Reflexology and Its Benefits

April 25, 2015 Updated: May 1, 2015

Reflexology can be a valuable addition to wellness, but what exactly is reflexology?

Reflexology is an ancient therapeutic pressure point technique based on the understanding that certain parts of the body, referred to as microsystems, reflect the whole. It involves applying alternating pressure with the hands to specific points on the feet, hands, ears, or face that can affect various organs and parts of the body.

Reflexology balances the nervous system by stimulating  the nerve endings.

Reflexology balances the nervous system by stimulating these microsystems, such as the nerve endings of the feet. These nerve endings connect through the spinal nerves, and then on to their corresponding organs throughout the body. Reflexology also works with the circulatory system, breaking up congestion and deposits in the feet, which in turn helps to detoxify the body.

It has been observed that reflexology can reduce stress and tension (a major contributing factor to many types of autoimmune diseases), enhance the body`s ability to naturally heal, and balance both body and spirit.

Numerous studies have shown that reflexology can help:

  • Promote the balance and normalization of the body`s functions
  • Stimulate relaxation, thus reducing stress, anxiety, and diminish pain
  • Improve circulation, decrease high blood pressure, and increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells throughout the body

There are two major factors that set reflexology apart from other therapies. The first is that it`s an all-encompassing treatment. All organs, glands, and the skeletal system can be stimulated through the feet, hands, ears, and face.

The second is the personalized reflex exercises that can be done at home between sessions. These exercises only take a minute or two a day, and the results are often noticeably effective.

As a professional therapist I’ve noticed in my practice that clients have found reflexology helpful in dealing with back, shoulder, and neck pain; hormonal problems such as PMS, fertility, prenatal, and menopause; cognitive issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia; and digestive issues.

As for the number of sessions needed, I recommend trying more than one because reflexology works through natural healing, and as such the benefits are cumulative and last longer as the body responds. Depending on the issue, I often suggest at least three sessions close together (once a week or once every two weeks) and then an evaluation of the initial results. It is important that the client personally assesses whether the treatment is working for them. Remember, acute conditions tend to balance faster than chronic ones. In other words, the longer you`ve had the issue, the longer it takes to alleviate it.

Reflexology has gone through a revival in recent years, mostly because of a more health-conscious generation, but also because there is now more scientific evidence that indicates reflexology treatments are often a successful alternative, or supplement, to more prescribed methods.

Reflexology is an ancient practice with over 4,000 years of history. It has been used to facilitate natural healing, ease pain, reduce stress and tension, or just for pleasurable relaxation. Could this non-invasive therapy be the answer you are looking for?

Manuela Kundert is a certified reflexologist with a private practice in Burnaby, B.C. She also offers Reiki, Tui Na massage, auricular therapy, constitutional iridology, body-mind analysis, and psychosomatic therapy. Website: