How to give a reflexology massage

A reflexologist is a type of massage therapist. A reflexologist applies pressure to specific areas of the body, particularly in the hands and the feet. Reflexologists believe that certain pressure points on the feet and hands correspond directly with different organs of the body. By working on specific pressure points, a reflexologist can reduce tension, alleviate stress, and guard against health issues.

Reflexologists are knowledgeable about the specific muscle groups of the body. They have received the training needed to help people heal their bodies and overcome any pain or stress they may be feeling. A career in reflexology requires significant education and training, which is described here.

Why Become A Reflexologist

There are many reasons why people seek out the care of a reflexologist. Some people are suffering from muscle tension. Careers that involve long periods of standing can put a lot of stress on the feet. Stress in our lives can also lead to a deteriorating immune system. Many clients suffer from chronic conditions, such as diabetes, respiratory conditions, problems with digestion, insomnia, and more.

The field of alternative medicine suggests that there are natural ways to remedy stress as well as chronic ailments, and reflexology is one of the recommended treatments. A reflexologist will use their knowledge of the human muscle system to help a client become more relaxed, less stressed, and treat any conditions they might be facing. As a reflexologist, you believe there are natural ways to helping people achieve their goals. You enjoy making people feel better. You enjoy providing a relaxing environment for your guests.

A Reflexologist should possess the following qualities and skills:

  • Knowledgeable
  • Dexterity
  • Stamina
  • Relaxing
  • Empathy
  • Technical
  • Communicator

Reflexologist Work Environment

A reflexologist works anywhere where massage therapy is practiced. A reflexologist may work in a massage therapist office, chiropractic office, fitness studio or at a spa. They may also choose to open their own practice, once they have several years of experience working in this field.
A reflexologist creates a calming, peaceful setting for their clients to come in and meet with them. They will have an office or massage therapy room where they will work on their clients. A reflexologist may see many clients during the day, working on their particular needs. This could be a part-time or full-time position.

Reflexologist Salary

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for reflexologists was $37,000 in 2014. Salary may vary based on a number of different factors, such as level of education, years of experience, location, industry, and other factors.

Reflexologist Career Outlook

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for reflexologists are expected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024. It is expected that there could be as many as 36,000 new jobs available by 2024 in this field. This is significantly higher than other career fields in the country.
There are many reasons why people are turning to reflexology. There has been a recent trend towards natural health care and holistic medicine. Many people are looking for alternative ways to treat their ailments. Reflexology will continue to be a popular choice as people continue to be interested in holistic practices and ways to treat themselves without conventional medicines.

Reflexologist Degree

A reflexologist spends many hours training to become certified. They also require many years of experience to become an expert in their profession.
Many states have a specific license to become a certified reflexologist. These states are currently Tennessee, North Dakota, Washington and New Hampshire. In some states there are no licensing requirements to become a reflexologist or massage therapist; these states are Kansas, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wyoming. In many states, a reflexologist is considered a massage therapist and must become certified in massage therapy in order to practice. Be sure to check your current state laws.

You will need to enroll in a certified reflexology or massage therapy program. State laws vary on how many hours you will need to complete in order to become a reflexologist, but it is generally at least 300 hours of coursework. You will have to complete examinations in foot and hand reflexology.

The American Reflexology Certification Board offers national certification to those who have completed a course in reflexology, passed their examinations, and shown you have practiced on people in an academic setting. Certification exams are held across the United States many times a year. To keep a certification current, a reflexologist must pay a renewal fee. They must also go to continuing education classes to keep updated on trends and techniques in their career field.

Main image credit: Healthy Diet Base

What is Hand Reflexology?

Hand reflexology is an ancient healing practice that targets specific areas of your body by applying pressure to points on the hands. It is a quick, simple treatment that can help to alleviate a variety of ailments and issues. It has been known to be effective in bringing about instant relief from pain and tension, although these results may also be cumulative.

