What’s the Difference Between Foot Reflexology and Foot Massage?

Most people have the assumption foot reflexology and foot massage are the same thing – they are not!

Healing Treatment vs Relaxing Massage

The key difference between the two is that foot reflexology is a pressure-point based massage treatment that targets specific nerve points to heal the body, while foot massage is a relaxing massage that doesn’t go beyond the feel-good after effects. Foot massages are great for relieving muscle soreness in your legs and feet, but the effects are short term and usually do not solve long term chronic issues.

Say you have a jabbing pain in your arm – will a foot massage help? No, but foot reflexology might just do the trick!

This is because foot reflexology works on reflex points on the feet that are directly connected to specific organs and body systems, and by stimulating these points with pressure, it will aid in relieving pain, improving health and restoring balance to your body.

The underlying theory of foot reflexology is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts of “qi”, a life force energy that runs through our body. If you feel tender or soreness when certain parts of your feet are being massaged, it indicates imbalances and blocked “qi” energies within the corresponding body part. The reflexologist may spend more time working on that particular area to unblock the meridian energy channels. You should feel the soreness fading with pressure.

If your internal organ health is unbalanced, it may manifest in the body as indigestion, chronic pain, headaches and so on. Reflexology works to unblock any obstruction in the energy flow of the body by increasing blood circulation, cleansing and detoxifying build-up toxins, which in turns promotes better sleep and boosts the body’s immune system. At the same time, endorphins are released into the system that reduces pain and stress.

Benefits of Foot Reflexology

Foot reflexology has far-reaching health benefits compared to foot massage, as it triggers a holistic healing response in the body. Modern research studies have also shown reflexology to alleviate post-surgery pain and reduce the side effects of cancer chemotherapy (nausea, vomiting, fatigue etc).

In general, most people seek reflexology to assist with chronic pain issues that conventional treatments have not been able to provide relief, such as back pain, arthritis, old sports injuries, digestive issues, headaches and migraines, just to name a few. As there are more than 7,000 nerves in the feet, reflexology massage is thought to open up and clear neural pathways, interrupting pain pathways and thereby decreasing pain.

Did you know reflexology can help you distress as well? A good reflexology massage should leave you feeling as if you have received a full body massage. Reflexology relaxes the body and helps you to feel less stressed and more energized. In fact, most people often find themselves drifting off to sleep during a session!

What is a Typical Foot Reflexology Session?

Contrary to the popular belief, foot reflexology shouldn’t be painful. A good reflexologist will work within your comfort zone and not push your body to the point of discomfort. If you are experiencing pain during the session, please inform your reflexologist and they should apply less pressure.

A typical session lasts from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. The reflexologist will consult you briefly with on the purpose of treatment and customize the applied pressure and areas to be worked on during treatment later. Manual pressure is applied on your foot with finger or thumb using reflexology techniques. Aromatherapy may sometimes be used to engage the senses and promote relaxation.

Chinese Herbal Medication

Chinese herbal medication also works together to regulate imbalanced organ function and restore balance to the body, therefore helping you achieve the ideal weight. Your TCM physician will prescribe a personalized herbal medication based on your body type.

In addition, your TCM physician may encourage you to eat more bitter, sour, and pungent foods such as bitter gourd, lemon, ginger. These food groups help in weight loss by promoting digestion.

Apart from its benefits, TCM has reported no known adverse side effects. Hence it is safe and suitable for people from all walks of life. However TCM is not a quick fix solution to weight loss, and works best when paired with a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

At Syoujin, we combine the best of traditional and modern weight management treatments to help you manage your weight effectively. Our qualified TCM physicians will consult you for an in-depth health assessment by checking your pulse and tongue. Depending on your weight goals and body constitution, our TCM physician will prescribe a tailored weight management plan combining acupuncture and herbal medication.

Other treatments such as Moxibustion Heat Therapy, Cupping, and Gua Sha may also be combined to remove water retention and break up stubborn saturated fats. For more information, call or WhatsApp +65 9833 8171 to book an appointment. You may choose to send in your booking details on our booking page.