Updated 01 March 2013

FAQs on reflexology

Our reflexologist answers 5 frequently asked questions.

Our reflexologist answers 5 frequently asked questions.

How does reflexology work?

Reflexology works on the principle that your body and its organs are mapped on the soles of your feet.  Although your body is also mapped on other body parts besides your feet, a reflexologist mainly targets the mapping on the soles of your feet.  Meridians are imaginary energy pathways which run though the body connecting organs and end on our feet too.

Having a reflexology treatment entails pressure techniques on these meridian points which stimulate the organs that are mapped on the feet.

What can one expect from a treatment?

The patient would remove their shoes and socks and sit or lie on a plinth.  The therapist may request a case history from the patient for background information.  This information is confidential.  Treatment consists of the therapist applying pressure with their hands to certain points on the feet.  The treatment is often pleasurable but could be painful.  The painful part is not a negative experience and most patients refer to it as ‘nice pain’.  In cases where the pain is extreme the therapist will reduce the amount of pressure applied.  The pain experienced indicates that there is congestion or weakness on a specific meridian or organ.  With frequent treatments and proper lifestyle changes the pain should ease as time goes by.  This is an indicator that the body is getting rid of toxins and congestion and will result in overall improvement of health.

  What will one feel after a treatment?

I always tell a patient that the first 3 treatments is a detox phase.

Each body can detox in various ways resulting in the following;

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Being energized
  • Weepiness
  • Irritability
  • Sweatiness
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Darker coloured urine (which is only an indicator of the toxins exiting the body)

Some patients crave a specific flavour or experience increased thirst.  All of the above are good signs of the body trying to get back to a homeostatic state, a state where the body works at its optimum.

Will reflexology heal?

Reflexology does not heal but assists the body to heal itself.  The human body is designed to function on its own and to balance itself without outside influences, for example, sweating when temperatures are hot in order to cool down or shivering when temperatures are cold to warm up.  Many other functions are performed by the body automatically, even when we are not aware of these functions happening.  Our daily lifestyles interfere with the body’s own ability to heal itself.  As an example, when we have had too much sugar or caffeine we might suffer from a headache and will therefore take a paracetemol or asprin based drug to numb our pain.  This we do instead of understanding why our bodies are in pain and avoiding the substances that cause our body pain and discomfort.

If we have fed our bodies in the correct way and have a strong immune system our bodies will be able to resist viruses.  However, if we have not been looking after our body our immune system may be compromised and can therefore not deal with the virus on its own.  This is when we search for outside help such as drugs.

Reflexology firstly aids in removing toxins in our bodies.  These toxins are like roadblocks to health.  Reflexology also removes congestions in the meridians.  Once the toxins and congestions are removed, and the corrective lifestyle changes are made, the cells and oxygen (which transport the nutrients) are at their optimum and therefore the body can begin to heal itself, the way it was designed to.

Who can benefit from reflexology?

Anyone with cells and organs can benefit from reflexology, all ages included.

The only contra-indicator would be people who have recently suffered with DVT (deep vein thrombosis).  This is because not enough research has been done with this disorder.

Ensure that your therapist is registered.  To find one in your area go to the AHPCSA website or click on

(Stella Kazazis, February 2013)

(Picture: Foot massage from Shutterstock)

Any questions? Ask the Refloxology Expert


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