The First Timer’s Guide to Reflexology


Learn how reflexology therapy has the power to relieve physical tension, improve circulation and support your body to function optimally.

When it comes to natural health care treatments, there’s a reason why reflexology has stood the test of time. Reflexology really works. Defined as the study of reflexes in the human body, the practice of reflexology has been traced 4,000 B.C in Ancient China.

“Reflexology therapies are natural therapeutic methods. It’s based on the principle that there are reflexes in the body that map to other parts, glands, and organs of the body,” the Reflexology Association of Canada states.

Reflexology 101

A reflexologist will use their hands, thumbs and fingers in order to apply pressure on reflexes in specific areas of your body. Reflexologists work on the areas of the body with the most nerve-endings, which are your feet, hands and ears. The reflexes in these pressure points improve how your organs, systems and glands function through reflexive stimulation.


How does reflexology work?

Your feet, hands and ears have thousands of nerve endings, says Certified Foot and Hand Reflexologist, Stephanie Tourles.

“As the most nerve-rich parts of the body, when these areas are targeted specifically during a reflexology session, this stimulation will help improve many health problems in other areas of your body in a natural way,” 

In other words, it’s not the reflexologist that improves or cures the ailment. Reflexology helps the body heal itself.

What to know before you go.

If you’re interested in giving reflexology a try, make sure to book an appointment with a Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist (RCRT). Since many spas and clinics offer reflexology treatments, it’s important to ensure your reflexologist is a RCRT. This qualification will give you peace of mind that your reflexologist has been properly trained and is adhering to the Reflexology Association of Canada’s code of conduct.  

During your first reflexology session, you’ll have a brief talk with your reflexologist about your health history where you can ask any questions about your treatment plan. Unlike a massage, a reflexology doesn’t require you to undress, with the exception of outdoor clothes like shoes or gloves. Most patients receive reflexology treatments on a massage table or a comfortable zero-gravity chair. Most reflexology sessions last anywhere between 45 to 60 minutes.

Although reflexology is an effective technique for regaining better health and ensuring that your body is functioning optimally, it’s not intended to replace treatments prescribed by your physician or medical provider, Tourles says.

“Many of my client’s schedule regular reflexology sessions as a type of preventative body maintenance or a “tune-up” in order to stay healthy,” she says. “Most clients attest to better health, even sometimes a marked reduction or even disappearance of their ailment or condition.”


Improving your health with reflexology. 

Taking part in regular reflexology therapy sessions can help with a number of common health disorders such as insomnia and hormonal and digestive issues. Since reflexology is a natural treatment option that helps the body rest and repair itself, many patients use reflexology therapy as a way to help with stress-related illnesses and anxiety disorders. The Reflexology Association of Canada states that top reported benefits include reduced stress, improved relaxation and body function and increased strength and mobility.