Reflexology myths often cloud our understanding of this ancient practice, leading to misconceptions about its purpose and benefits. Despite its roots in traditional healing, reflexology is frequently misunderstood as merely a foot massage with unproven effects. However, almost everyone knows the benefits of a good massage. It’s excellent for relieving tension, improving blood circulation, and undoing painful muscle knots. A good deep-tissue massage is a guaranteed way to get your body to relax, which everyone needs in an incredibly high-stress environment. Reflexology goes even further than that! By examining its principles, techniques, and the science behind it, we aim to provide clarity and insight into how reflexology therapy can play a role in modern holistic health practices.

Reflexology myths

Whether you’re a massage enthusiast or a complete newbie, you’ve probably heard of reflexology. Most people think it’s a type of massage for the feet, hands, and ears, but it goes beyond that. Reflexology is a whole-body treatment that can help with symptoms in all areas of the body and brain.  There are pressure points in these areas that can reduce symptoms you’ve had a hard time treating. However, a lot of reflexology myths continue to circulate that simply aren’t true. Here are four of them and why they’re bogus:

Reflexology Myths – No. 1: It Hurts

Some people feel pain from massages, which is why they think the same about reflexology. However, this should never hurt. The pressure in reflexology must be firm enough without inducing pain or soreness. Although you may experience a sore spot in an imbalanced area, it should feel more like a tender sensation than a painful one. 

If you are feeling pain from your treatment, make sure your reflexologist knows. Your experience should be as comfortable to the point that you fall asleep, similar to getting a back massage. Your reflexologist must use a pressure that suits you best or change your position accordingly for the best treatment possible. If reflexology is performed correctly, it should be relaxing and enjoyable


Reflexology Myths – No. 2: Reflexology Can Make Diagnoses

Although reflexology is useful for spotlighting aspects out of balance, it cannot diagnose illnesses. Only doctors are capable of doing so. In fact, reflexologists recommend patients visit their doctor if they say they aren’t feeling well.

At the end of your treatment, your reflexologist might ask you if you’ve been feeling a strange sensation in any area. We usually ask this if we spot a reflex that feels out of balance, fizzy, or somehow crunchy. We also pick up on certain things, like tension in shoulder reflexes. Asking you this question allows us to determine if something is alarming and if you need to see a medical professional.

Further reflexology is a complementary therapy focused on promoting relaxation and improving overall well-being through the application of pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears. While practitioners may note areas of sensitivity or tension that could suggest imbalances in the body, these observations are not used for medical diagnosis. Reflexology should not replace conventional medical diagnosis or treatment; instead, it should be used alongside other treatments to support general health and well-being.


Reflexology Myths – No. 3: Reflexology is Just a Foot Massage

Many people believe that reflexology is a fancy term for a foot massage, but it goes beyond that. Reflexology is more than just a foot massage. It is a therapeutic practice based on the theory that specific points on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to different organs and systems in the body. By applying targeted pressure to these points, reflexologists aim to promote healing and balance throughout the body. Your feet have around 7,000 nerve endings and sensory receptors, many of which are considered to be reflex points in reflexology. These points are mapped out in a Reflexology Chart which corresponds to different organs, glands, and parts of the body. For example, the pressure points corresponding to the back are primarily located along the inside edge of the feet, particularly along the arch. This area is believed to reflect the spine in the reflexology foot map where the upper arch corresponds to the thoracic spine and the lower part of the arch (pressure points 24 and 25 in the Chart) is associated with the sacral spine and coccyx.  By applying pressure to these points, reflexologists aim to alleviate various back pain issues. 


Reflexology Myths – No. 4: Reflexology is an Alternative Treatment

Reflexology must never be used to treat an illness or a condition. Instead, it works together with other forms of treatment that you’ll receive from a medical specialist to help you recharge, rebalance, and recover. 

The National Cancer Institute funded a 2011 study where experts examined how reflexology affected over 200 women with advanced breast cancer. All participants underwent treatment at the time of the research, like chemotherapy, for their cancer. The study found that reflexology effectively helped reduce some of their symptoms, like shortness of breath. Reflexology cannot cure illness, but it can make people feel better.


Reflexology is a great way to restore balance to your body. It operates on the theory that pressure points in your feet are directly connected to other parts of the central nervous system, and working on these areas reduces pain. Now that you know these myths are untrue, you may want to consider going in for a session!

If you’re looking for the best reflexology services or massage services in Edmonton, visit us at Soul 2 Sole Studio! We are a massage studio that offers numerous treatments that are guaranteed to relieve your stress, like deep tissue massages, prenatal massages, and reflexology. Make time for yourself today and book a soothing massage with us!