Hand Reflexology shares many principles with acupuncture, in that it relies on a belief that our bodies contain channels of energy. Over time, these channels can become blocked, resulting in illness. Hand reflexologists believe that by applying pressure to certain parts of the hands, these energetic channels can be cleared. By removing the blockage you can restore balance and well-being to the whole body.

What are the benefits of a hand massage?

Even though a hand massage may seem simple, it can provide a whole host of health benefits. These may include:

  • Boosting circulation: either following an injury or as a result of a long-term complaint, such as Raynaud’s.
  • Increased flexibility: by improving mobility and easing joint movement, particularly in older people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pain relief: from chronic issues such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. It can also contribute to the alleviation of common everyday difficulties caused by repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel caused by computer use.

This type of treatment may also provide some relief for the following conditions:

  • Headaches
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Stress
  • Sports injuries
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Symptoms of menopause
  • Sinus and breathing problems

How to do hand reflexology at home

How to give a reflexology massage
Credit: Montereybayholistic

If you’re interested in trying Hand Reflexology, the best thing to do is find a qualified reflexologist. They will be able to apply their specialist knowledge to meeting your specific goals. However, if you’re just looking for general relaxation you can try the basics either yourself or with the help of a willing friend!

Here are the 5 steps you can follow at home:

  1. Relax the hand by rubbing your thumb in wide movements over your palm, working out from the centre to the edges. Then, gently rub down in long, straight motions from the knuckles to the wrist. Be careful not to press too hard and hurt yourself!
  2. Wrap your hand round each finger one by one and gently rotate at the joint, as if using a joystick on an arcade machine. You may like to add a small amount of oil or hand cream.
  3. Wake up the hand meridians by pinching the end of each finger. You can see which meridian each point relates to by looking at a reflexology map . Remember that each hand is different!
  4. Starting at the base of each finger, rub in small anti-clockwise circles until you reach the tip.
  5. Apply gentle pressure in small circles all over the palms, pads and backs of the hand, working down to the wrist.
  6. Drink a big glass of water! Increased circulation may result in your body processing expelling waste, toxins and lactic acid faster, so it needs water to help flush everything out.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage |

February 19, 2013

  1. eHow
  2. Healthy Living
  3. Massage & Body Work
  4. Reflexology Massage
  5. How to Give a Reflexology Massage

By an eHow Contributor

Reflexology is not exactly massage, but is similar in that it is used to promote healing in all parts of the body by stimulating specific areas of the body, specifically the hands and feet. Reflexology is purported to relieve stress and to bring the body to a state of homeostasis, or equilibrium. Reflexology is used to help sufferers of conditions like arthritis, insomnia and muscle strain.

Reflexology chart citing the different parts of the body and their corresponding foot or hand reflex zones

Computer with Internet access


    • 1

Get a reflexology chart. Reflexology charts can be found online and in books on reflexology (see Resources below). You can also purchase books specifically on giving reflexology treatment to others.

Visit the Reflexology Association of America Web site and look at their nationwide events calendar (see Resources below). Get some hands-on experience while being guided by well-informed instructors.

Call your local reflexology association or local reflexology practitioner. They may have their own courses and seminars that are not listed online. You can find a listing of associations and reflexologists on the Reflexology Association of America Web site.

Target the areas of the body you would like to treat with a reflexology massage.

Use the reflexology chart to find the areas of the hands and feet that correspond to the target body parts. Mark the hands and feet with a marker or pen that is safe for skin. You can also order reflexology socks, which are socks with the reflexology chart printed on the sole.

Apply firm and constant pressure to the reflex zones for at least 20 seconds at a time. One should be able to feel the pressure throughout the entire reflex zone.

Use reflexology instruments in place of your hands. There are probes, balls and rollers you can use to really stimulate the reflex zones. The cost of such materials is fairly inexpensive.

Repeat the reflexology massage as many times as you see fit. Some people use reflexology as preventative medicine and use it throughout their lifetime.

Tips & Warnings

Please consult a licensed medical physician if you or the person you give reflexology treatment to experience severe abdominal or chest pain or if reflexology treatments provide no positive results. Reflexologists are not licensed medical professionals and are not ones to diagnose or cure serious illness.

