of the face. Increased blood and lymphatic circulation result in an increase of nutrients and better hydration of the cells. Fine wrinkles soften; the skin looks healthier and is ready to absorb the beneficial ingredients of a moisturizer/oils.


Benefits of Facial Reflexology

Facial Reflexology has a wide field of action and provides excellent results that supplement the treatment of neurological disorders such as autism, parkinsons, early dementia, ADHD and learning difficulties in children. The following react very well to Face Reflexology: skin conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and the various body systems such as, but not limited to, digestive, circulatory, reproductive and respiratory. Muscles and joints are also helped i.e. stiff neck, shoulder pain, cramps, etc. Due to the closeness of the face to the brain, headaches, insomnia and depression also respond well to this treatment.

Why Have a Facial Reflexology

Not only can facial refexology bring the blood flow back to your face, thereby, alleviating puffiness, but it also has the ability to tighten facial muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, facial reflexology can flush out toxins and improve the radiance of your skin by returning moisture to the cells. Therefore, facial reflexology can make you feel and look better effortlessly, without the use of creams or surgery.

A Great Treat!

A facial reflexology is a great way to treat yourself and improve the look of your skin. In our stressful, modern world, it's important that we take the time to unwind every now and again, and realize what a difference it can make.


What is the difference between Foot and Facial Reflexology?

Facial Reflexology is a clinical treatment that acts on the neurological points in the face as well as on the brain. Foot Reflexology acts on the circulation and the hormones in the body.


Prof. Dr. Bui Quôc Chau and Dien Chan

Prof. Dr. Bui Quôc Chau is a Vietnamese acupuncturist with knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine who worked at an addiction treatment clinic in Saigon in the late 70’s and was seeing thousands of patients. He noted the benefits of the treatments and discovered that points on the face used by Chinese doctors could be stimulated with great benefit without the use of acupuncture needles. At the same time, he considered the emerging modalities where the body is projected on various parts such as the feet (reflexology), the eyes (iridology) and the ears (auricular therapy) and through testing he discovered the various projections of the body on the face. He called his method Dien Chan that combines work on the points on the face and the projections on the face.


Tools of Dien Chan

The tools of Dien Chan that can be used have a purely mechanical action on the epidermis. They stimulate the circulation, the peripheral nervous system and stimulate the lymphatics in order to strengthen the immune system.


Lone Sorenson and Sorensensistem

Lone Sorenson is a Danish reflexologist now teaching in Barcelona, Spain. When Lone lived in Argentina, she witnessed facial treatments used by native Indian communities, as well as a Vietnamese doctor that was using the Vietnamese technique. Back at her clinic, Lone applied what she had observed and saw great results. Today, Lone’s method combines the various techniques she has observed which include some aspects of the Vietnamese Face Reflexology Dien Chan.


Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem™ – look again at your face!

Our face is the one part of our body that is constantly on display. It reveals a Life story that in our modern times, we seek to enhance and improve if only to unconsciously prove that you’re in good shape – inside and out.

Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem™ is a complementary therapy that aims to optimise how you look and feel by addressing the factors that influence your general state of health and wellbeing.

How does it work?

You’ll have heard of reflexology, the therapy that works through the feet. Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem™ works through your most visible feature. Your face is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels. Its closeness to the brain is to ensure that sensory stimulus only had the shortest route to travel to the control center of the body to address your health imbalances.

In a Sorensensistem™ treatment session the entire surface of the face (except the eyelids) is potentially stimulated, initiating a natural improvement in the blood and energetic circulation in the body, and nerve function to the brain, lymphatic supply and muscle tones of the face. These all may aid in contributing to an enhanced feeling of whole-body well-being, increased relaxation – and a glowing complexion!

Where does it come from?

Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem™ was conceived over 30 years by Lone Sorensen. Its roots go back many centuries, drawing from a myriad of traditions and practices from around the world. Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem™ combines the knowledge and use of Chinese energy meridians and acupuncture points, Vietnamese and South American tribal body maps, with anatomical and physiological knowledge of the body with the potential to balance the individual on all levels by promoting relaxation, release of tension and an overall improvement of well-being.

Facial reflexology to parts of the body including face, hands and feet dates back to over 3,000 years ago primarily in the studies of Egyptian, African and Aboriginal cultures as well as their mythologies.

The origins of Reflexology evidently reach back to at least 2500 BC in ancient Egypt as evidenced by inscriptions found in the physician’s tomb at Saqqara in Egypt. The translation of the hieroglyphics is as follows: “Don’t hurt me.” The practitioner’s reply: – “I shall act so you praise me.”

We cannot determine the exact relationship between the ancient art as practiced by the early Egyptians and Reflexology as we know it today. Different forms of working the feet to effect health have been used all over the ancient world. Dr. Riley maintained that this form of healing spread from Egypt via the Roman Empire

It was not until 1800 that Reflexology was introduced into Europe.  The first medical practitioner to use facial reflexology in Europe was a German Doctor Alfonso Cornelius. He suffered a serious infection and cured himself by stimulating different points and areas of his face.  He went on to practice the treatment with significant results.  In fact he was the first person in Europe to publish an article on Facial Reflex Therapy.

