What it is

A form of foot and hand massage. It’s based on the belief that certain areas on the feet and hands or “reflex points” correspond to the body’s internal organs and systems, like a map.

Why use it

Many people find reflexology relaxing. By pressing on reflex points, meridians are unblocked and this can promote health on the related area of the body.

What to expect

After talking through your case history, you remove your footwear. While you are seated or lying down, the reflexologist works with their hands on your bare feet, possibly using cream or oil. Usually reflexology feels like a relaxing massage, although sometimes the therapist’s touch can be subtle.


Several clinical trials have looked at using reflexology for pain, anxiety, breathlessness and quality of life. Studies have involved small groups of people, so it is difficult to say whether the reflexology had any effect.

This information was last reviewed in May 2018
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