What is reflexology?
In a nutshell, it’s the massage of feet or hands to help your body heal itself.
The Associate of Reflexologists defines reflexology as a non-intrusive complimentary therapy which is based on the theory that the different organs and organ systems of the body can be mapped to different points or areas on the feet, hands, face, lower legs or ears.
Reflexologists believe that through working these points or areas, they may have an energetic effect on the corresponding organs or organ systems within the body, encouraging a state of homeostasis and self-healing.
For example, constipation make the areas of hands or feet corresponding to the colon area (see map left) sore or tender. By massaging the respective areas, the person's condition should improve.
Reflexology is a holistic treatment. This means that it treats the whole person rather than just the symptoms of a disease. The treatment is not invasive, and it does not use any chemicals.
Reflexology is widely accepted internationally as a beneficial to wellbeing. Here are some examples.
According to a Danish government institution, reflexology is one of the most used alternative therapies in Denmark. A national survey from 2005 showed that 21.4% of the Danish population had used reflexology at some point in life and 6.1% had used reflexology within the previous year. [Reflexology in Denmark Knowledge and Research Center for Alternative Medicine]
A study from Norway showed that 5.6% of the Norwegian population in 2007 had used reflexology within the last 12 months. [http://www.nifab.no/hva_er_alternativ_behandling/tall_og_fakta/tidligere_undersoekelser/nifab_undersoekelsen_2007]
There is a reflexology treatment centre in The Body Shop in Shinjuku, Tokyo.