In 1872, an American doctor, William Fitzgerald, educated at the University of Medicine in Vermont, was conducting research into reflexology in Vienna and London and he came up with some interesting results, especially with regards to ear, nose and throat.

If the Energy flow is impeded in any way then the energy flow will become out of balance causing problems in various areas within the body.

Once the blockage have been treated then the body will regain its state of Equilibrium

The art and science of Foot and Hand Reflexology deals with the principal that there are reflex areas in the hands and the feet that correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body. It is a method of activating the therapeutic powers of the body. It is a compression technique that affects the whole body, reversing the effects of stress. Reflexology is a holistic and therapeutic method.

What are the health benefits?

As a complementary therapy, Facial Reflexology Sorensensistem™ is addressing the individual holistically – increasing levels of relaxation and thereby improving the client’s sense of well-being on all aspects: emotional, physical, mental and energetic. Therefore any imbalance within an individual can potentially benefit, including the general effects of a stressful lifestyle.

Sorensensistem™ is appropriate for all ages – from the newly born babe through to the adult and the elderly.

The control of the Body through the Face

Our face has more than 500 points interconnected with the whole body. Facial Reflexology therapy introduced by Lone Sorensen and that has been practiced in Spain for some years now, allows to treat these points, affecting the whole Central Nervous System. Now we will go more in detail about this therapy that has been recently been put in practice.

Lone Sorensen, a professor in Reflexology, has been practicing for the last 26 years a variant of reflexology that is applied to the face; this is where its name comes from: “Facial Reflexology”.

Facial Reflexology is a modern technique that has its roots in oriental medicine. It is a method that, mainly, aims to treat the cause of a disease. This means that, instead of treating the symptoms, the physical and emotional unbalances are analyzed and treated, that are normally the cause of diverse ailments.

The methods that are being used at the moment have passed through long and exhaustive research and through a combined methodology of oriental medicine, the primitive techniques of the South American Indians plus modern research in neuro anatomy. So, it can be said that Facial Reflexology is a combination of zone therapy and up-to-date Reflexology, through Neurological observations. Zone therapy is a method of zone stimulation of zones that are present in certain parts of the body: Feet, Hand, Face and Torso. Through the stimulation it is possible to send impulses via the Central Nervous System to these organs, increase blood circulation, balance the body’s chemistry and treat the emotional state. It is also possible to diagnose and get a picture of the patient’s health as a part of the same methodology. It is a holistic stimulus for the body.

As a result of this combination of techniques, an efficient treatment technique is obtained. Just like its developer explains: “The main thing about Facial Reflexology is the integration of the whole body through the connection between the Central Nervous Sytem, and the Meridians, canalizing the electrical flow.

The works of Lone Sorensen have shown that this therapy has an effect over the totality of the Nervous System and it favors the release of many chemical substances linked to the immune response and to the endogenous mechanisms of pain control.

The job of the reflex points

Reflexology is a technique that consists in an exact stimulation of a reflex point situated far away from the affected area through the stimulation of points. After the zonal work, it is possible to combine points that have certain particularities, sending impulses directly to the brain stem where the information is distributed to the place of the body that it corresponds to. It is, also a therapy to treat organic, muscle and bones symptoms that regulate the metabolism and activate the micro circulation, besides helping to get rid of unwanted emotional symptoms like anguish, mental fatigue, lack of memory, insomnia, etc. It also reconstitutes the facial tissue, and it improves muscular tone.

In one word, if we consider our skin like the messenger that connects the outside world with the brain, it should not be a surprise to recognize the great effect that message has on our minds.

Facial reflexology is a deeply soothing treatment that is helpful for relieving a multitude of conditions such as:
facial paralysis
stress and anxiety
digestive problems
learning problems
skin disorders
hormonal imbalance

fertility challenges
muscular aches and pains
behavioural problems

It integrates traditional Chinese meridians and points, Vietnamese face mapping, and South American Mapuche facial reflex zones, along with the

modern neuro-anatomy.  Stimulation works through the central nervous system to the brain and then onto specific organs and systems to regulate blood, lymph, body functions and hormones.

This complementary therapy is designed to assess the underlying cause of one’s compromised health, while assisting with the management of symptoms.  It has proven to be very effective in the rehabilitation of patients with brain injuries and neurological problems.

The first person known to have practiced facial reflexology, in the late 1800’s, was a German doctor, Dr. Alfonso Cornelius.  He healed himself of a serious infection by stimulating areas and points on his face.  He went on to use facial reflexology in surgery, with great success.  In 1902, he published an article in a medical magazine on facial reflex therapy, entitled “Drunkpunte.”

Facial Reflex Therapy has traditionally been practiced by the Incas in parts of South America, the Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, and other aborigine cultures in the Andes.

The modern day Sorensensistem TM Facial Reflexology was developed by Lone Sorensen, after 30 years of research and treating over 12,000 clients.  She currently teaches this technique in over 22 countries.

Face lift without the surgery! Facial reflexology firms and lifts the skin, encouraging new collagen and elastin. It can also be an alternative treatment to hands and feet

How does Facial Reflexology work?

