“Reflexology is a way of having your feet focused on to help your body reestablish homeostasis. “


I love reflexology!  I have said it before and will continue saying it!  How can you not love a therapy that works on the feet but affects the whole body?  How often do we have someone literally sitting in service for us at our feet?

As a reflexologist, I sit in service at your feet to bring you relaxation, relief, and revitalization.  Yes, reflexology can work the hands and even points on the face and ears, but most often, it focuses on those feet.

When we used to run around without shoes on our feet, the reflex points would be stimulated just with our everyday movement.  A twig would hit the liver reflex, the rock we balanced on while looking for game would stimulate the lung area, the earth would gently conform to our feet in some places and not in others putting pressure on the ascending and descending colon points.  You get the idea.  However, with our modern shoes and lack of time having our feet touching earth, our feet do not get the stimulation they evolved to benefit from.

Further, our modern shoes often are made with the opposite of health in mind.  Those cute shoes often create issues with bunions, hammer toes, callouses, and more.  They do not allow us to really spread our toes and feel grounded.  All of this can create health issues.

Reflexology is a way of having your feet focused on to help your body reestablish homeostasis.  This homeostasis, or balance, helps bring about health as we have previously discussed.



What Reflexology Does and a Brief History Lesson

Reflexology is ancient.  There are images from the Physician’s Tomb in Egypt from over 4500 years ago showing hand and foot reflexology. 

There is also evidence of reflexology in ancient China.  It is referred to as Shi Ya (foot massage) and also has thousands of years of history in writings.  The Chinese recognize the flow of chi (also called ki or doshas in other cultures).  They would stimulate certain points on the feet to help stimulate the flow of chi and remove blockages.  

India also has a rich history of using reflexology.  In India’s Ayurvedic medicine, the feet are considered representative and a microcosm of the entire body.

In the 20th century, an American doctor named William H. Fitzgerald observed that applying pressure to certain zones on the hands and feet could produce an anesthetic effect in corresponding areas of the body.  This realization led to the development of Zone Therapy.  It was expanded upon by Eunice Ingham, a physical therapist in the 1930s.  She developed some of the maps we still use today.  Zone Therapy is what parts of the world still refer to reflexology as.

There are over 7200 nerve endings in the bottom of each foot and 5500 in each hand.  Anywhere the body has a congregation of nerve endings, it is mapping itself.  This allows the reflexologist to understand where in your body each area of the foot corresponds to.  






A Basic Reflexology Map and Benefits

Here is a chart from https://reflexology-map.com/feet-map/ that is helpful to see where areas are.  There are hundreds of maps of the feet with slight differences.  They are all valid.  Why are there so many?  Well, it has to do with opinions and the ability to sell them under your name.  Which is the most important of these?  It is your call.

As I have said, I love reflexology and think everyone can benefit.  Here is a short list of things reflexology may assist with.

  • Relaxation
  • Relieves tension
  • Return the body to homeostasis/balance
  • Improve blood supply to the central nervous system
  • Improve circulation
  • Enhances the ability of nutrition to the cells
  • Improves detoxification (wastes leaving the cells)
  • Improves oxygenation
  • Helps to unblock nerve flow/impulses
  • And more…



What to Expect

During a reflexology session you will remain fully clothed except for your feet–we need access to your whole foot and will need your shoes and socks off. You will be laying on the massage table on your back.  Your therapist should offer you a blanket and other things to make you the most comfortable.  Sessions last for 30-60 minutes with actual table time ranging from 25-55 minutes.

Reflexology can be a little uncomfortable.  This is because the reflexologist is working on areas that may have some dysfunction.  Also, there may be calcifications or hard bits on the ends of the nerve endings.  It can be uncomfortable to break up the calcifications.  I like to tell my clients that discomfort during a session is ok; however, pain is not.  Tell your therapist if you experience pain because s/he can change the pressure to make it tolerable.

Persons who are highly toxic and ill may experience more discomfort.  For example, every client with fibromyalgia I have worked on has more pain than normal.  Make sure to share your health conditions with your therapist so s/he can understand what changes may need to be made for you to have the best, most healing session possible.

The goal I always have first in my mind as a reflexologist is to help my client relax during the session.  This often means you will fall asleep on the table.  This is wonderful as it allows you to enter a more healing state and achieve even more benefits from the therapy.

After the session, many people have reported improved sense of self, relaxation, and changes in chronic conditions.

Some people will ask me how often to get reflexology.  In my opinion, once a month is fabulous.  At a minimum, I recommend reflexology every 3 months at the season change to help the body release the junk it has been exposed to.






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Using natural modalities, Dr. Hartford works to transform her clients’ health every day. She has worked with thousands of clients from all walks of life. Let her help you find the natural solution for your natural health.

Dr. Ylona Hartford

Traditional Naturopath


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