When first visiting a reflexology practitioner, a detailed medical history will be taken. The patient will then be seated in a recliner chair or on a massage couch and will be asked to remove their shoes and socks.
The practitioner will initially examine the feet before commencing with the precise massage movement. The particular type of massage involved requires the application of a firm pressure using the side and end of the thumb. In some instances, the fingers may also be used. All areas on both feet will be massaged.
Areas corresponding to parts of the body that are out of balance will feel uncomfortable or tender when massaged and the degree of tenderness will indicate the degree of imbalance. The sensitivity of the feet varies from person to person and the trained practitioner will understand the correct pressure to apply and how to interpret the tendernesses felt. The massage should not be very uncomfortable to even the most sensitive of feet.
The full treatment session will last approximately three-quarters of an hour and at the end of a session the feet should feel warm and the patient relaxed. The number of treatment sessions required will vary depending on the condition being treated.
Following treatment, it is sometimes possible that the eliminating systems of the body become more active in order to rid the body of unwanted toxic matter. However, if treatment is correctly applied, these reactions should not be severe.
It is not necessary for a GP referral to try reflexology treatment but reflexology cannot give a medical diagnosis and a client would not be discouraged from visiting their GP.