Reflexology is a therapeutic practice that’s been around for centuries. Foot reflexology is especially popular, and it involves applying pressure to different points on your feet.
A foot reflexology chart helps you figure out where to focus that pressure. It’s a tool that shows you which parts of your feet may correspond to other parts of your body. Here’s an example of a foot reflexology chart, how to use it, and even more info on this practice.
Foot reflexology chart 101
What is a foot reflexology chart? A foot reflexology chart is like a chart of your body, but it’s mapped out on your feet. Each spot on your foot represents a different organ or body part.
How’s it supposed to work? In reflexology theory, the points and body areas are linked through energy channels. So, by applying pressure to a certain point of your feet, you’re supposedly freeing that channel, and promoting health into the correspondent body part.
What are the benefits of foot reflexology? There’s currently insufficient evidence to support the clinical use of reflexology. Still, some small studies show that foot reflexology may be helpful for:
Who shouldn’t try foot reflexology? Avoid this therapy if you’re experiencing an injury or gout in your foot. If you have circulatory issues or a history of blood clots, check with your doctor.
Reflexology is an alternative medicine that’s been practiced around the world for centuries. It involves applying pressure to specific points on your feet or hands. Folks believe that these points correspond to different organs, and body parts. Pressing these points is supposed to have a positive effect on those specific areas, and on your overall well-being.
Foot reflexology is a popular type of this practice. There’s lots of nerves in your feet, so they’re really sensitive to touch (and tickling!). A foot reflexology chart will show you the different points to press to affect specific organs or body parts.
FYI: Foot reflexology charts don’t always look the same. Some are more detailed than others, but each chart will have each organ/body part represented in similar positions.
Ready to see what the excitement is about? Here’s an example of a foot reflexology chart.
Reflexology is a therapeutic practice that’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for a looong time, but it’s currently unregulated in the United States.
The good news? Current literature suggests that foot reflexology may help in a variety of health issues. It could help migraine, back pain, and anxiety when used as a complementary therapy. That means it might be helpful working together with other types of treatment.
There’s not a lot of strong scientific evidence to show that reflexology is effective. But there’s a bunch of small-scale trials show that this practice may have some health benefits.
Might help manage anxiety
Stuck in an anxiety spiral? A foot reflexology sesh might be just what you need! One study notes that pain, anxiety, and fatigue levels decreased significantly in patients after 15 days of foot reflexology.
Another small study suggests that reflexology helped decrease anxiety in folks giving birth for the first time.
May improve digestion
Feeling constipated? Foot reflexology may be the solution to put your digestive tract on track. One small study found that it’s an effective therapy for treating some constipation when paired with other therapies.
In theory, by stimulating the specific reflex point on your feet linked to your stomach, you promote circulation and healing in the area, which may help improve digestion. Buh-bye belly aches!
Could help ease back pain
Is back pain being a pain in your you-know-where? Reflexology may be your best pal.
One study tested this effect on patients getting a coronary angiography test. (It’s a test that requires bed rest, so folks usually experience back pain afterward.) Researchers found that patients who received foot reflexology after the test had less intense back pain, than those who didn’t.
Other potential benefits of reflexology include
And that’s not all, folks! There’s some evidence that foot reflexology:
- may ease symptoms of depression
- might decrease the intensity of migraines
Wanna try DIY foot reflexology? Here’s what you need to know about how to use a foot reflexology chart.
- Any foot reflexology chart will have the major reflex areas marked (usually with bold colors).
- You’ll find the names of the different organs/body parts that correspond to each reflex area labeled. It should be easy to locate which is which. If it’s not clear, try to find a different chart.
- To recreate a mini reflexology session at home, try using a small amount of lotion to massage your feet. Then, apply pressure with the ball of your thumb, holding for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Clueless which spots should you press first? You can always start at your heel, and move on from there, applying steady, even pressure with your thumb.
- Before your first DIY foot reflexology sesh, make sure you familiarize yourself with the basic areas on the foot reflexology chart. Check our cheat sheet below for reference.
Foot reflexology chart cheat sheet
- tops of each toe = head/brain
- balls of your feet = heart, chest, and lungs
- arch of your foot = liver, pancreas, and kidney
- heels = lower back and gut system
A professional foot reflexology session usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The reflexologist will prob ask you if you’ve been dealing with any specific aches or pains lately, so they can customize the treatment. From there, they’ll assess your feet and apply pressure with their thumb to specific areas to treat. Some reflexologists also work with lotion, and use instruments like massage balls.
Pro tip: Before your first session, talk with your reflexologist about what level of pressure feels comfortable, and manageable to you.
Reflexology involves putting pressure on specific parts of your feet, so it’s usually not as gentle as a good ol’ massage. For that reason, if you’re pregnant, or have certain medical conditions, this treatment might not be right for you.
Avoid foot reflexology if you have any of the following conditions:
- foot ulcers
- recent injury
- feet or ankle wounds
- gout (affecting your ankles or feet)
- circulatory issues
- diabetes (affecting your ankles or feet)
PSA: If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before trying foot reflexology.
- Foot reflexology is an alternative and complimentary medicine practice that’s been around for centuries.
- It consists in applying pressure to specific points on your feet that correspond to different organs, and body parts.
- Some small studies show that foot reflexology may be helpful as a complementary treatment for migraines, stress, anxiety, and other issues. However, there’s not much strong scientific evidence to back this up.
- Talk with your doctor before trying reflexology. If you’re preggo, have circulatory issues, gout, or blood clots, you should prob avoid this treatment.