The feel-good treatment has been practiced for centuries — and for good reason.
How Does Foot Reflexology Treat Stress?
In addition to treating sinus troubles, digestive issues, and more, reflexology can be a great way to combat anxiety and stress, says Gilmore. When we’re experiencing great levels of stress, we tend to tighten our muscles, but reflexology can help to relax that tension that you’re harboring. In fact, a 2020 study from Evidence Based Complement Alternate Medicine found that in 26 randomized controlled studies involving 2,366 participants, foot reflexology significantly improved adult anxiety.
Regular reflexology sessions create a familiarity with what true relaxation feels like. This familiarity gives us a baseline sensation that we can return to more rapidly in times of stress.
So why is the practice so effective in reducing these mental health conditions?
Reflexology can reduce stress and anxiety by “rebalancing the lymphatic and endocrine system”, and boosting circulation, inducing a state of calm throughout your body and mind, leaving you feeling less stressed and anxious.
Reflexology can bring a sense of peace and connection to your body by shifting the brain wave patterns into deeper consciousness where the body can most effectively heal itself.
When you’re receiving the treatment, the reflexologist will first work through all the points, addressing your entire body before spending some time on the specific areas of concern. (For example, “if a new client is having a gastric condition, we will first work all reflexology points for the whole body, only then would we return to focus on the points related to the digestive system.) This is mostly because it can be tricky to exactly pinpoint where the issue is stemming from.
But foot reflexology also isn’t just about treating already existing problems — it can also be preventative and beneficial even if you’re perfectly healthy, symptoms like headaches, fertility concerns, and sore muscles can all be treated through reflexology.