Reflexology is gaining popularity in North America and it is a common form of touch therapy throughout the world with a long history. It focuses on reflex points in the feet, hands and ears to create a response in the body. The goal is to reduce stress and thereby help the body heal itself. Many conditions can benefit from these treatments.
Many clients find that reflexology produces a deep state of relaxation and a calming of the mind. After a session, increased energy and reduction in pain can also be noticed. Research increasingly supports these experiences by our clients. Kunz and Kunz (2008) summarized 168 research studies and abstracts.1 Many of these studies were completed in China and Korea where reflexology has a long history. The authors found positive effects in specific organs (kidneys and intestines), improvement in symptoms, increased relaxation and a reduction in pain. Reflexology is a common therapy in many parts of the world where it is used as a complement to other treatments. Conditions involving reflexology include anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis.2
1What Does the Research Say about Reflexology? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology/what-does-research-say-about-refloxology
2Reflexology. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/reflexology
What should I expect during a reflexology treatment?
The session starts with some questions about your health and reason for your visit. The reflexologist will examine your feet for any sores, rashes, warts or injuries. If the skin on your feet should not be worked on directly, the reflexologist will offer to work your hands, head and/or ears. You will still get the benefit of the session even if it’s best not to work your feet. There are effective reflex points on your hands, head and ears. You are welcome to relax and be quiet during the session or ask questions of the reflexologist. Though there are different theories about reflexology, one general principle is to work to the point of effectiveness. This means that deep or strong pressure may not be needed for the session to be effective. If you are not comfortable with the pressure, please talk to the reflexologist.
Some reflexologists choose to work without oil or lotion, however oil or lotion helps to reduce friction on the skin. It also helps moisturize feet – a part of the body that generally needs lots of moisturizing to help the skin to stay healthy. Our relexologist’s do use oil and our choice of oil is the Nutiva® organic coconut oil. If you have any sensitivities to this oil please let us know.
During a session you may feel: sleepy, tingling, lighted-headed, teary, like laughing, coughing, feeling warm or chilled.
After a session you may feel: reduced pain, better sleep, or more mobile joints. Some people also experience emotional release (crying), increased mucus (nasal or vaginal), increased urination or bowel movements. These are temporary and are thought to be part of your body returning to balance. After a session, self-care is important. Be gentle with yourself. Drink clean filtered water or non-caffeinated tea. Get plenty of relaxation and rest.
Generally the benefits of reflexology are subtle and cumulative. You may feel better several days after the treatment instead of right away. Improved function can be part of the long term benefits of regular reflexology.
If you have any questions or concerns after a session, contact the reflexologist.
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a therapeutic treatment, based on the principle that reflex points in the feet, hands and head affect other parts, organs and systems of the body. Pressure is applied to these reflex points and areas using specific hand and finger techniques.
How can reflexology benefit my health?
Reflexology practioners believe this treatment helps restore balance in the body and promotes deep relaxation. In addition, research summarized by Kunz and Kunz (2008) states reflexology may impact specific organs (ex. Increased blood flow to kidneys/intestines), reduce general pain, improve symptoms, and induce relaxation.
Traditionally, reflexology has been used to help with migraines, digestive issues and sleep problems. Many people report better sleep in the days after a treatment. People with pain also say that reflexology improved their pain.
What is the difference between reflexology and massage?
Massage is performed to the soft tissues of the body while reflexology focuses on specific points on the hand, feet or ears. The objective of reflexology is to provide stress relief by utilizing the connections between the reflex points and the rest of the body and not the “massaging” of the feet or hands. The training and certification for each is different. All of our massage therapists are also trained in reflexology.
Is there anyone who should not use reflexology?
Reflexology should not be considered if you have any of the following:
- Contagious illness
- Foot infections
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- High-Risk pregnancy
- Trauma to the feet
- Any serious health condition
How often should you have reflexology?
Reflexology can be a great way to help keep yourself in balance. Regular visits, such as monthly or every six weeks, can help maintain your well-being. If something is more acute – such as pain or illness, visits closer together can help your body start to repair and heal.
Is reflexology just for feet?
We tend to think of reflexology as being points on the feet, however traditions from around the world also use points in the hands, face and head. There are even some traditions that use points in the calves and spine. Working points in the head can be extremely relaxing and it supports the parasympathetic nervous system to do its job of helping balance the body.
Is reflexology covered by my insurance?
Reflexology is currently not covered by most major insurance companies, with the exception of Green Shield Canada and SSQ. However, reflexology may be submitted to a health spending account. As coverage varies over time, please check with your insurance company or personal health spending plan sponsor for the latest in coverage.
Price List for Reflexology Services
|Reflexology Treatment||30 minutes||$50|
|Reflexology Treatment||60 minutes||$90|
Direct Billing and Insurance
Reflexology is not currently available for direct billing. In 2017, reflexologists become eligible providers for Green Shield Canada and SSQ Financial Group. We can provide a receipt that you can submit directly to your insurance company or health spending plan. As other insurance companies add reflexology to their benefit plans, it is expected that direct billing will be made available to health providers.
Disclaimer – Services provided by reflexologists in the private sector are not covered by the standard Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. However, for some, reflexology is included in extended health care insurance packages. To avoid any surprises, it is recommended that you consult with your private health care provider to determine these terms and conditions prior to your first appointment.