This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
When you see a reflexologist, you will probably begin with a conversation about your general health and lifestyle. The practitioner may inquire about chronic health problems or any issues that are currently concerning you. You will then be asked to remove your shoes and socks and to sit in a reclining chair or lie down on a padded table. The reflexologist may show you a map of the foot that pinpoints specific areas--called reflex points or reflex areas--that relate to other parts of your body.
At first, the practitioner will rub your feet lightly for a few minutes to warm them up and feel for tense areas. When an area of the foot feels taut and sensitive, that's a sign, practitioners say, that the corresponding body part has an energy blockage. The reflexologist will then focus on these tense areas for the duration of the session, which may last from 30 to 60 minutes.
As a particular area of the foot is pressed, you may feel a tingling sensation in the part of your body being treated. The practitioner may use significant pressure, but the therapy should never be painful. Any discomfort you feel should ease as the tension dissipates under the practitioner's touch.
Treatments may be given once a week initially and then taper off to an occasional basis. Once you learn where the appropriate points are for your condition, you can perform reflexology on yourself or have it done by a friend.