The skin is the largest organ in the body.  It is subject to internal as well as external influences.  It acts as the bodie’s defense system, relaying important sensory organ information about the external environment to the brain.  Things such as poor diet, overexposure to sunlight, smoking and drinking, use of medicines, aging, stress, and lack of sleep become evident on the face.  Before these signs become apparent in the face, they have already started the processes, internally.  These signs of dis-ease manifest in the face in the form of deep wrinkles, dry, scaly skin, acne, and low collagen production.

By exploring the tissue of the face by pressing and stretching the facial tissue using firm, smooth movements, it is possible to assess imbalances in the internal organs.  These swellings, or deposits on the face represent an imbalance in the organ related to that reflex zone area.  According to research done by Dr. Jesus Manzares, biopsies of these deposits showed trauma in these areas manifesting in the form of a high accumulation of water and fiber in the associated tissue.

The reflexology zones in the face, originally used by South American Indian tribes, consist of nerve endings of the central nervous system.  When there is a block in the nerve, energy from the nerve impulse will not flow freely, and when a deposit of nerve fibers have formed, blood will not circulate smoothly.  The reflexology practitioner assesses the face, looking for the largest deposit – indicating where the root cause of dis-ease lies.  The remainder of the treatment is focused on this largest deposit.


Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists believe that these reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems, and that pressing them creates real benefits for the person's health.

For example, reflexology holds that a specific spot on the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder. When a reflexologist uses thumbs or fingers to apply appropriate pressure to this area, it may affect bladder functioning.reflexology chart that maps out points on the feet

Reflexology foot maps

Reflexologists use foot maps to guide their work, such as the reflexology chart shown above. The left foot corresponds to the organs found on the left side of the body and the right foot to the organs on the right side.

How does reflexology differ from massage, Reiki, or acupuncture?

Many people confuse reflexology with massage, Reiki or acupuncture, but there are essential differences between these therapies.  Massage therapists manipulate larger areas of soft tissue in the body while reflexologists apply pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, and ears.  Unlike either massage or reflexology, Reiki does not involve any physical manipulation or pressure, but instead uses light touch to work with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround the body.  Finally, while acupuncture and acupressure, like reflexology, use reflex points on the body to influence other parts of the body, the points are not the same and acupuncture uses points over the entire body.

While these are different practices entirely, one thing they all have in common is that they are sometimes used to help manage symptoms associated with stress.  

What does reflexology do?

Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure disease, millions of people around the world use it to complement other treatments when addressing asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, anxiety, and sinusitis.

Reflexology does 3 amazing things!

 1: is Relaxing

 2: Promotes harmony & balance in your body & its systems

 3: Slightly increases blood circulation 

How Does Reflexology Work?

Reflexologists postulate that reflexology helps release stress, which in turn helps the body heal and regenerate itself. There are several theories about how this process work.

Theory# 1: Reflexology works with the central nervous system.

This theory builds on research done in the 1890s by Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington, who began to show through their research that a neurological relationship exists between the skin and the internal organs, and that the whole nervous system adjusts to a stimulus.

According to the theory, the reflexologist's application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal). It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.


illustration of the central nervous system

Theory #2: Reflexology reduces pain by reducing stress and improving mood.

Another theory that may also explain how reflexology can produce pain relief is the gate control theory, or, more recently, the neuromatrix theory of pain. This theory suggests that pain is a subjective experience created by your brain. The brain does this in response to the sensory experience of pain, but it can also work independent of sensory input and create pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. Thus things that influence the brain, such as your mood or external factors like stress can also affect your experience of pain. According to this theory, reflexology may reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.

Theory #3: Reflexology keeps the body’s “vital energy” flowing.

Yet another theory holds that there is a "vital energy" in the human body. If stress is not addressed, it leads to congestion of energy, which in turn causes bodily inefficiencies, which can lead to illness. According to this theory, reflexology helps keep the energy flowing.

Theory #4: Zone theory

drawing of zones on feetThe recognition of reflexology as a specific type of treatment began with Zone Theory, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes all the way up to the top of the head. For example, if you are standing up with your hands on your thighs (palms facing down) the thumbs and great toe would be zone 1. On either side of the body, the index finger and second toe would be zone 2, etc.

In reflexology theory, every organ, valve, muscle, etc. that lies within a zone can be accessed via a point or area on the feet or hands. For example, working between toes 2 and 3, or fingers 2 and 3, the eye point is found. These pathways between pressure points and other parts of the body are thought to be connected via the nervous system, as described above.

The zones are similar to, but not the same as meridians found in Chinese medicine. However, there are some correlations between meridians and location of organs on the feet and ankles.

Guiding principles of reflexology

Reflexologists do not heal clients; the body repairs itself. 

The reflexologist acknowledges that he or she is a participant in the session, rather than "the healer." This is an acknowledgement that reflexology is offered to help bring the person back into balance so that the body can nurture and repair itself.


Humans consist of a physical and emotional body, with a mind and spirit that are all interdependent.

