Like most holistic modalities Reflexology traces it’s roots to ancient times and has seen a re-discovery of it’s benefits in the last 150 years or so.
The belief that our bodies are a network of vital energy flows which work best when clear is entwined with the long-standing Chinese tradition of Chi. These principles are also used in many other Asian treatment styles from Shiatsu to the whole Ayurveda medicinal system.
Reflexology is not massage, and is defined as “a non-invasive, complementary practice involving thumb and finger techniques to apply alternating pressure to reflexes shown on reflex maps of the body located on the feet, hands and outer ears.” Reflexology can feel uncomfortable when the congested reflex areas are treated .
Previously, crunchiness in the feet was related to the accumulation of uric/lactic acid. However, with growing research, these deposits are suggested as entanglements of nervous tissues which indicate impaired functioning of the organs in the body. As the condition improves over several reflexology sessions, the soreness improves as well on the corresponding reflexes. … The well-trained reflexologist will adapt his pressure to the pain levels of the patient.
Several studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Given that reflexology is also low risk, it can be a reasonable option if you’re seeking relaxation and stress relief. (mayoclinic.org)