Are reflexology and massage therapy really that different? The answer is both yes and no! While reflexology treatment is often combined with massage therapy and has overlapping benefits, they are in fact completely different practices each with their own individual goals and outcomes.
If you’ve ever wondered just what the differences are between reflexology and massage therapy, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start off by finding out what each does.
What Is Reflexology And How Does It Work?
Reflexology involves applying pressure to the reflex zones on your hands, feet, and ears. These “reflex zones” are areas that intricately connect to the rest of your entire body. Applying pressure to these zones affects the nerves that send signals to the different organs in your body, removes energy blockages, triggers healing responses, and relieves certain ailments.
Reflexologists typically use a reflexology chart map that shows the various parts of the feet and hands, and how they are connected to the rest of your body. The foot is the most common area reflexologists focus on. By focusing attention on a specific region of the foot, reflexology can target any organ or body part causing issues.
What Is Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves the manipulation of the soft tissue (ligaments, muscles, tendons) in various parts of the body, including but limited to, the hands, feet, and ears. The goal is generally to relax the body, restore muscle movement, improve circulation, and reduce pain.
Differences Between Reflexology and Massage
Many massage therapists offer reflexology services and many reflexologists offer massage therapy, but not always. Both share similarities and can be beneficial, but each serves a different purpose and requires its own specialized training. Here are some key differences.
- Reflexology is generally performed only on the feet, hands, and ears, while massage therapy can be performed on any part of the body.
- Targeted areas in massage therapy as more localized, offering relief from pain or improved circulation to the specific area that’s being worked on. Reflexology offers a more holistic approach, stimulating the nervous and energy systems of the entire body to promote healing and balance across all organs.
- In general, the techniques of reflexology involve applying smaller amounts of localized pressure with the thumb and fingers, whereas massage therapists use larger movements with the whole hand and even elbows.
- Massage therapy focuses on the structure of the body, whereas reflexology focuses on the functions and systems of the body.
What Are The Benefits Of Reflexology
While more scientific studies are needed, reflexology is one of the most popular forms of therapy with many people reporting a vast array of improved functionality and reduced ailments including, but not limited to:
- Sinus problems
- Headaches and migraines
- Stomach issues
- Pain & nausea
- Post-surgery pain
- Increase blood flow to certain organs.
- Energy balance
- Increased circulation
Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand a bit more about how reflexology differs from massage therapy. If you’re ready to book your reflexology massage session or would like more information about the treatments, give Daye Chiro a call at 204-817-2181. We have two convenient locations (Kenaston Blvd & Roblin Blvd to choose from. See you soon!