Reflexology Principles and Techniques

Reflexology is the manipulation of reflex areas on the feet and hands that are connected to organs, glands and joints throughout the body through the nervous system.  The goals are to improve circulation, normalize body function and reduce stress by stimulating nerve reflex activity throughout the body through sensory receptors located in specific areas of the feet and hands.

Zone Theory divides each side of the body into 5 zones to more precisely locate areas of distress.

Benefits of reflexology are that it can be performed almost anywhere and can be received by anyone of any age.  This is an approach that can easily be self administered if you can reach your feet or hands.


Cautions for receiving reflexology include inflammed joints; recent surgery on the foot or hand; contageous skin diseases on the foot or hand; broken skin barrier (cuts, blisters); and blood clots.

In the principle of Zone Theory each foot is divided up into five verticle zones that can further pinpoint the location of stress within the associated organ. As you contact areas in the bottom of the foot that are sensitive or tense you may relate the location to a corresponding area in the body organ.  For example, tension in the lung area in line with the middle toe of the right foot would indicate the middle zone of the right lung may be affected.


Techniques for stimulating the reflex zones include finger walking, thumb walking, circular finger and thumb pressure and pressing the fingers or thumb into a specific spot.   You can also contact a reflex zone and make energetic contact without the use of any pressure at all.

Range of motion movements and gentle stretches for the toes, ankle bones and arches of the foot are also included before, during and after the finger/thumb work.


Thumb walking along the spinal reflex area.

Keep in mind that the reflex areas are 3 dimensional in nature and not just on the bottom surface of the foot.  So, for example, the lung reflex is not only on the skin of the ball of the foot but also deeper into the muscles and can even be addressed from the top of the foot.


This illustration shows some of the reflex areas on the bottom of the feet that are associated with various organs in the body.  There are many published charts and books available, many of which have slight variations in reflex zone location. The illustrations we provide are taken from different sources.  We suggest you

An example of reflex areas on the feet that correspond to organs and joints in the body. You can search the internet for additional examples of charts for the feet, hands and ears.

apply the refelxology techniques to the feet and take note of any areas that feel tight, sore, stiff or that your partner reports feeling sensations.  Work with what you feel and find, not what the charts and illustrations tell you should be there.

We will be providing information about which reflex areas may be helpful to impact the function of the body in various posts on this website.   They are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any medical condition.

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