foot reflexology

Foot reflexology is a unique practice because it can provide more benefits than just relieving pain when you have achy feet. Whether you have chronic pain, stress, or a variety of other health issues, reflexology may be an ideal option for you.

We’ll discuss the top 10 best foot reflexology techniques so you can decide which one is the best choice for you and your overall wellness.

What Is Reflexology?

Before we take a closer look at some of the best foot reflexology techniques, we should explain what reflexology is and how it’s different from a regular foot rub that you might get from your spouse or significant other.

Reflexology is nothing new, as its practice and ideas stem back to ancient times. Reflexology consists of applying pressure to areas on the feet, hands, and ears. By applying pressure to specific areas, the idea is that one area on the hand, foot, or ear correlates with an organ or systems within the body (think of your foot as a map to the rest of your body).

Through regular reflexology, research suggests that some health conditions may improve and that an individual may become healthier overall. Reflexology is often used in palliative care in people with cancer, and it’s also used to reduce stress, anxiety, and help treat sleep issues.

Even if your feet don’t cause you any trouble, having reflexology done on your feet may alleviate pain and other issues in your body.

Comparison Table

Top 10 Best Reflexology Techniques To Try

If you’re interested in foot reflexology, here are the top 10 best foot reflexology techniques in 2018. Choose one or try them all, just make sure you choose a reflexologist who knows the unique technique well.

Vertical Reflex Therapy

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Unlike other foot reflexology techniques, where the client lies down, the vertical reflex therapy (VRT) technique allows the patient to stand. The reflexologist works on the upper surface (dorsal) surface of the foot, and it’s typically a quicker technique than traditional methods.

Even though the VRT technique is commonly done on individuals who are standing, Lynne Booth, the creator of VRT says that the technique works for people of all ages whether sitting or standing.

Gentle Touch Method

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Much as the name suggests, the gentle touch method, which was created by Sue Ricks, is reflexology with a lighter touch. Ricks’ method incorporates massage into the treatment and uses oils to make it a more plenty and gentle experience.

Although the gentle touch method still focuses on specific areas in the foot, the feet are worked alternately, so the body remains more in balance. The method is described as being “very soothing” and helps clients at a physical and emotional level, as well as their energy.

This technique may be ideal for individuals who are sensitive to touch or are new to foot reflexology.

Precision Method

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The precision method was created by Pru Miskin and is based on the philosophy that humans are part of the web of nature and the body reflects the web, which means that all reflexes in the body are linked.

The precision method is described as a light touch technique and works by linking at least two reflex points at the same time. Like traditional reflexology, the precision method still focuses on an individual’s health and maintain balance within the body. Many people experience a strong emotional response with the precision method when “linking” points.

Ayurvedic Method

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You’ve probably heard of Ayurvedic medicine, as it’s an ancient form which has regained popularity in recent years. Ayurvedic medicine focuses on the prevention of illness rather than treating it.

The Ayurvedic reflexology method, which was created by Sharon Stathis, uses traditional reflexology and some Ayurvedic techniques. Essential oils are often used, and a warm, brass bowl is also applied to the feet. This method may be ideal for any client who is interested in following Ayurvedic medicine.

Hot Stone Reflexology

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Maybe you’ve had a body massage that uses hot stones, a treatment that stems back to ancient times. Hot stone reflexology method is similar to a body massage, and during the reflexology treatment, some rocks may be placed on the body to help open up the energy pathways.

The stones used in hot stone reflexology is a volcanic rock, called basalt, which can retain heat for an extended period. The temperature of the rock is safe and comfortable when applied to the skin. Cold stones may also be used as part of the reflexology method.

Rwo Shur Method

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Father Josef Eugster was a Swiss missionary in Taiwan in 1977. He had rheumatoid arthritis in his knees. After his colleague suggested a traditional reflexology method, Eugster was left to learn how to perform reflexology on his own by reading books and testing out various techniques on his own body.

His technique is applying deep pressure with the knuckles; although the pressure was intense and often painful, he healed his arthritis. He never had formal training, but he shared his technique with others who were in pain and suffered from a variety of health issues.

Through his method, he was able to help many of them feel better and live pain-free. You may know the Rwo Shur Method as the Taiwanese-style reflexology.

Coordinative Reflexology

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The coordinative reflexology method, created by Shmuel Zaidel,consists of the reflexologist using two hands to apply pressure rather one. The reflexologist may also move around the patient to find different angles and pressure points rather than staying in one place. The legs may also be massaged, as well as the feet.

The client may be asked to move around and shift positions rather than lying down and remaining still. The method focuses on the communication between the client and the reflexologist.

The Flocco Method

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As we mentioned earlier, reflexology may be performed on ears, hands, and feet. The Flocco method, which was created by Bill Flocco, focuses on treating all three areas during a reflexology session.