The reflexologist takes into account all aspects of the client's being: body, emotion, mind, and spirit. A relaxed body can induce calm emotions, a serene mind, and an integrated spirit.


The body responds to touch, which can facilitate healing on all levels.

Frequently, clients will think they have to "focus" or "concentrate" to feel the benefits. While being quiet will frequently induce a deeper feeling in the novice, the client needs to have no special skills or habits for reflexology to work. Reflexologists maintain that as long as the practitioner has knowledge, stays centered, and allows the flow of energy to occur, the client will respond positively.


Practitioners and clients may feel energy move. 

A reflexologist may feel the energy move from a point of pressure on feet, hands or ears throughout body. For example, when working on the spleen and gall bladder points, the practitioner can access the points at the same time and feel a flow of energy. Due to the power of these two points, the client may also feel the flow.


What's the difference between reflexology and massage?

a massage therapist's hands rubbing a man's bare back


Massage is the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, using specific techniques (for example, tapping, kneading, stroking, and friction) to relax the muscles.

hands touching two bare feet


Reflexology focuses on reflex maps of points and areas of the body in the feet, hands, and ears using unique micromovement techniques, such as thumb or finger walking, with the goal of creating a response throughout the body.

illustration of green circles extending out from a body showing its circulatory system

In short

Massage therapists work "from the outside in," manipulating specific muscle groups or fascia to release tension. Reflexology practitioners see themselves as working "from the inside out"—stimulating the nervous system to release tension.

Another difference between massage and reflexology is that a client will stay fully clothed for a reflexology session except for removing footwear, whereas clients remove clothing for a massage session.

What’s the difference between reflexology, acupressure, and acupuncture?

Reflexology is similar to acupuncture and acupressure in that it theorizes an influence on the body's vital energy through the stimulation of points on the body. However, acupuncture/acupressure points do not always coincide with the reflex points used in reflexology.

Reflexology and acupressure are both "reflex" therapies in that they work with points on one part of the body to affect other parts of the body. While reflexology uses reflexes that are in an orderly arrangement resembling a shape of the human body on the feet, hands, and outer ears, acupressure uses over 800 reflex points that are found along long thin energy lines called meridians that run the length of the entire body.

How Can Reflexology Help My Health and Healing?

Reflexology may be beneficial in restoring balance and harmony in the body and releasing tension. Practitioners believe that it helps facilitate a deep state of relaxation, calm the emotions, and produce a serene mind. Research studies support many of these benefits.

Many people describe a profound sense of relaxation and increased energy following their session. In addition, specific studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and anxiety.

Reflexology can improve work outcomes

Reflexology is growing increasingly popular across Europe and Asia as both a complement to other treatments and as a preventive measure. One example is Denmark, where various municipalities and companies have employed reflexologists since the early '90s.

According to several studies, this practice in Denmark has resulted in reduced sick leave and absenteeism (and significant economic savings for the employers). Employees have consistently reported complete or partial improvement in conditions where they sought reflexologists' help and even relief for additional problems related to stress. In one municipal district, almost one-third of the employees reported greater satisfaction with their jobs after completing six sessions with a reflexologist.

Tom’s story: Chemotherapy-induced nausea

man receiving chemotherapyI was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Despite taking anti-nausea drugs, I felt constantly on the verge of vomiting. In fact, when my hospital reflexology therapist showed up for my session, I was about to throw up. But after asking my permission, the practitioner calmly performed a complete reflexology session on my feet, focusing on areas that corresponded to my stomach, intestine, and colon.

After 30 minutes, my nausea dropped from a 10 in severity to a 2, and I no longer needed to vomit. My nurse came in to give me nausea medication on time, but I told her I didn't need it.

“Overall, I just felt more connected and at peace about being in the hospital, and I was no longer so afraid.”

Kali’s story: Post-operative pain

woman with pained expression lying in hospital bedI was in the hospital recovering from abdominal surgery on my intestines. I was miserable, and actually shaking from the pain and my medicine's inability to relieve it. At first, I refused a reflexology session because the pain was so intense, but my nurse convinced me that this was all they could do for me until the doctor arrived.

As the reflexologist began to work on my feet, I began to feel more calm, and my pain subsided. Fifteen minutes later, when the doctor arrived, I said to him, "This reflexologist is doing more for me than the medicine could." He agreed and left me and my practitioner alone to continue the work.

Mary’s story: Fibromyalgia

woman sitting on a rock looking out over an expansive mountain viewI had seen a reflexologist two to four times a month for almost ten years for relief of fibromyalgia symptoms. I found the frequent reflexology sessions helped me with the pain, enhanced my energy, improved my sleep, and increased my ability to stay connected to my body. My sessions lasted approximately one hour and included all of the reflexology points and areas.

Reflexology allowed me to grow in awareness of how it feels to be in and out of balance. I learned more what allowed balance in my life, and what caused or contributed to stress. I started walking in nature, riding my bike, and meditating. I took, and then even taught, qigong! Reflexology contributed to my taking responsibility for my health, and I very gently and subtly, felt better and better.  I had seen a reflexologist two to four times a month for almost ten years for relief of fibromyalgia symptoms. I found the frequent reflexology sessions helped me with the pain, enhanced my energy, improved my sleep, and increased my ability to stay connected to my body. My sessions lasted approximately one hour and included all of the reflexology points and areas.