Avoid reflexology if you are pregnant.

Before you start any alternative medical technique, be aware that many have not been scientifically evaluated. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about how alternative medicine practitioners can be professionally licensed. If you decide to visit one, choose one licensed by a recognized national organization. Consult your primary health care provider about your decision first. Keep your doctor informed about the alternative medical technique you undertake.

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Curated by the talented team at Elixir Mind Body Massage

Foot massage is a simple and accessible home treatment for tired or aching feet. It can help you relax and de-stress, supporting your overall sense of well-being. It is something you can easily do for yourself or for someone else.

Before getting started:

Soak your feet in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Adding mineral salts to the foot bath will add an extra element of pain relief and muscle release. Or you may add essential oil if desired. Both of these options will help clean and warm the feet and provide aromatherapy as an added relaxation benefit. Dry your feet with a warm towel. For an extra special treat heat up the towels in your dryer first and keep one towel wrapped while you massage the other.

How to give a reflexology massage

General guidelines:

  1. If you are giving yourself a foot massage find a comfortable sitting position and b end your left leg to rest your left foot on your right thigh then do the reverse for the other foot. If you are receiving a foot massage from someone else lay back on a couch or bed to provide support under your feet and legs.
  2. Leave a towel under your feet to protect surfaces from oil drips.
  3. Apply massage oilor cream over the entire foot and up over the ankle.
  4. Pay extra attention to parts that feel sore and massage them a little longer with a pressure that feels comfortable.
  5. Avoid injuring the thumbs: Do not use so much pressure that the thumbs start to hurt.
  6. Avoid using pressure that is too light, as this may tickle.
  7. Focus on one foot at a time.
  8. Apply more pressure when you are going from the toes to the ankles and less pressure when going from the ankles to the toes. This will help push extra fluid out of the feet.
  9. Be sure to wipe the feet of excess oil after the massage to prevent slipping then put on socks for additional moisturizing benefits.

Here are some specific massage techniques for you to try:

  • Use a gentle twisting motion to warm up the foot by placing your hands on either side of the foot and gently pull the right side forward while pulling the left side back then repeat on the other side. Work your way up from the toes to the ankle.

How to give a reflexology massage

  • Rub and knead the underside of the arch of the foot with your thumbs or knuckles repeatedly from the heel to the ball of the foot.
  • Hold the outside of your foot with both hands and pull each side outward.
  • While holding the heel in one hand bend all the toes on one foot back and forth at the same time with the other hand. Repeat this move a few times while gently increase pressure and flex the toes to increase range of motion.

How to give a reflexology massage

  • While cradling the top of the foot in one hand take hold of the heel with the other and repeatedly squeeze and release the heel.
  • Use the fingers of both hands to do strokes on the top of the foot and use your thumbs to do strokes on the bottom of the foot. Start with the toes and work up to the ankles and back down. Find the grooves between the bones and tendons of your feet and ankles and apply firm (not deep) pressure in those areas.

How to give a reflexology massage

  • Hold the base of the foot with one hand and then tug, twist, and pull each toe smoothly, moving from the little to the big toes.
  • Finish the massage with light strokes with your fingers on top of the foot and your thumbs on the bottom of the foot and starting at the toes and working up above the ankles.

We hope these suggestions get you in the mood for some wonderful self-care at home. If you are interested in receiving a professional therapeutic massage or Reflexology treatment Elixir is open now with heightened safety and sanitation protocols in place. You can call us at 303-571-4455 if you have questions or would like a service consultation for your appointment or you may book online 24/7 at your convenience.

How to give a reflexology massage

Basic Foot Reflexology and how to give a proper foot massage?

Basic Foot Reflexology and how to give a proper foot massage?

A perfect Reflexology Foot Massage is the best healing force which can help alleviate many symptoms like insomnia, headache, chronic fatigue, dizziness and it also helps in treating the hidden cause of many internal diseases such as Kidney disease, Heart disease, Liver disease, High blood pressure, plus virtually any other disease known to man.

