When cancer patients face stress, fatigue, or nausea, they may turn to integrative therapies such as reflexology to help ease symptoms. Although each patient responds individually, reflexology can support relaxation and comfort during cancer treatment and offers an alternative to traditional massage. What is Reflexology? Reflexology uses pressure and touch on the feet, hands, and … Continued
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology uses pressure and touch on the feet, hands, and ears to stimulate nerve pathways and encourage relaxation throughout the body. It is an ancient practice that has developed over thousands of years, according to practitioners Bambi Mathay, LMT, and Theresa Ochenkoski, LMT, who work with Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies.
Foot reflexology is not the same as foot massage, Mathay explains. Unlike massage, reflexology does not encourage relaxation through muscle and tissue manipulation. Instead, practitioners touch specific zones in the feet that correspond to reflex points in other areas of the body. Touching the feet stimulates nerve pathways that facilitate relaxation elsewhere.
“You can get a full-body benefit just from the feet,” says Mathay.