Reflexology and foot reflexology has been a renowned health tool for centuries. And for good reason, it’s quick, simple, and doctor-approved.

Dr. Dustin Martinez, a Los Angeles chiropractor, and physician, points at the research behind reflexology for its pros. According to him, it can help improve your overall quality of life, and it also reduces stress, providing you with balance. Additionally, he says, “Reflexology is ancient medicine — it’s been around forever,” continuing, “It can be traced as far back as 2330 B.C.”

And while there is more research to be done, a 2014 study based on data analysis done by British physiotherapists believes that using reflexology can reduce pain and provide relief for those experiencing chronic pain. And other studies have shown that it can provide anxiety relief for people who undergo medical hospitalization and testing.

WebMD says that reflexology can provide relief for:

Pain during labor

Arthritis pain

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Emotional and physical relief for pain caused by cancer

Other sources note that it also can improve overall sleep quality and digestion, so what do you have to lose?

With that being said, to give it a go, you can check out the chart I provided below. Or you can find a reflexologist to give you a professional approach. To get started on yourself, you can start by working on one specific area on one foot and then alternate feet. At the very least, massage the areas of focus that seem the most beneficial, like your heels, toes, and inner foot area. Think of it as a foot massage with deeper benefits.

According to Rachel Gottesman, QTR/L and owner of Body Ease Therapy, the following tips are very helpful if you don’t know where to start:

Sit in a comfortable chair or on a sofa.

Place a golf or tennis ball on the floor, just under your foot.

Roll the ball around with your foot until you find a sensitive spot or pressure point.

Press down with your foot just enough to feel the point soften.

Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.

Additionally, she advises that she encourages all of her clients to try self-treatment. She believes that it can be truly beneficial. With mounts of research showing how useful reflexology can be, there’s no questioning the benefits. The only caveat is that if you have diabetes or blood clots, it’s advisable to seek professional help in this area or speak with your doctor.

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