Reflexology vs. Massage

Posted on June 14, 2012

What’s the difference?

I hear this question every now and then. I also see many clients who are very clear on the difference, and say they’ve received what was called reflexology but was in fact more of a foot rub. They’re coming to me in hopes they’ll get a true reflexology session. So what’s the difference?

Massage focuses on the soft tissue of the body–muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue.

When I use reflexology, my focus in primarily aimed at the organ systems of the body. I’m paying much less attention to the muscles and attachments of the foot, and am much more focused on the spine, adrenals, intestines, thyroid, and kidneys, just to name a few.

This is one of my favorite things about reflexology. With a massage you just can’t access some of the organs of the body, or if there’s an issue with a particular organ, it may be painful to work near that area. With reflexology, it’s an all-encompassing treatment. All organs, glands, and the skeletal system can be stimulated through the feet and hands. In this way, it’s very efficient. 
And, although I’m not treating these organs, as a reflexologist my goal is to “energetically” support their function.

I also love that I can teach you personalized self-help reflex exercises that you can do at home to maximize the effects of your sessions. (Ask me for tips at your next session!)

How do I access the organs of the body with reflexology?

Reflexology is based on the principle that a map of the body is reflected on the hands and feet, and by applying alternating pressure to specific points on the hands and feet you can affect various organs and parts of the body.

Reflexology balances the nervous system by stimulating the nerve endings of the feet, which connect with the spinal nerves and their corresponding organs. It works with the circulatory system, breaking up congestion and deposits in the feet, which in turn help detoxify the body.

So in a nutshell: The focus of massage is on the muscles. The focus of reflexology is on the organs.

Now there’s nothing wrong with massage; a good massage can be great. It’s a personal preference and personally, I think it’s great that I can access the entire body just by working on the feet.

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