Types Of Reflexology

When I first began my reflexology career, I gave no consideration at all to the notion of different types of reflexology. In fact,  I had a single focus – I was very passionate about giving and receiving reflexology. I experienced a heightened sense of well-being after receiving reflexology, which I have come to know as homeostasis or balance. And more importantly, my friends and family enjoyed receiving reflexology, as well. It was – and still is – a real win-win situation! Little did I know at that time how different types of reflexology would affect my reflexology practice.

Over time, as my career began to take shape and my clientele’ began to grow, I began providing reflexology treatments for clients who’d experienced reflexology prior to seeing me for reflexology. On business trips and vacations they’d taken to places such as Australia, China, Thailand, South Africa, Philippines and virtually every country in Europe, clients would report reflexology treatments they’d received that were “different” – some for better and some for worse – than the one they were receiving from me. There didn’t seem to be anything specific that made it different and they couldn’t necessarily describe the difference, but in their opinion, it most definitely “felt” different.

types of reflexology

This intrigued me. So, following my natural curiosity and my desire to learn as much as I could about my chosen profession, I made it my mission to discover what these different types of reflexology were and how they differed from one another. I felt this would not only further my reflexology education, but would also allow me to craft treatments geared toward a particular style in order to accommodate my clients individual needs. While I knew about foot reflexology, hand reflexology and outer ear reflexology, I would find much more as I pursued the reflexology information trail.

Searching For The Roots Of Reflexology

Initially, information gathering proved to be somewhat fruitless. Not only was there little information regarding different types of reflexology, but the information that was available didn’t effectively explain or delineate any appreciable contrast between styles. There were numerous opinions regarding whether or not lotions or tools should be used with reflexology. I also found varying opinions on the amount of finger and thumb pressure to be used and the subsequent benefits of reflexology. And, most frustrating of all, the most effective duration for a reflexology treatment was in dispute! Should a treatment last for an hour or two hours? Should an elderly client receive a shorter treatment than someone younger? Is a half-hour enough time to receive the full benefits of reflexology?

types of reflexology

My educational endeavors and altruistic ideology of being a reflexologist who served the masses on their journeys toward health and wellness, had been diluted with practitioner opinion and controversy. And although I felt a twinge of discouragement, I was committed to exploring and researching as many types of reflexology as I could possibly find.

The Controversy Surrounding Different Types Of Reflexology

I had to know more, so I delved deeper.
My research led me to discover many pioneers in the field of reflexology, who’d had types of reflexology named after them.

There were references to:

Virtually all of these “pioneers” have books written on the subject of reflexology. Many of which go into great detail, articulating the benefits of their particular types of reflexology. And, all of these reflexology professionals have a deep-seated belief in what they do and how they do it. I began to understand the nuances and stylistic differences in types of reflexology, but I wanted to know more. What led these reflexologists to practice these particular types of reflexology? I continued my research.

I then found references to so-called alternative methods, which would ultimately lead me to rethink reflexology as a whole. These types of reflexology inspired me greatly, and I had to know more. These are referred to as esoteric or energetic types of reflexology:

  • Chakra Reflexology
  • Meridian Reflexology
  • Energy Reflexology
  • Soul-Based Reflexology
  • Intuitive Reflexology
  • Phantom Limb Reflexology
  • Past Life Regression Reflexology
  • Full-Spectrum Reflexology
  • Vibrational Reflexology

This discovery and these so-called “alternative” approaches took me down the path of Body, Mind and Soul.

But there was still more…
As I continued to research, I discovered a few non-traditional types of reflexology:

These types of reflexology fell outside the traditional arena of practicing reflexology, but held an allure for me because of the uniqueness of the approach.

Next, there were the geographic referenced styles (to name only a few):

  • Australian Reflexology
  • Chinese Reflexology
  • Thai Reflexology
  • Philippine Reflexology
  • Japanese Reflexology
  • Indian Reflexology
  • South African Reflexology
  • UK Reflexology
  • Netherlands Reflexology

types of reflexology

Lastly, there were the schools that taught their own, respective reflexology methods. And while the schools themselves were not necessarily named to reflect the types of reflexology taught, in their curriculum descriptions could be found with an emphasis on the style and method taught.

Types Of Reflexology And The Determined Reflexologist

I came to the conclusion that although many different types of reflexology exist, they are all based on similar techniques and theories of the “connected” body, which were then modified to suit the individual reflexologist and their clients.

It became clear, that as a reflexologist I had a bit of creative license when it came to practicing my craft. There were most definitely rules and laws by which I needed to abide, however I began to work with the research I’d performed by applying a synergistic approach to my reflexology practice. The “Body” component of a reflexology treatment is technique driven and I soon had that mastered.

Working with the feet, hands and ears is similar to playing a musical instrument. You get the feel for it and it soon becomes second nature. And theoretically, the more you do it, the better you become. This is quite true in reflexology. But once the techniques were dedicated to memory and subsequently applied, there was a need to bring in a dynamic element, or basically, to bring more than just the techniques to my sessions.

I then began to incorporate the “Mind & Soul” components. This became the foundation for my style of reflexology, which I call Dynamic Reflexology. Combining the multiple aspects of our total being into my reflexology practice proved very humbling and empowering. My clients opened up to it immediately and I began making personal discoveries as I implemented these methodologies into my clients reflexology treatments. This would be the approach to providing a reflexology treatment that embraced the needs of my clients and proved to be the missing link for my practice to really take off – and I’ve never looked back.