Foot massage is also one of the most pleasurable experiences that you can have, if the proper reflexology foot massage technique is used by massage therapist. A proper reflexology therapy is one of the best stress relieving treatments and are a great way to end a full body massage.

Some significant fundamentals of Basic Foot Reflexology to keep in mind in order to give a proper foot massage technique are below:

  1. Make sure that your hands are clean and fingernails are appropriately trimmed before giving any type of massage technique.
  2. Feet are usually ticklish and hence great care must be taken in avoiding light touch or brushing lightly on the feet. Being tickled is not relaxing and this makes the nervous system to go in the alert response. So, always make sure to press or hold the feet firmly.
  3. Feet tend to be very sore in some parts. Make sure to apply pressure in a gentle manner and try to avoid digging directly into the tender point. The key to perfect massage is firm pressure in a gentle manner.
  4. Begin the foot massage by massaging every nook and cranny around the ankles. By loosening of all the ligaments and nerves that run through the ankle, the therapist is preparing the remaining of the foot for the direct pressure; this technique is part of any good Shiatsu or Reflexology Foot Massage.

Basics of Foot Reflexology

How to give a reflexology massageHave a look at massage chart above. The entire human body is represented holographically on the sole of foot. The inside edges of your foot, the most medial or middle aspect, represents the spine. It is because the spine is the middle of the body. That is the reason it is represented by the most middle aspect of feet.

The liver is present on the right side of the chest and abdomen and therefore the area of your feet that treats the liver is the lateral aspect of the right foot.

The spleen is on the left side of the ribs, which is below heart. Therefore it is treated by the outside or the lateral aspect of the left foot.

Head is situated in the toes along with all of the sensory organs. The lower back, urinary bladder sacrum, genitals and lower limbs are positioned towards the heel.

The kidneys are placed in the very centre of the sole of the foot which coincides with the acupuncture point Kidney 1 (Yongquan – ‘Bubbling Spring’).

The anatomical position of Kidney 1 is in between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals, just posterior to the first phalangeal joint.

Massaging at this point is very advantageous for grounding someone’s energy out of their head, for symptoms such as headaches, insomnia or dizziness.

This point is also the major point where Earth Yin energy enters in the body and EMF (electro-magnetic field) radiation Yang energy is discharged back again in to the ground. This point is also very effective for fertility and longevity.

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Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in January 2016. We decided to update it to include more tips and helpful information. Enjoy!

If you’re considering booking a reflexology treatment, you might have a lot of questions. What exactly is reflexology? What are the benefits? And is it just another word for a foot massage?

There’s a lot to dig into, but we’ll cover the basics of what you need to know about reflexology in this article.

What is reflexology?

In reflexology, pressure is applied to specific reflex points on the foot. These points correspond to organs and areas of the body. The treatment is said to induce a healing response, even alleviating some ailments.

Reflexology is one of the most popular types of massage . Beyond the feel-good effects of the treatment, the practice and purpose go deeper than the skin and muscles. Kneading the soft fleshy ball of the foot, pulling on the toes, tracing around the heel and pushing deep into the arch are just a few of the movements you’ll experience during a treatment.

But what is all of that for? Well, there is a method to the treatment, and it all revolves around the charted areas of your foot.

How to give a reflexology massageUnderstanding a foot reflexology chart

The image on the left is an example of a reflexology foot chart or map. It shows which part of the foot connects to each organ or area of the body.

A reflexologist will use a diagram like this one during the session. Reflexologists sometimes also work on the hands or ears to trigger relaxation, but foot reflexology is the most common treatment.

As you can see, there’s a spot on the map for every organ or system in the body. A reflexologist can treat specific parts of your body by targeting that area of the foot.

How reflexology differs from a foot massage

These two treatments might seem similar, but there are some key differences. Both can be beneficial! Here’s what you can expect during a foot massage versus a reflexology massage.

Massage therapy is the manipulation of tissues to relax the muscles, relieve tension, and improve circulation. This can improve overall health and well-being.

