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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Foot Reflexology Basics

Foot reflexology has been a healing modality for thousands of years. From Egypt, to China, to India and other areas in Asia, Europe and North America, people have relied on reflexologists for help with pain relief and preventive health care.

            Foot reflexology is therapeutic foot massage, based on the premise that the body is an interconnected whole and that massaging areas on the feet can benefit corresponding organs and glands. Areas called reflex zones are represented on both feet. Massaging a reflex zone is like massaging the corresponding organ or gland, bringing enhanced blood circulation and nerve conduction to help the organ function better.

           Massage can be either gentle or firm, depending on the reflexologist’s training. Firm massage is thought to break up accumulated tension and firm areas in the tissue, enabling circulation and energy flow. Gentle massage encourages the tissue to relax on its own, starting the healing process. Gentle massage also softens the nervous system reflex zones and calms down the “fight-or-flight” response; this results in a relaxed mind and body, which is optimal for healing.

            Reflexology can help not only with general bodily health and peace of mind; the massage itself is also soothing to sore, swollen or injured feet. Regular reflexology massage can also keep the feet in good shape, preventing possible recurrences of painful conditions like plantar fasciitis.

            This ancient, yet modern, therapy might be the perfect addition to a person’s health regimen.

Denise Held, RN, a certified Reflexolo-Chi foot reflexologist, has office hours at the Natural Healing Center, 2002 Hogback Rd., Ste. 14, in Ann Arbor. For more info, call 734-649-2891, or visit