Reflexology is the practice of stimulating reflexes in the hands
and feet, affecting other parts of the body in a therapeutic way.
Specific techniques using the hands and fingers facilitate relaxation
responses in corresponding parts of the body.
Relaxation is the first step to a body's return to a state of
balance, allowing circulation to flow freely, supplying nutrients and oxygen to the cells, and reducing the amount of residual
tension carried by the body. This return to a healthy balance allows the body's organs and muscles to return to a normal state
This act of applying pressure to the feet with specific thumb,
finger, and hand techniques is done according to the model of "zone theory". According to this theory, the body is divided
into ten equal longitudinal zones running from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Each finger and each toe falls
into one zone, with the left thumb occurring in the same zone as the left big toe, and so on. Direct pressure applied to any
part of a zone will affect the entire zone. In addition to longitudinal zones, lateral zones are used to help "fix" the image
of the body in the proper perspective and location, creating a map that a therapist can use to specifically address a certain
part of the body.
Reflexology is a soothing treatment that reduces stress and
pain, stimulates the body's healing response, and brings about an overall state of relaxation. Over the long term, reflexology
helps the body to learn new, positive responses to stress, bringing about a sense of well being and increased energy. Reflexology
can be combined in a session with other types of bodywork, or can consist of an entire session.