While practicing Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST), I often finish a treatment with a foot massage. I became interested in Reflexology as a compliment to CST and trained in Foot and Hand Reflexology in 2022, and more recently in Facial Reflexology. While foot reflexology mirrors the body systems and is deeply relaxing, working with pressure points on the face helps improve circulation and nerve conduction, encouraging the release of toxins from the body via the lymphatic system.

What is it?

Reflexology has its’ origins in ancient healing practices in Egypt, China and in American Indian traditions. The ancient Egyptian tomb of Ankhmahor, a physician (circa 2330 BCE), depicts drawings of a person holding another’s foot and appearing to manipulate it.

What the ancients appeared to understand, was that our feet mirror our body systems. Applying gentle pressure to a reflex in the foot causes a response in the body.

Their insight into the body as a system of life forces that flow through different channels and zones in the body holds true today. If ‘chi’ is blocked by an injury, stress or illness, it cannot perform well. The result can be anxiety, stress, toxicity, lethargy or illness.

Although many centuries old, foot reflexology grew in popularity with Dr William Fitzgerald’s discovery. He noted that by putting pressure on a particular area of the body, another area could be numbed. A published article in 1915, “To stop that toothache, squeeze your toe”, brought attention to his discovery. With this knowledge of cause and effect, Fitzgerald divided the body into 10 longitudinal zones, reflecting 10 zones in the feet (5 in each). These zones – Zone Therapy – form the basis for reflexology today.

Later, physiotherapist Eunice Ingham, mapped out the feet, mirroring organs and glands in the body. Working alongside doctors to prove her findings, she laid the foundation for how reflexology is understood.  

Reflexology is a deeply relaxing and restorative treatment, from tired feet and legs to feeling out of sorts or in pain. It helps with conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep disturbance, headache and digestive issues.

During a treatment, the therapist becomes aware of any imbalance in the body systems by noticing which foot reflex is restricted and in which zone. Using gentle thumb pressure techniques to encourage a release of tension in that area, rebalance is encouraged.

Facial Reflexology

Also based on Zone therapy, Facial Reflexology has its’ roots in Native American practices and Asian Body Mapping. Developed by Ziggy Bergman, this unique treatment is gentle and relaxing, while also supporting the body’s innate ability to heal.

We have all heard the expression “you look stressed”. Just as Foot Reflexology can give a therapist insight into a client’s lifestyle by looking at the condition of the feet, your face gives an insight into what is going on internally by noticing lines or tension on your face, giving clues to your stress levels.

The face offers a detailed map of what is going on inside the body. A person may be feeling overwhelmed by life, feeling anxious constantly, in pain, or generally not feeling connected to people. A facial reflexology treatment assists the calming of stress levels leading to better sleep, healthier eating, stronger feelings of self-worth and more enjoyment in life.

How is this done?

By increasing vagal tone through stimulation of the vagus nerve using Facial Reflexology, this calming and soothing treatment has a positive influence on the parasympathetic nervous system through the use of gentle and focused attention to specific points on the face, scalp and ears. The body enters a deep state of rest, heart rate slows and the breath relaxes.

A side benefit to having a facial reflexology treatment is that skin will be more radiant and firmer and the complexion will glow.