Reflexology is the art and science of applying thumb and finger pressure to specific points on the extremities, called "reflexes". These reflex points, located on the hands, feet, face, and ears, produce referral sensations throughout the body that help to relax and bring balance to the body's systems. Sometimes, even after a massage, you may find that your muscles continue to be tight. This is because not all bodywork is able to affect the nerves that control muscular tension.
As a nervous-system-based modality, reflexology seeks to communicate with the body's control center, taking it out of the stress-fueled, sympathetic, or fight-or-flight mode and activating the parasympathetic, or rest-and-digest mode, putting the body into an extremely relaxed state and allowing natural healing to take place. This process of relaxation is comprehensive, facilitating benefits throughout the entire body, including organs, joints, muscles, glands, and all bodily structures.
Reflexology with a certified reflexologist also includes the reading and assessment of the "markers" on the extremities. Whether they are visual, textural, or holding patterns, these markers are indicative of a person's past and present levels of physical, mental, and emotional tension. This assessment is based on the principle that the entire body is reflected in the extremities and is simply the starting point for a conversation between you and your reflexologist to explore ways of restoring balance to your being.
It is important to note that reflexology does not treat for any specific disease or illness; it is not pushing buttons to fix an issue. Reflexology is not a substitute for conventional medical treatments and should only be sought out as a complementary therapy to increase a sense of physical and mental well-being.