Reflexology is an alternative medicine healing system in which specific points on the feet or hands, known as reflex points, are manipulated to bring about changes in other parts of the body. These reflex points are believed to correspond to every major organ, gland, and area of the body.

Reflexology was first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s as “Zone Therapy.”  It is loosely based on the principles of other Asian forms of medicine and upon the theory in which a life force circulates throughout the body. By stimulating reflex points on the feet or hands, reflexology is thought to restore the energy flow and the one’s own natural ability to heal.

Reflexology is viewed primarily as a general healing therapy that helps the body regain natural balance, harmony, and health. It claims to stimulate circulation and is considered especially useful for pain, migraine, sinus trouble, and constipation. During a reflexology session, the therapist uses the fingers, thumbs, and palms to stroke or lightly press the reflex points on each foot. Reflexology sessions generally last about 50 minutes.

Reflexology is widely practiced in Europe and North America, often by massage therapists. It can also be practiced on oneself.  Training is given at reflexology centers, and there are a variety of instructional books that have been published to help the lay person.

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Last modified: 07/22/08