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How is Reflexology Different from Massage?

By Lauren Del Sarto

Don’t you love reflexology? You leave feeling so revitalized, light and happy. It’s different from massage where you leave feeling relaxed, loose and yes, also happy. But why is that? What are the differences between reflexology and massage?

Some people think reflexology is simply a foot massage, but this is far from the truth. Reflexology and massage are two different modalities–each with its own strengths. Like many other body therapies, both involve the use of the hands to apply their technique, and the aim of both is to enhance a client’s well-being.

To help differentiate the two therapies, below is a chart provided by the Reflexology Association of America.

Purpose:

Reflexology: Works with the function of the body to improve organs and glands and all systems of the body. Also changes the soft tissue directly manipulated

Massage: Works with the structure of the body focusing on muscles and soft tissue directly manipulated.

Application

Reflexology: Applied to specific areas (usually feet, hands and ears) to promote a response from an area far removed from the tissue stimulated via the nervous systems and acupuncture meridians. Only the footwear comes off, as standardly only the feet, hands, and ears are touched.

Massage: Applied to the whole body: locally to muscles and connective tissue for local benefit, and or applied to muscles all over the body to benefit the entire body. All clothing comes off, as most of the body is touched.

Techniques

Reflexology: Uses small muscle movements primarily applied with thumbs and fingers.

Massage: Uses large muscle movement applying hands (either opened or closed) and sometimes feet, arms and elbows.

Benefits

Reflexology: Total body relaxation leading to the balancing of all internal and external body systems; Improves circulation via stimulation to the nervous and subtle energy systems.

Massage: Local muscle relaxation, or if the entire body is massaged, improved circulation and reduction of muscular tension via relaxation of the muscular system.

Footloose Reflexology provides reflexology therapy for the entire body in a relaxing, open atmosphere. Treatments are fairly priced to encourage preventative health on a regular basis for all. Call to schedule your appointment today: Rancho Mirage (760) 770.6700 and La Quinta (760) 863.0900.

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