#Close accordians

What is Reflexology?

How does Reflexology work?

This is a question I am often asked!! Just exactly what is Reflexology and how does it work?

It’s a good question. As I am fully immersed in the world of Reflexology, I suppose I take my knowledge for granted and assume everyone knows how it works. So, for those who don’t know or are a little unsure I will start with the basics and how I introduce people/clients to Reflexology by explaining:

  • It is a holistic treatment (looks at the whole self – mind, body and spirit)
  • It is not invasive (I don’t stick needles in you)
  • It is totally natural

So how does it actually work?

I will try and explain. It works on the basis that your feet (and also hands, ears and face – but I will mainly discuss the feet here) are like “mini maps” of your whole body. So, every part of your body, such as your organs, and every body system (digestive, circulatory, central nervous system etc) are mapped on your feet. In the world of Reflexology we call them “Reflexes” hence the word Reflexology.

This all sounds weird I know, and I would not have believed it either until I was trained and then started to get such amazing results with my case studies and have done so ever since.

Here is a lovely image to give you an idea of what I am talking about. If you are like me, very visual, a picture speaks a thousand words. So here you can see the toes represent the head area of the body, the ball of the foot the chest area, the middle/and a bit lower is the internal organs and digestive system, the heels represent pelvis and below.


Interactive foot map

A really good way to see what I am talking about is looking at the Association of Reflexologist’s interactive foot, showing you which area of the foot relates to which part of the body and video about Reflexology, this can be found on my website:


So as a qualified Reflexologist, by pressing, massaging, and manipulating different parts of the foot, the therapist can feel what we just call an “imbalance” and by working specific areas can help “kick start” the body’s own healing capabilities and return your body to a state of balance (homeostasis).

Sounds simple hey? Well there is much more to it than that, but I am trying to keep this brief!


What does the therapist feel?

This can vary from therapist to therapist, but generally an “imbalance” in the foot or “Reflex” can be detected by the therapist as they feel something hard, lumpy, bumpy, gritty (like sand), areas can feel hot or cold to the touch and this can also feel tender to the client.

So for example a tense, stiff shoulder or shoulder injury will be generally be shown by a hardening of that area and it is usually possible to identify the exact point on the foot to work to help alleviate that stiffness and encourage blood to flow and to restore balance to that shoulder area.

How does it work?

So this is an area that is hotly debated. Some believe it is relating to the 7200+ nerve endings we have in our feet, that feedback information to our brains via the central nervous system, almost “rebooting” our body systems and resulting in messages (via hormones and neurons) being sent to the relevant area of the body encouraging the rebalancing to occur.

Others believe it relates to blockages in the Meridian Lines (energy channels) in our body, and by working the imbalanced area of the foot we are releasing these energy blockages (causing problems/dis-ease in our body) and we are allowing the energy to flow freely throughout our whole body, restoring balance to our bodies.

Is it by de-stressing? The main thing to understand here is that Reflexology is incredibly good at helping the body cope with stress and manage stress. It has an amazing ability to calm the body. It takes us out of our “fight or flight” response, and it switches us to our “rest, digest and healing” mode. There is lots of data out there now that shows the root cause of many physiological conditions (IBS, Headaches/migraines, muscular tension, high blood pressure, chronic pain …. The list goes on), is stress and reflexology can help relieve stress in our bodies giving the body time and space to heal itself.

There are many other theories of how Reflexology works but I am just covering a few here today.

I hope you have found this little introduction to reflexology interesting and if you wanted to find out more or would like to book a treatment to see what Reflexology can do for you, please get in touch with Debbie via info@harmonyholisticswirral.co.uk