Clients of the Flocco method like the balance of the treatment and feel like it’s a more of a whole body treatment rather than just some parts of the body. Flocco became interested in reflexology when he was young while he massaged his mother’s feet and noticed that her whole body felt better when he was done.

Zoku Shin Do Method

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The Zoku Shin Do method is one of the oldest foot reflexology methods and it originated over 5,000 years ago in Japan. Even though it is the oldest method, many people still practice the technique.

Today’s method may use acupuncture and body massage, but if you’re interested in an age-old method, you’re likely to find a reflexologist who specializes in the Zoku Shin Do technique.

Metamorphic Technique

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The Metamorphic reflexology method focuses on a light touch rather than pressure. Due to its gentle technique, it’s an ideal option for children and even babies. The technique focuses on the spine reflex in the feet and is designed to “reset” any psychological imbalances, which allow the body to heal and be healthier.

Things To Consider Before You Try Foot Reflexology

Now that we’ve given you a brief look at 10 of the best foot reflexology techniques worth trying, you might want to take the time to read up a little bit more on each technique. While each one centers around traditional foot reflexology, there are things to think about such as pressure (hard or soft), the length of a session, and whether or not you want other parts of your body touched.

Once you have decided on a technique (or two) that you would like to try, here are some things to consider before you have a reflexology method done on your feet.

Can Anyone Benefit From Foot Reflexology?

Even though reflexology is safe for most individuals, it may not be ideal for you if you have concerns about your health; you can talk to your doctor to see if reflexology is a good choice. Avoid foot reflexology if you:

  • A foot injury, such as fractures, active gout, or osteoarthritis in the foot
  • Vascular disease in the legs or feet
  • Pregnant
  • Open wounds on the feet
  • Blood clotting issues such as thrombosis or embolism

If you have a health issue and foot reflexology is not your safest option, you may be able to have reflexology done on your ears or hands; talk with your doctor or reflexologist about your safest options.

 As we noted, some of the techniques are safe for children and infants. Always check with a reflexologist before making an appointment for your child.

Choosing Your Reflexologist

Depending on the foot reflexology technique you decide to try, it may be difficult or easy to find a qualified reflexologist. Consider the following when looking for a reflexologist and a few questions to ask:

  • Ask friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations
  • Visit professional reflexology association websites for names of reflexologists
  • Don’t hesitate to ask about certification and training
  • Look for nationally certified reflexologists (they might know more techniques)
  • Is insurance accepted? Payment plans?
  • Ask any questions related to the technique, pressure, etc.

If you have a health issue and foot reflexology is not your safest option, you may be able to have reflexology done on your ears or hands; talk with your doctor or reflexologist about your safest options.

 As we noted, some of the techniques are safe for children and infants. Always check with a reflexologist before making an appointment for your child.

How Much Does A Foot Reflexology Session Cost?

Like other reflexology and massage sessions, the cost of a foot reflexology session may vary greatly from as low as $25 and upwards to $100 for an hour. Keep in mind that the price may also vary depending on the technique. When you’re searching for a reflexologist, don’t forget to ask about the cost of a session to make sure it’s within your budget.

What You Can Expect At Your First Foot Reflexology Session

If you’ve never had reflexology performed on your body, you may be wondering what to expect from your first session. While your experience may differ slightly, depending on the technique you choose, you can expect the following during your visit.

Your reflexologist will discuss your health history to make sure that the technique is the safest and most effective option for you. If it’s they don’t recommend the technique, they might suggest a different method and may even give you a referral.

Even if you’ve done your homework and researched a reflexology method, you may be given some information about how the technique is performed, so you know what to expect. When the reflexologist is explaining the technique, in detail, this is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns that you may have.

If they can’t answer your questions or you don’t feel confident in their answer, you aren’t obligated to go through with your appointment. You should feel relaxed and worry-free during your foot reflexology appointment.

It’s important to keep in mind that the reflexologist should not (and will not) diagnose any health issues. If the technique is done correctly, the body should be able to repair itself, and the stress and tension should disappear on its own.

Don’t be surprised if you experience some side effects during or even after the reflexology session. These reactions (or side effects) are normal and common:

  • Sweat on your feet and hands
  • Feeling chilled
  • Light-headed
  • Laughing/Crying
  • Drowsiness
  • Relaxed muscles and organs
  • Free of pain
  • Muscle contractions
  • Thirst

Some Final Thoughts On Foot Reflexology

If you suffer from pain and other health issues, foot reflexology may be worth a try, especially if you are an ideal candidate for any of the techniques. While you may be eager to try foot reflexology right away, take a little time to find a reflexologist with experience and someone who makes you feel comfortable.

If you try one technique and aren’t satisfied with the results, try something else; with so many reflexology methods to choose from, there’s a good chance you’ll find one that works for you.

 

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Author: Lisa Hosmer

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