Jessie’s story: General health maintenance

smiling woman with her arms crossedI went to a reflexologist for 14 years, during three pregnancies. I always sought people who could help me heal the stress of my demanding job and life, and could contribute to my understanding of ways I could release stress and find balance in my own body. I used the 1- 1 1/2 hour sessions as meditations, and frequently felt so refreshed that a new awareness about my life and issues I was dealing with surfaced afterwards.

What Are Reflexology Points and Areas?

a reflexologist's hands touching a footIn reflexology theory, points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to specific organs, bones and body systems. Practitioners access these points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top) and the ear (both inside as far as the finger can reach and outside) to affect organs and systems throughout the entire body.

To represent how the body systems correspond to one another, reflexologists use reflexology "maps." Understandably, there is not agreement among all reflexologists on all points; however, general agreement does exist on major reflex points.

A reflexologist may perform a general, integrated session, or may focus on specific problem areas on the feet, hands or ears. For example, if time is limited and the person really needs to relax, the reflexologist may choose just to work on the ears.

Whatever the specific technique, reflexology theory holds that the practitioner is working to release congestion or stress in the nervous system and balance the body's energy.

illustrated chart of foot reflexology points as they correspond to the human body

Foot reflexology map

A good example of a reflexology map exists for the feet. Each foot represents a vertical half of the body:

The left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all organs, valves, etc. found there.

The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs found there. For example, the liver is on the right side of the body, and therefore the corresponding reflex area is on the right foot.


Are There Times When I Shouldn’t Have Reflexology?

While reflexology is an extremely safe healing practice, it is important to be aware of a few contraindications or times when reflexology might not be a wise choice. These contraindications include:

Foot injuries

Patients with foot fractures, unhealed wounds, or active gout in the foot should avoid reflexology. Patients with osteoarthritis that impacts the foot or ankle, or those with vascular disease of the legs or feet, should consult with their primary provider prior to beginning reflexology on the feet. You can, however, still get reflexology treatment on your hands and ears.


pregnant woman with white shirt sitting on couchFor women in early pregnancy (the first 6 weeks), the reflexology session is altered by treating the uterine and ovarian reflex points more gently or by avoiding them altogether. In general, caution should be exercised during pregnancy because of reports that stimulation may cause contractions.

Blood clotting issues

Clients who report current thrombosis or embolism (which is an obstruction of the pulmonary artery or a branch of it by a free-floating blood clot or embolus) should not receive reflexology therapy. Since reflexology improves circulation, it could potentially cause a clot to move towards the heart or brain.

Open wounds

In general, practitioners will stay away from open wounds, and may choose to wear plastic gloves or not to treat areas that are compromised.

Other considerations

 Although babies and young children will receive benefit from many techniques, they rarely have the patience for a whole session. Thus, sessions are abbreviated in length.

 If you are using other touch therapies, such as massage, allow at least 48 hours between touch therapy sessions to avoid an overload on your system.

What Does the Research Say about Reflexology?

close up of reflexologist hands on a footResearch studies in the U.S. and around the world indicate possible benefits of reflexology, particularly in reducing pain, enhancing relaxation, and reducing psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.

However, reviewers of the research have noted that the quality of reflexology studies is mixed and more high-quality research is needed.

What do summaries of the research say?

One large review by Kunz and Kunz (2008) summarized 168 research studies and abstracts from journals and meetings from around the world. Many of these studies originated in peer-reviewed journals in China and Korea. All of the studies had information about the frequency and duration of the reflexology application. Based on the studies they reviewed, Kunz and Kunz concluded that reflexology may:

 Impact specific organs

For example, fMRI readings demonstrated an increase in blood flow to kidneys and to the intestines.

 Improve symptoms

In particular, positive changes were noted in kidney functioning with kidney dialysis patients.

 Induce relaxation

Though EEG measurements of alpha and theta waves, researchers saw that blood pressure was decreased, and anxiety was lowered.

 Reduce pain

Twenty-seven studies demonstrated a positive outcome for reduction in pain; e.g., AIDS, chest pain, peripheral neuropathy of diabetes mellitus, kidney stones, and osteoarthritis.

Other systematic reviews are cautious in saying that reflexology may:

·        have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes (Song, 2015)

·        exert a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure and incontinence (Song, 2015)

·        have a positive impact on blood pressure (McCullough, 2014)

·        be effective for tingling in MS (Yadav, 2015)

These reviews note that the quality of research studies on reflexology is generally low. 

A systematic review conducted by Ernst, Posadzki, and Lee (2011) critically evaluated the effectiveness of reflexology in the treatment of human conditions. Twenty-three RCTs met their inclusion criteria, with 8 suggesting that reflexology had beneficial effects, 14 showing no effectiveness, and one being equivocal. The authors note that the quality of the studies was often poor and encourage researchers to base future studies on the standards of the CONSORT for trial design and reporting.

What about research for specific conditions? 

