Both are therapies that involve applying pressure to a patient’s body.
Despite this, they both go under different names. So what are the differences between these two practices?
Reflexology involves squeezing certain parts of the feet, hands and ears in order to improve health.
The idea is that certain pressure points on the body can become blocked. The life force flows through the body and heals injuries, strain and illnesses.
Reflexologists are aware of various pressure points that must be squeezed in order to relieve blockages on certain parts of the body.
Massage involves the manipulation of tissues in the body in order to relieve pressure and facilitate bodily relaxation. Massage is designed to relax stress by rubbing and beating the muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, lymphatic vessels, intestinal organs, hands, fingers, elbows, forearm and feet.
The methods of massage are diverse and include kneading, the rubbing in of herbal oils, relaxation techniques, rolling movements, leans and stretches, rocking of the body, muscle relaxation, medical massage, muscle strengthening, heated stones, rhythmic tapping, compression, yoga, pinching, heat therapy and hydro therapy.
Various massage therapists specialize in different massage techniques and often offer multiple methods to their clients.
Differences between reflexology and massage
Reflexology does not require that you remove any clothes, since only the feet, hands and ears are touched. Massage therapy instead asks you to only wear an undergarment since much of the body will be touched.
Reflexology focuses on one specific trigger point on your body while massage targets entire muscle groups. Reflexology only uses the fingers of the practitioner in order to provide relief, while masseurs use a variety of massage tools and also oils.
Reflexology aims to improve the function of the human organs, while massage is designed to relieve tension throughout the muscles.
Which should I do?
Massage is generally more proven as an effective form of therapy. Reflexology lacks a rigorous system of practice and reflexologists often only need six months of home study in order to be qualified.
Reflexology is also founded on the idea that the energy of the body needs to be manipulated.
This is yet to be scientifically proven. On the other hand, massage is generally accepted as a legitimate form of therapy and has been proven to work.
The good news is that if you cannot decide whether or not you want to engage in reflexology, you can find a massage therapist who is also trained in reflexology.