Foot Reflexology Massage vs. Foot Massage
There's no doubt, having a certified therapist perform a soothing treatment on your feet can be a blissful, pain-relieving, and relaxing experience. However, two physical foot treatments are popular in the U.S., and they are not the same. They are reflexology and foot massage, and one of them has far-reaching benefits compared to the other.
What is reflexology?
Derived from ancient cultures' study of meridians, or energy channels, the practice of reflexology stimulates the complex pathways that wind throughout the body. Thus, a foot reflexology massage doesn't simply interact with the soft tissues of the feet. Instead, the practitioner applies various learned techniques to treat the reflex points that connect the foot to other body parts, whether they be internal organs, bones, or body systems.
What is a foot massage?
By comparison, a foot massage proves much more direct and less complex. While several massage traditions apply different approaches to a foot massage, the concept remains much the same: apply pressure to relieve soft tissues on and around the foot. This can mean massaging tightly constricted muscles, relieving stagnant circulation, and otherwise providing relief to soreness and discomfort.
Massage therapist vs. reflexologist
The easiest way to understand the discrepancies between a foot reflexology massage vs. a conventional foot massage may be to understand the differences between the practitioners of each type of foot therapy. Quite often, massage therapists claim to offer reflexology without having studied enough of it to properly apply its techniques, such as finger or thumb walking the correct channel points to treat different parts of the body.
For this reason, the American Reflexology Certification Board, Reflexology Association of America, and National Council for Reflexology Educators have come to an agreement on defining the difference between reflexology and foot massage, focusing on a practitioner's detailed understanding of the reflex points and channels, and manual techniques used to stimulate them.
To become a certified reflexologist requires 300 hours of training and 90 hands-on clinical sessions. In other words, it's not something that a licensed masseuse can acquire in a one or two-day workshop.
The benefits of reflexology
When properly applied, a foot reflexology massage can leave a person feeling as though they have received a whole body massage. Since so many meridians connect different body systems to the feet, reflexology may be used to stimulate the digestive system, reduce stress, increase energy, promote self-healing, and relieve pain. Thus, a certified reflexologist will provide a treatment much attuned to full body health.
Where to find foot reflexology massage in San Diego
The foot reflexology massage offered by Bangkok Day Spa is more than a foot massage. Our licensed practitioners utilize traditional reflexology techniques such as thumb- and finger- walking, hook and backup, and rotating-on-a-point. Applied to stimulate the energy channels identified by the ancient Chinese and Egyptians, and still in use throughout many holistic healing traditions around the world. And it's available in San Diego. Give us a call at (619) 693-5388 to schedule an appointment.