What is reflexology? 

Reflexology has been used as a form of therapy for hundreds, even thousands of years.

It is typically a form of massage done on your feet that aims to have an effect on other parts of your body. 

It is a practice that is thought to date back to Ancient China and Egypt, respectfully, and derives from the theory that the whole body can be decided into separate parts or meridians.

These meridians can all be found on the foot, and certain parts of the foot are connected to certain parts of the body. 

The belief is that applying massage techniques and acupressure on these points can have health benefits on the body parts they are related to.

This theory means that someone experiencing a headache may be able to relieve it through reflexology by stimulating the zone on the foot that corresponds with the head.

Likewise, there are zones that can help the stomach, legs, and even help you with your sleep. 

Why should I have a reflexology foot massage? 

Reflexology massage has so many benefits, not only will it feel wonderful on your feet but it may also help other parts of your body.

The foot can receive a thorough massage, and you may not even touch any other part of your body, but it can feel like your whole body has been worked.

We have decided to break down each of the benefits into separate headings for easier reading. 

It can help with pain 

A reflexology foot massage can help to reduce pain all over the body. It is thought that pain is sometimes caused by energy blockages.  

Your energy is known as your chi by reflexology practitioners. When your meridians are blocked, the energy or chi cannot flow freely.

This means that negative energy is let loose in your body which can cause all sorts of harm, causing pain, inflammation, aches, sores, and much more. 

It is also thought by some to even have the ability to cause illnesses, ailments, and even diseases. Reflexology was developed as a way of clearing that negative energy and unblocking your meridians allowing for good energy to flow through.

When this chi is allowed to flow freely through your body, your aches and pains are relieved. This is done through the stimulation of the nerves that link to all the different meridians in your body.

The feet have 7000 nerve endings in total, so you can imagine just how wonderful a deep massage feels on them. 

It can help to relax the mind and body

When we are in pain it can feel impossible to relax.

Our minds and bodies work overtime to stop the pain or try to take our minds off it, which usually ends up with us thinking about the pain even more, and even experiencing more pain.

When the pain is taken away through the benefits of a wonderful reflexology massage, it allows us to become more relaxed. 

All of our muscles will stop being tense and the pain will not be on our minds anymore. As well as this, remember when we mentioned meridian becoming blocked earlier and what that can do to our chi?

Well, just as the blockages and stop of the flow of our chi can cause physical pain, it can also cause mental stress too. It can make us feel very tense, affecting our moods and our outlook.

A reflexology massage that unblocks our meridians and lets the chi flow freely can also help us to become more relaxed too. 

It feels wonderful for your sore or tired feet 

Even if you do not believe that a foot massage can unblock your meridians and help other parts of your body, what cannot be disputed is the wonderful benefits a reflexology massage can have on your feet.

The actions of a reflexology massage involve your feet and toes being kneaded and rubbed with yours (or someone else’s) hands.

It can be very relaxing and can really help sore feet that have been worn out through work or exercise.

It is a very therapeutic practice and is often recommended for people with plantar fasciitis which is a condition that affects the feet, and even rheumatoid arthritis.

Both of these can be relieved by foot massage, especially reflexology. 

How do I do my own reflexology massage at home? 

Reflexologists are people that are trained to give reflexology massages. However, there is certainly no reason why you cannot perform one on your own feet at home.

The most important point you should take note of first is that you should follow a reflexology chart to see exactly what part of your feet corresponds with what meridian or part of your body.

These are readily available online. When you have your reflexology chart all ready, get yourself comfortable and you can start. 

Step 1.  Gather all of the materials and items you will need for the massage. You may need blankets and towels as well as a comfortable place to sit.

If you are using a reflexology sheet ensure that you have this to hand.

We also recommend getting some massage oil, either store-bought (we like this one by Brookethorne Naturals) or you can make your own with essential oils of your choice and carrier oil.

Check out our article on the Best Essential Oils for Foot Pain to find your favorite.

You can choose your essential oil or massage oil based on the properties you want to gain from it.

For example, if you want the reflexology massage to help with overall relaxation you should choose oils such as lavender, chamomile, or clary sage. 

If you would like the massage to help with any areas of pain or inflammation, choose something with cooling, anti-inflammatory effects such as peppermint or rosemary.

As with any essential oil usage, ensure you follow the instructions, and seek medical advice before using them if you are pregnant or unsure. 

Step 2. Position yourself comfortably either on a large chair, bed or on the floor. If you are on a chair or bed ensure that you can easily bring up each leg, one at a time, onto your lap.

If you are on the floor you may want to make yourself comfortable with towels and blankets as you will need to prop your foot up into your lap to work on them.

It is important in this step that you take the time to ensure you are comfortable as any tenseness that you feel will impact the benefits of the reflexology massage. 

Step 3. Identify on your reflexology sheet the area in your foot that you would like to work on.

For example, if you would like to help relieve pain that you can feel in your head, the sheet or image should tell you what area on your foot corresponds with that of your head. 

You should then place your thumbs on the area, applying a firm pressure. You should not press the area so hard that it causes any pain. Reflexology should not be painful or uncomfortable.

You should merely apply enough pressure so you can feel something. It should feel pleasant. You can then gently massage the area, keeping that same firm grip.

You should then perform the same action on the same area that corresponds on the other foot. 

Step 4. You should repeat Step 3 for all areas that you want to work on. If you want to give yourself a full body reflexology massage, we recommended repeating Step 3 on every single part of your foot.

Take your time doing it, remembering to apply firm pressure. When you are massaging each area you should do so slowly and gently. 

Step 5. When you have finished your reflexology massage it is a good idea to gently pat off any excess oil from your feet.

You do not need to wash it off, in fact, it is very beneficial to keep on your feet, especially if you have chosen to use a massage oil with properties that can soothe the mind and body. 

You should then get up gently. We recommend doing your reflexology massage at the end of your day so you can take the time to relax afterward and not spend too much time on your feet.

Remember to stay hydrated after this massage, too, as being hydrated will help boost the effects and benefits of the massage. 

You can repeat this reflexology massage every day if you wish, although we sometimes find that certain points on the feet can start to feel a little overstimulated if we do it too often.

You could, perhaps, try doing it every other evening at first to see how you find it. 

Final Word

We are sure that you now feel confident on how to do your own reflexology foot massage at home thanks to our informative guide.

You will certainly get hours of enjoyment with this technique, but you may want to keep quiet about it or else you’ll have all your family and friends queuing up at your door for you to massage them too.

As always, we recommend consulting a medical professional if you have any pain or issues that you were thinking of solving with reflexology.

Reflexology should be used as a complementary treatment, and not used in lieu of seeking professional healthcare from a qualified doctor.

If you are ever unsure, seek medical advice first.