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Reflexology vs. Massage

Reflexology vs. Massage

Ho-lis-tic is an adjective that means, “related to a complete system rather than an individual part.” When applied to health care, “holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind, the body, and the spirit,” rather than specific parts of the body.  By ancient design, reflexology is a holistic art or therapy.

So how does it work? Reflexology focuses on our body’s nerve impulses. Gentle pressure is applied to the hands, ears, and feet to stimulate the nerve endings that connect to our neural pathways that lead to our central nervous system.  Our bodies have vertical meridians or energy pathways, that run head to toe; during a reflexology session these pathways are stimulated to clear blockages. When pressure is applied to specific reflexes,  those wonderfully beneficial endorphins are released to aid in pain management. In summary, when you engage with a certified Reflexology Therapist like me, reflexology helps to:


  • Improve your circulation;
  • Make you relaxed;
  • Manage your pain;
  • Revitalize you;
  • Promotes restful sleep;
  • Introduce you to the overall sense of well-being that  nurturing human touch brings.

Take Reflexology Therapists seriously. We are  subject to the scope of practice as outlined by the Reflexology Association of Canada. Education and standards matter, as certification equals quality.  In my practice, being a  Reflexology Therapist, or more specifically a Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist, signals to my clients that I possess the appropriate education and training required to properly practice my craft. My credentials tell you that I adhere to the highest standards of expertise, conduct, and ethics.

Quite often, people confuse reflexology with massage. Massage Therapists and Reflexology Therapists have different bodies of knowledge, training, certification, and legal boundaries. These practices have their own strengths, application, techniques and educational requirements. By way of comparison, massage is performed on the soft tissues of the body whereas reflexology is performed on the reflex points in the ears, hands, and feet. Reflexology is considered a perfect complement to traditional medical care. It is safe for just about anyone, no matter your age or state of being.

You might be thinking, how often should I have reflexology? The frequency of your visits depends on your health and wellness. Depending on what your goals are, you may benefit from weekly or bi-weekly sessions. Typically, the time between visits lengthens as your body begins to regain a state of natural balance and vitality. Monthly visits can help keep stress in check, and help supports your body’s immune system.  No matter the reason, it is important that you seek the services of a qualified Reflexology Therapist. Usually, when I first meet with you, I will ask you to supply me a complete health history, and I will take the time to discuss with you your health goals in order to suggest a plan of therapy. Generally, a full reflexology session lasts about 60 minutes. For the very young, the elderly, and those in frail health, the sessions may be a bit shorter and a lighter touch is used. There are some conditions where reflexology should not be given, so please be sure to detail and discuss your health condition with me when we first meet.

Image used: “Foot Massage,” Taken on June 2, 2012 , by Beth Scupham, CC by 2.0


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