Below are some specific examples of research that examines the possible role of reflexology in alleviating various health concerns.

 Anxiety Hudson (2015) found that patients receiving reflexology prior to varicose vein surgery reported significantly lower intra-operative anxiety and shorter pain duration than participants receiving treatment as usual.

Williamson et al (2002) found that both reflexology and foot massage reduced anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women.

 Cancer treatment

These studies showed reduction of pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, and improved quality of life with reflexology.

In a controlled study with 87 patients, Hodgson (2000) found 100% improvement in the reflexology group in quality of life categories of appearance, appetite, breathing, communication (with doctors, family, nurses), concentration, constipation/diarrhea, fear of future, isolation, mobility, mood, nausea, pain, sleep/tiredness. The placebo group reported 67.6% improvement in these categories.

Stephenson et al. (2000) conducted a qualitative study in a hospital on 24 patients receiving reflexology with breast and lung cancer. Researchers noted a "significant decrease in pain" for patients with breast cancer. While this was a small sample, the well-controlled research design yielded meaningful results.

Milligan et al. (2002) looked at the impact of reflexology on the quality of life of 20 cancer patients. It found quality of life improved through a reduction of physical and emotional symptoms. This is a small sample, however.

Kim, Lee, Kang, Choi, and Ernst (2010) reviewed one randomized clinical trial (RCT) and three nonrandomized controlled clinical trials (CCTs), the only studies out of 60 potential studies to meet their criteria of controlled quantitative trials with physical or psychological outcomes. The studies showed significant reduction in pain, nausea/vomiting, and fatigue with reflexology, and improved sleep and mood. In short, all four studies suggested beneficial effects of reflexology for women with breast cancer.

The problem, according to the review authors, is that flaws in the studies jeopardize the validity of their results.  The review maintains that "the main limitations of the included studies were small sample sizes, inadequate control for nonspecific effects, a lack of power calculations, and short follow-up or treatment periods" (p. 329).  Inadequate blinding and inadequate allocation concealment are factors that could also contribute to selection bias, leading to enhanced treatment effects. Their final conclusion, based on these four studies, was that there is "insufficient evidence for the effectiveness of reflexology as a symptomatic treatment for breast cancer."

Key to the understanding of these studies, and to the interpretation of all of the studies discussed in this section, is that it is difficult to plan and execute a well-designed study on reflexology that meets all of the parameters. Randomized control trials are the gold standard in health research, but these require blinding, which is always an issue with reflexology where the practitioner knows whether they are delivering reflexology or not.

Cardiovascular system Ebadi et al (2015) looked at the effect of reflexology on reflexology on physiologic parameters and mechanical ventilation weaning time in patients undergoing open-heart surgery and found no difference in physiologic parameters, but a significantly shorter weaning time for those receiving reflexology.

Frankel (1997) conducted a pilot study to identify the effects of reflexology and foot massage on the physiology of the body, measuring baroreceptor reflex sensitivity and the link between pressure to the feet, as well as the baroreceptors of the heart (neurons). Results showed that pressure sensors in the feet are linked to the same part of the brain as the baroreceptor reflex. This small, single-blinded study included 24 subjects - 10 received reflexology, 10 received foot massage, and 4 were the control.

 Diabetes Type 2 A 2015 systematic review by Song et al reported that self-administered foot reflexology might have a positive effect in type 2 diabetes, but the low quality of the included study and the lack of adequately reported clinical outcomes obscure the results.

An RCT by Dalai et al (2014) examining symptom management in type 2 diabetes concluded that the reflexology group showed more improvements in pain reduction, glycemic control, nerve conductivity, and thermal and vibration sensitivities than those of control subjects with statistical significance.

Migraine/tension headache Testa (2000) conducted a blind, random trial, in which 32 patients with headaches were evaluated after a session with foot reflexology and at a 3-month follow-up. Results showed that foot reflexology was at least as effective as drug therapy (Flunarizin). 

Multiple sclerosis The guideline development subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology (2014) explored complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis and found that reflexology is possibly effective for tingling but only Level C evidence.

A small study by Nazari (2015) concluded that reflexology reduces fatigue in women with MS.

Pediatrics Koc and Gozen (2015) note a statistically significant difference in pain scores of infants suffering from acute pain between the reflexology and control groups. The infants in the reflexology group also had lower heart rates, higher oxygen saturation, and shorter crying periods than the infants in the control group.

Gordon et al. (2010) compared the effectiveness of foot reflexology, foot massage, and regular treatment (control group) in children (1-12 years) with chronic idiopathic constipation over a 12-week period. The study design was a randomized control trial. The authors report that the reflexology group had the greatest increase in the number of bowel movements and the greatest reduction in constipation symptom scores. There were significant differences between reflexology and control groups; however, there was no significant difference between reflexology and massage for bowel frequency, and no significant difference between control and massage groups for bowel frequency or overall constipation symptom scores.

Physiological research Dr. Jesus Manzanares, a physician from Spain, has spent years studying the neurophysiological basis for reflexology. Dr. Manzanares' research has identified and biopsied deposits (which reflexologists have traditionally referred to as "crystals") that were located in reflex areas of the feet. These deposits are associated with pain, contain nervous fibers, and have different characteristics based upon their degree of acuity or chronicity (Manzanares, 2007). A brief overview of his unpublished work can be found at his website.

