What is reflexology, and what’s a certified reflexologist? What is reflexology good for?
Reflexology massage involves gentle treatment of acupressure points in the feet, hands, and sometimes ears. These soothing treatments can help you relax, de-stress, and feel more energized.
A reflexologist is a person who is trained in reflexology. This could be a practitioner like an RMT, Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, Chiropractor, or Physiotherapist.
What are the benefits of getting a reflexology treatment from an RMT in Toronto?
Is reflexology covered by insurance?
Many insurance plans provide coverage if you are seeing a regulated health professional who offers reflexology such as an RMT, RTRC, Chiropractor, or Physiotherapist. Each insurance plan is unique, so it’s best to check in with your provider before booking an appointment.
A benefit of seeing an RMT is that you know that they have appropriate training in physiology, anatomy, pathology, and neurology in order to provide a safe and effective treatment. An RMT can also incorporate reflexology into a larger treatment, so you can get full-body benefits.
What is foot reflexology? Hand reflexology? Face and Ear reflexology? And what does reflexology do?
Drawn from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture theory, the acupressure points in the foot, hand and ear are mapped to other areas of the body including the internal organs. For thousands of years, these acupressure points have been practiced with the aim of stimulating organs, removing energy blockages, balancing Yin-Yang, improving the flow of Chi energy, and thus healing illness.
There haven’t been many scientific studies on reflexology so there is little to no robust evidence to support these theories, and so Liam does not make such claims in his practice. There is, however, some evidence to support benefits including reduction of general tension and some types of chronic pain, improved digestion, reduced anxiety, and improved feeling of wellbeing, so these are some goals that can be addressed in a reflexology massage therapy setting.
What are Reflexology side effects?
There are no substantial side effects with reflexology treatment (except possibly with pregnant patients – see the next point) although with any massage therapy treatment, there is the possibility of feeling a bit sore, spacey, or light-headed after treatment. It is best to be hydrated and well-nourished before and after any massage treatment and use extra caution when going out into traffic and other potentially hazardous conditions in the city.
Can you do reflexology while pregnant? Does reflexology induce labour?
Pregnant patients are advised against reflexology treatment unless cleared by a doctor as it is theorized that some acupressure techniques in the hands and feet can help induce labour.
Is reflexology good for headaches?
The soothing nature of reflexology treatment may promote activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest) and in this way, symptoms of some types of headaches may be relieved. Reflexology can often accompany Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, and other types of massage, so this provides opportunities to directly treat muscles that contribute to tension headaches. Liam will always check in with you about how you’re feeling at the beginning of your appointment so that he can build a treatment suited to your goals.
Is reflexology good for lower back pain?
Some causes of low back pain stem from imbalances from the hips down to the feet. In these cases, foot reflexology may help relieve low back pain symptoms. A foot reflexology massage, which also incorporates the calves and shin muscles, can help to reduce tension and improve joint mobility, and this can help to improve balance and comfort.
If low back pain stems from other causes, such as sitting in an ergonomically suboptimal chair and table setup, then other types of massage and self-care may be more effective. Liam will always check in with you and conduct a brief assessment at the beginning of your appointment so that he can build a treatment suited to your goals.
Is reflexology good for constipation symptoms?
The relaxing nature of reflexology treatment may promote activation of your parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest) which activates secretion of digestive enzymes, insulin, bile, and relaxes the sphincters, so in this way constipation symptoms may be relieved.
Another massage therapy option for relief of constipation, which can be included in most treatment types, is abdominal massage: your therapist applies gentle pressure on your abdomen in the direction of natural flow through your intestines.
Let Liam know if this is a goal, and he can discuss treatment options with you.
Is reflexology good for coughs and colds?
Although there have been some studies that indicate positive effects for the sinuses, reflexology does not otherwise have proven effects in the treatment of cough and colds.
What does it mean when a reflexology point hurts?
If you have areas of high tension and tissue restrictions in the areas being treated, you may feel some discomfort in those areas during treatment. There are traditional theories that pain in a specific point indicates a problem with a related organ, but this is not backed by scientific evidence.
If you feel pain during treatment, please let your therapist know so techniques can be modified and optimized.
Does reflexology tickle?
Generally, no. A trained reflexologist knows to make deliberate contact in a way that is not ticklish for most people. There are a few people who are so ticklish that any sort of contact will tickle, but this is very rare. If this is you, it never hurts to give foot reflexology a try, but it’s best to give your therapist a heads-up so a backup plan can be established.