I now realize I had synergized the types of reflexology I had discovered and, in which, I had found the most value for my own chosen style. In essence, I had developed my own style and could now include it along with the other types of reflexology I had so diligently researched.

Types Of Reflexology: Final Thoughts

Every client is different and every reflexology practitioner is different. So, it makes sense there will be many different types of reflexology. Every reflexology treatment should be tailor-made to the client’s needs and the reflexologist’s training, ability and desired approach. Ideally, these variables can be matched, merged and resolved into a reflexology session that will result in one of the most wonderful and healthy experiences someone can have in their life.

I encourage anyone who is considering reflexology to interview a few reflexologists in order to determine which one they feel will serve them best; who understands the aforementioned criteria for creating a customized reflexology treatment; and who can be flexible in their application of different types of reflexology.

About Wayne

Wayne is a professional reflexologist, energy intuitive and spiritual life coach who specializes in health and healing, self empowerment and personal growth strategies for his clients. Connect with Wayne on +Google+

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8 comments on “Types Of Reflexology

  1. Rev. Nirodha on said:

    Dear Wayne, please can you tell me if reflexology can be beneficial in the case of emphysema? Many thanks.

    • Wayne on said:

      Thank you for your question.
      Because emphysema is a degenerative form of COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, reflexology should be utilized primarily for treating symptoms.
      Reflexology can positively affect breathing and the respiratory system, resulting in temporary relief and calming the individual.
      I would never discount the possibility that reflexology could arrest a dis-ease of the body when implemented with a targeted and appropriate medical regimen.
      Lastly, any condition associated with the lungs has many physical and energetic factors associated with it. Environmental impurities such as smoke, pollution, etc, are significant contributing factors.
      A review of the emotional condition of the individual is prudent, as well. Grief can be a dominant and powerful contributor to any condition associated with the lungs.
      A sensitive assessment of the psycho-emotional condition of the individual can reveal the need for energetic and emotional healing. as well as physical healing.

      • Wayne,
        my wife suffers from many ailments including fibromyalgia, anxiety, and depression. I have recently become aware of reflexology and I am hoping I can help her. My question is do I focus on one particular health problem during each treatment or do I try for a little of everything? Also I’m having trouble figuring out where and how to massage for the anxiety.
        Thank you

        • Wayne on said:

          Hi Sean,
          Thank you for your message. I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s ailments, but you are to be commended for pursuing relief fro her.
          Reflexology can address all of these issues and potentially provide varying degrees of relief. Keep in mind there is no “right way” to perform reflexology – as long as you “do no harm.” This basically implies that your intention is pure and loving.
          Think globally regarding reflexology. All of the issues you have stated are non-specific and affect the whole being. This being said, hormone levels and brain chemistry are two dominant factors in anxiety and depression. Given this, I would suggest working primarily on the toes – especially the Great toe (Big toe) – which is the reflex for the head and brain, and several glands located in the brain. Also, working with the Pancreas reflex will bring additional positive healing energy and attention to and for these conditions. Refer to the foot map on the Home page of my website for this point.
          I have several clients with fibromyalgia who have reported relief from symptoms after receiving reflexology. And, while there is no specific area on the feet I can recommend for addressing fibromyalgia, the relaxation effect after providing reflexology will oftentimes mitigate the discomfort and pain of fibromyalgia and the symptoms can be reduced significantly.
          I hope this helps.
          If you have any additional questions or need clarity, please email me with your phone number or Skype me at red_reflex. I would be more than happy to discuss this with you further.

  2. Felix N Ettienne on said:

    Dear Wayne,
    I read all about the practice of Reflexology and i will like to practice it also and will like to know how i can start to practice it.
    Thanking you in advance.

    Felix N Ettienne.

  3. Wayne on said:

    Hi Felix,

    Thank you for your comment.
    There are many reflexology schools that are offering studies geared toward all levels of students. I would encourage you to search online for a reflexology association in your geography and see what they have to offer within proximity to your home.
    You will also find there are online studies, however these do not take the place of a classroom environment, in which you can practice hands-on.


  4. Gautam on said:

    Hi Wayne, nice to read your article on reflexology. From what I understand now, there is nothing universal and standard in the practice of reflexology and each practitioner combines his or her own style based on school of training, geographic area and client’s needs.

    However, the lack of standardisation could lead to some confusion for a fresh entrant who wants to make this his profession. I hope there would be proper definative guidelines in the near future.

    You have mentioned about esoteric or energetic types of reflexology. Do they constitute the traditional form of reflexology? Or, are geography based styles form the traditional schools?

    Can you suggest some good book that focus on these fundamental things? All the books on reflexology explain the theory and move on to the routine. The different types, style, schools of reflexology and the differences is what I would like to know. Thanks.

    • Wayne on said:

      Hello Gautam,
      Thank you for the thoughtful comment.
      You’ve said a mouthful and there are many ways to answer your questions and address your statements.
      Suffice it to say that standardization is individual and subjective – and yes, geographic.
      There is universally-accepted flexibility incorporated into virtually every reflexologist’s practice.
      There are books by Inge Dougans (do a search on Amazon) that I have found go beyond the scope and practice of the field of reflexology and delve into the more energetic and esoteric aspects.
      Hope this helps,

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