What it is

Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. Reflexology rests on the ancient Chinese belief in Qi (pronounced “chee”), or “vital energy.” According to this belief, Qi flows through each person. When a person feels stressed, their body blocks Qi. This can cause an imbalance in the body that leads to illness.

Reflexology aims to keep Qi flowing through the body, keeping it balanced and disease free. In Chinese medicine, different body parts correspond with different pressure points on the body.

How does it work?

Reflexologists use maps of these points in the feet, hands, and ears to determine where they should apply pressure. From a western perspective, In the 1890s, British scientists found that nerves connect the skin and internal organs. They also found that the body’s entire nervous system tends to adjust to outside factors, including touch, leading to a conclusion that reflexologist’s touch may help to calm the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and other benefits just like any form of massage.