Reflexology, on the other hand, uses a targeted, pressure-point massage to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. The treatment usually focuses on the feet, but it can also include the hands and ears.

There can be many potential benefits of this kind of treatment, which leads to the next question you might be asking.

What are the benefits?

Reflexology can address anything from headaches to sinus problems to stomach issues. If sensitivity or tenderness is experienced when an area is stimulated, it usually indicates bodily weaknesses or imbalances within the corresponding organ.

With repeated pressure and manipulation of nerve endings, reflexology can help to clear any channels of blocked energy. It is said to do so through moving the flow of blood, nutrients and nerve impulses. This ultimately improves overall health and balance.

Other potential benefits:

  • Cleanse the body of toxins
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase circulation
  • Promote healing
  • Balance energy

What to Expect At the spa

Ok, so you’re ready to book a reflexology massage . There’s a lot to know about booking a treatment and what one is like. We’ll take a detailed look at everything you need to know about the process so there are no surprises.

Things to know before you go

To be effective, a reflexology practitioner must be certified and understand the meridians related to each pressure point.

Most spas offer reflexology. At Spafinder , we make it super easy to find popular spas with the services you want. Use our search tool to find a spa near you, read reviews, and book a session online .

But you might have some questions about the treatment. Let’s answer those.

How much does a reflexology massage cost?

Similar to any spa treatment or massage therapy, prices for reflexology will vary from spa to spa. However, the pricing is usually similar to a traditional massage. You can expect to pay anywhere from $40-90 for a 1-hour session, or $30-50 for a 30-minute session.

What is a reflexology session like?

The treatment typically lasts approximately 30 minutes, but it can last up to an hour. Have a conversation with your reflexologist beforehand to discuss issues like constipation, tension headaches or trouble sleeping.

During the session, you’re clothed and seated or lying down. The therapist will rub, press on and squeeze points on your feet. The therapist may concentrate on specific areas to alleviate ailments. For example, if you have sinus trouble, she’ll focus on your toes. But the therapist might also work on the whole foot in order to strengthen every system in the body.

Important Things to Remember:

  • Wait at least one hour after the massage before eating
  • Don’t receive reflexology if you are pregnant. Try a prenatal massage instead.
  • Drink water following the treatment to eliminate toxins and lactic acid buildup that occurs during the massage
  • Consult a doctor first if you have foot problems, an injury or a blood vessel disease associated with clots or varicose veins

For more information on massage treatments, click here to see which massage is right for you. You can also search for spas that offer reflexology in your area on Spafinder.


Shop massage oils, creams and wellness spa products at the Spafinder shop.

How to give a reflexology massage

Everyone wants a massage, but sometimes making it in to see your favorite massage therapist (hi there!) just isn’t feasible. It’s in those unexpected and inconvenient moments that knowing how to give your partner a pretty great massage yourself can make the difference between a rotten day and a better one. But of course, this hinges on one thing: do you know how to give a good massage? Giving an at-home massage is not that hard. Here are my favorite tips:

How to give a reflexology massageUse firm pressure, but not hard.

People get confused about pressure in two opposite ways. If your partner is smaller than you, you may have a tendency to use very light pressure. This is okay to a point (you probably won’t hurt anyone), but can be a little frustrating if your partner is tense or sore or, even worse, ticklish. On the other side are the people who come from the “no pain, no gain” school of massage. Don’t buy into this myth! Massage should be pleasant. If your partner has to tense their muscles and clench their jaw in order to get through your ministrations, it’s NOT helping.

Slooooooow doooooown.

There are absolutely occasions where someone might want a fast-paced, vigorous massage. But unless your partner is getting warmed up for a race or ballroom dancing competition, this is probably not one of them. You’re not going to miss some key muscle if you take your time. If you seem relaxed, your partner is going to relax, too. So take a deep breath, put your hands out, and make each stroke last.

If you meet a bone, leave it alone.

