What is Foot Reflexology?

Origins and evolution:

One of the oldest testimonies dates back to 2330 BC. , with a painting found in the Egyptian pyramid of Saqqara, with the representation of two people performing a reflexology massage.

There are other testimonies coming from the Mayan civilisation, from the American Indians and from ancient China.

In modern times it was Dr. W.Fitzgerald, to be recognized as the father of today’s Foot Reflexology.

He was responsible for dividing the body into ten front and rear longitudinal lines, which starting from the head reach the extremities, dividing the body into as many areas which correspond to areas of the foot.

The map of these areas of the foot and the operating technique were then formulated by the therapist E. Ingham and introduced in Europe in the 1960s.

How does Foot Reflexology work?

Plantar Reflexology is an acupressure technique that works by stimulating all the body systems reflected in the foot.

The various points on the feet that present disharmonies are stimulated, which correspond to the various parts of the body.

This happens because there are many nerve receptors in the feet, which are connected to the spinal nerves and in turn to our brain.

Information is retransmitted from the brain within the organism, again through the spinal nerves, reaching the organs and other parts of the body.

Techniques and Practices:

By carefully observing the areas of interest of the foot, we are allowed to draw up an overall picture; any anomaly found compared to an ideal foot will be attributable to a functional anomaly of the corresponding organ or reflex tissue.

To this end, two distinct investigations are carried out: one visual and one tactile.

Moving on to the practice of treatment, the stimulation in the different areas is performed with acupressure of the index finger and with the thumb as passive support on the opposite side, or with the so-called “earthworm” or “caterpillar” technique.

It consists of small movements in flexion and extension of the interphalangeal joint of the operator’s thumb, performed in progressive advancement on the tissue of the foot.

How is a Plantar Reflexology treatment carried out?

Plantar Reflexology is carried out with the recipient lying on a table in a supine position and with support cushions under the neck and under the knees.

The operator sits at the end of the table and works by pressing the various points, located especially on the soles of the feet.

The recipient remains dressed, preferably wearing comfortable, non-tight clothing, without belts and removing socks.

The use of oils or creams is not intended.

The duration of the treatment is approximately one hour.

Benefits of Foot Reflexology:

They are countless; Plantar Reflexology helps the body to stimulate a self-healing process, relating for example to the following disorders:

-Anxiety and depression;-Back pain;-Neck pain;-Insomnia;-Migraines and neuralgia;-Metabolism and digestion disorders;-Edema and swelling, etc.

In particular, Plantar Reflexology increases the functioning of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating excess fluids and toxic substances present in the body.

It also improves blood circulation in the areas of the reflex organs, transporting oxygen and nutrients and eliminating cell waste products.

Plantar Reflexology compared to other massages:

While simple foot massage refers to the manipulation of tissues to relax muscles, Foot Reflexology works on pressure points to restore the flow of vital energy throughout the body.

Furthermore, while in massage only stress is relieved and a feeling of relaxation is stimulated, in Plantar Reflexology, in addition to these pleasant effects, a positive rebalancing action is added on bodily disorders and imbalances, within the corresponding organ or tissue.


Plantar Reflexology has no significant contraindications.

Like other holistic techniques, it does not replace medical practice or therapy.

It does not have a diagnostic function and does not conflict with the therapy indicated by the doctor, but it is a valid aid that complements medical treatments.

Its benefits have been demonstrated and documented by numerous scientific studies.