Using thermographic pictures of the soles of the feet before and after reflexotherapy, along with similar pictures of the spinal column, Dr. Piquemal was able to show a change in the thermal pattern on the sole of the feet "that was reflected on the skin of the back for each of the five selected [cutaneous] zones" (2005). The importance of this research is that it ties reflexology work on the feet to blood flow of inner organs (lung, liver, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine), either through vasoconstriction or vasodilation via the autonomic nervous system. It appears that reflexology may be able to play a role in regulating blood flow disturbance, at least to these organs.


Postoperative symptomsFrom their research in India, Choudhary, Kumar, and Singh (2006) reported two groups who received interventions postoperatively. Group I received foot reflexology for 15-20 minutes at transfer to the Recovery Room, 2 hours postoperatively. Group II received conventional pain medication (NSAID and Opiods). The results were statistically significant at all four time intervals for the reflexology group showing a decrease in use of medication over the conventional group. A significant decrease in pain was also noted in the reflexology group at all-time intervals. When the pain score was compared before and after treatment in the reflexology group, statistical significance was seen at 2 and 6 hours postoperatively.

Using two groups for comparison, Choudhary and Singh also added hand reflexology to conventional medications for nausea and vomiting postoperatively. They found a significant decrease in the group who had reflexology plus conventional medication.

Sinusitis Healey et al. (2002) conducted a randomized, controlled study of 150 subjects examining reflexology for alleviation of chronic sinusitis. Participants who received reflexology therapy comprised the control group. The other two groups received nasal irrigation procedures. Results showed equal improvement in both groups.

In an article entitled "The Saline Solution?" Andrew Weil, MD, commented, "After two weeks of daily treatment, more than 70% of those practicing nasal douching reported improved symptoms. But surprisingly, the group that practiced reflexology massage - pressure to feet or hands, appeared to fare equally as well. The unexpected results for this technique may prompt further research."


Reflexology (a manipulative and body-based practice) is a variant of massage therapy that relies on manual pressure applied to specific areas of the palm or foot; these areas are believed to correspond to different organs or body systems via meridians. Stimulation of these areas is believed to eliminate the blockage of energy responsible for pain or symptoms in the corresponding body part.


Reflexology is considered a homunculus-based therapy because it presumes that the entire body is represented on the bottom of the feet or surface of the palm. In most clinical studies of reflexology, methodology has been poor, and findings tend to be nonspecific effects on subjective symptoms (example: causing relaxation, indistinguishable from that caused by massage). A systematic review of randomized clinical trials concluded that the best available clinical evidence does not support the efficacy of reflexology as treatment for any indication; the review also noted that methodology in studies of reflexology is often poor.




Brendstrup, E & Launse, L. (1997). Headache and Reflexological Treatment. The Council Concerning Alternative Treatment, The National Board of Health, Denmark.

Choudhary, S., Kumar, G., & Singh, K. (Spring 2006). Reflexology reduces the requirement and quantity of pain killers after general surgery. Reflexology Across America.

Choudhary, S. & Singh, T. (n.d.). Efficacy of reflexology in prevention of post-operative nausea vomiting.

Dalal K, Maran VB, Pandey RM, Tripathi M. (2014). Determination of efficacy of reflexology in managing patients with diabetic neuropathy: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014:84303

Ebadi A, Kavei P, Moradian ST, Saeid Y. (2015). The effect of foot reflexology on physiologic parameters and mechanical ventilation weaning time in patients undergoing open-heart surgery: A clinical trial study. Complement Ther Clin Pract., 21(3):188-92.

Ernst, E., Posadzki, P., & Lee, M. (2011). Reflexology: An update of a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Maturitas 68, 116-120.

Gordon, J., Alder, E., Matthews-Smith, G., Hendry, I., & Wilson, D.(November 2010). The effectiveness of reflexology as an adjunct to treatment in childhood idiopathic constipation: A single line randomised controlled trial (The SOCC Project). Paper presented by Amy Kreydin at the Reflexology Associaton of Canada Conference, Winnipeg, British Columbia.

Healey, D, et al. (2002). Nasal Irrigation for the Alleviation of Sinonasal Symptoms. Presented Sept 25 at the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

Frankel, B.S.M. (1997). The effect of reflexology on baroreceptor reflex sensitivity, blood pressure and sinus arrhythmia, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 5, 80-84.

Hodgson, H. (2000). Does reflexology impact on cancer patients' quality of life?" Nursing Standard, 14(31), 33-38.

Hudson BF, Davidson J, Whiteley MS. (2015). The impact of hand reflexology on pain, anxiety and satisfaction during minimally invasive surgery under local anaesthetic: A randomised controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud. S0020-7489(15)00231-X

Kim, J-I., Lee, M., Kang, J., Choi, D., & Ernst, E. (2010). Reflexology for the symptomatic treatment of breast cancer: A systematic review. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 9. 326-330. doi: 10.1177/1534735410387423.