There is one exception to the firm pressure rule, and that is bones. You don’t need to be an anatomy nerd, I mean, anatomist, to recognize the ones that stick out, like knees, elbows, ribs, and spines. With little padding between them and the skin, these areas can be quick to bruise or feel painful. If you find your hands arriving at one of these bony landmarks (yes, that’s actually what massage therapists call them, it’s like reading a topographical map), you have two options: turn around and go back the way you came, or skim over them using gentle pressure and keep going with your massage on the other side.

Practice good body mechanics.

If massage shouldn’t be painful for your partner, it also shouldn’t be painful for you. If you are hunched over, if your wrists are bent at an awkward angle, if you are using your thumbs or fingers in ways they weren’t designed to work, you will end up regretting the day you ever offered to give a massage. Use bigger muscles in place of small ones whenever you can: use your back to provide pressure instead of your arms, and your arms instead of your fingers. Whenever possible, push instead of pulling. When you move to a new part of your partner’s body, adjust your entire position, not just your hand placement. It may feel strange at first, but imagine if you tried to shovel snow by standing in one place and using just your arms to move the shovel from one side of you to the other. If that image seems a bit ridiculous, then you already understand why proper body mechanics are so important.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Really, you probably don’t need to talk to a massage therapist to learn that open communication between you and your partner is key to anything you undertake together. But it’s especially true in a situation like a massage, where one of you is more vulnerable than the other. As the massage giver, it’s important that you check in regularly: How does this feel? Would you like more or less pressure? Do you remember whether I turned the oven off? (Okay, maybe not that one.) The same goes for communicating your own needs. If you are getting tired, or thirsty, or really need to leave for work, say something. Don’t leave your partner feeling guilty about enjoying a massage because you made a unilateral decision to sacrifice your needs for theirs.

Learn from the pros.

As with any skill, one of the best ways to learn to give a massage is by watching the people who are already great at it. Getting regular professional massage (hello again!) and taking a couples massage class are both helpful. Barring that, YouTube is a fantastic source of tutorials for beginners. You can search for a style you like—Swedish massage is a great place to start—or an area you’d like to focus on, like the neck and shoulders.

If you follow these guidelines, you’re going to be fine.

You may not be winning any championships, but massage isn’t a competition. If you can give a caring, relaxing massage without hurting your partner or yourself, you’re way ahead of the curve on this one. And if you feel like you need more than that … well, give me a call.

How to give a reflexology massage

Foot therapy has been around a long time. There are records of foot reflexology being used in China as far back as 4,000 BC, and images depicting the practice in ancient Egyptian tombs.

However, an ear, nose, and throat doctor by the name of William Fitzgerald (1872 – 1942) is the father of modern reflexology. Dr Fitzgerald noticed a link between how massaging different areas of the feet could improve organ functions, and it’s this connection which makes reflexology so effective in providing relief.

How to Give a Reflexology Foot Massage

Your patient will be there for a while, so they will need a comfortable place to lay down.

Create a foot bath with warm water. Add about one-quarter of a cup of Epsom salts and stir until it’s fully dissolved. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate.

Magnesium is a mineral used by the body in hundreds of interactions and is absorbed through the skin. The warm water helps to relax the muscles.

Soak the patient’s feet for about 10 minutes before starting the massage.

How to Relax the Feet

Take the heel of the foot with the palm of your left hand in a gentle grip, while placing your right hand over the top and close to the ankle.

Give both the top and bottom of the foot a gentle squeeze. Uric acid crystals build up in the foot, and the squeezing action improves circulation by breaking up the crystals so they can be flushed out.

Thumb Walking Technique

The thumb walking technique is easy on the hands and can be done for long periods without tiring.

Bend and unbend your thumbs as you walk them up the feet. Apply slight pressure during the bend and release it when straightening the thumb.

Thumb walking allows the massager to stimulate the entire foot for a thorough and relaxing session.

Foot reflexology can be done by anybody when practiced often enough, but professional practitioners are the best at creating long-lasting results. Enjoy the exquisite sensations of reflexology in a relaxing environment at your Palm Beach Gardens, FL professional foot spa, complete with pleasant aromas, soft lighting, and relaxing music.