Kim M.S. et al. (2001). Effects of hand massage on anxiety in cataract surgery using local anesthesia. J Cataract Refract Surg, 27(6):884-90.

Koç T., Gözen D. (2015). The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Acute Pain in Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Kunz, B. & Kunz, K. (2008). Evidence-Based Reflexology for Health Professionals and Researchers: The Reflexology Research Series..

Manzanares, J. (September 2007). The science behind reflexology deposits. Paper presented at the International Council of Reflexologists, Anaheim, California.

McCullough JE, Liddle SD, Sinclair M, Close C, Hughes CM. (2014). The physiological and biochemical outcomes associated with a reflexology treatment: a systematic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2014:502123.

Milligan, M. et al. (2002). Int J. Oalliat Nurs, 8(10), 489-96.

Nazari F, Shahreza MS, Shaygannejad V, Valiani M. (2015). Comparing the effects of reflexology and relaxation on fatigue in women with multiple sclerosis. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 20(2):200-4.

Piquemal, M. (September 2005). Global effect of reflexology on blood flow. Paper presented at the International Council of Reflexologists, Amsterdam and summarized by Christine Issel for the ICR Newsletter (Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2006, pp 18-19

Rahbar, M., Wyatt, G., Sikorskii, A., Victorson, D., & Ardjomand-Hessabi, M. (2011, in press). Coordination and management of multisite complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies: Experience from a multisite reflexology intervention trial, Contemporary Clinical Trials. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2011.05.015.

Sikorskii, A., Wyatt, G., Victorson, D., Faulkner, G., & Rahbar, M. (2009). Methodological issues in trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions, Nursing Research 58(6), 444-451.

Song HJ, Choi SM, Seo HJ, Lee H, Son H, Lee S. (2015). Self-administered foot reflexology for the management of chronic health conditions: a systematic review. J Altern Complement Med., 21(2),69-76.

Stephenson, N.L. et al. (2000). The effects of foot reflexology on anxiety and pain in patients with breast and lung cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 27(1), 67-72.

Sudmeier, I., et al. (1999). Anderund der nierendurchblutung durch organassozilerte reflexzontherapie am fuss gemussen mit farbkodierter Doppler-sonograhpie. Universitatsklinik fur Innere Medizin, Inssbruk, Austria. Forsch Komplementarmed, 6(3), 129-34.

Testa, G.W. (2000). A study on the effects of reflexology on migraine headaches.

Ying, Ma. (1998). Clinical observation demonstrated the influence upon arterial blood flow in the lower limbs of 20 cases with type II diabetes mellitus treated by foot reflexology. China Reflexology Symposium Report, China Reflexology Association, Beijing, 97-99.

Weil, A. (January, 2002). The Saline Solution? Self Healing, p 2.

Williamson et al (2002). Randomised controlled trial of reflexology for menopausal symptoms. BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 109(9) p 1050-1055.

Wyatt, G., Sikorskii, A., Bush, R., & Mukherjee, R. (2010). Team science of nursing, engineering, statistics, and practitioner in the development of a robotic reflexology device, Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, 8(1),14-19. doi: 10.2310/7200.2009.0017

Wyatt, G., Sikorskii, A., Rahbar, M., Victorson, D., & Adams, L. (2010). Intervention Fidelity: Aspects
of complementary and alternative medicine research, Cancer Nursing, 33(5), 331-342. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181d0b4b7

Yadav V, Bever C Jr, Bowen J, Bowling A, Weinstock-Guttman B, Cameron M, Bourdette D, Gronseth GS, Narayanaswami P. (2014). Summary of evidence-based guideline: complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis: report of the guideline development subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 82(12):1083-92.


Academic Anatomy, Physiology & Reflexology Videos on 12 hr CEU exams:

Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology | Body Organization | Body Systems | Functions/Divisions of Nervous System | Central Nervous System | Anatomy of Foot

Reflexology Introduction | The Theory | Foot Chart | Dorsum | History | 4 Aspects | Adrenal | Feet | Hand | Brain Reflexes and the Toes | Hand Problems to be Aware of

TAKE THE EXAM ONLINE (Certificate will be mailed on verification of exam passing and purchase of 12hr course)

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0.   Rest and Relax with Reflexology

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  7. Spencer R. Mildred Carter announces a new health breakthrough! Blessed relief from 34 common ailments with new body reflexology. Parker Publishing Co., West Nyack, N.Y. Undated flyer received in 1993.
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  14. White AR and others. A blinded investigation into the accuracy of reflexology charts. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 8:166-172, 2000.
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  18. Reflexology Paths in Kings County, 201


Here are the Reflexology Charts and Hand, Feet and Ear Reflexology Reference Material that is not a part of the online class which includes interactive charts and videos:


Hand and Feet Reflexology Interactive Maps



Quick Reflexology Introduction



Hand Reflexology



Ear Reflexology



Hands and Ear Reflexology



Foot Reflexology 1



Foot Reflexology 2



Reflexology Foot Chart 1



Reflexology Foot Chart 2



Ear Reflexology Chart



Hand Reflexology Chart



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