Reflexology socks are used in the application of reflexology, a holistic healing technique that is based on the principle that everything in the body is connected. This holistic healing technique typically is performed on the recipient's hands and feet, because these parts of the body are covered with pressure points and contain myriad nerve endings. When pressure is applied to the reflex points or zones of the foot that correspond with specific other parts of the body, it is believed that this encourages good health, better circulation and pain relief in the corresponding areas.
Reflexology socks come with a colorful diagram of reflex zones or pressure points on the foot and work as a great visual teaching tool for people just getting started with reflexology. Although generally not used by professionals, these socks can make reflexology foot massages easy and fun. Reflexology socks are imprinted with all of the zones of the foot, complete with labeling to indicate the corresponding other parts of the body for each area of the foot.
These socks usually separate the individual toes — like how a glove separates the fingers — and are made of a cotton blend that stretches so that one size fits all. Some reflexology socks can be purchased pre-moisturized, which allows the massage to be performed without any lotions or oils having to be applied. Some people find it more relaxing to receive a foot massage with socks on than with bare feet. Even if a massage with bare feet is preferred, it is a good idea to wear reflexology socks until all of the reflex or pressure points have been memorized.
By applying gentle pressure with the thumbs and fingers to the applicable area on the reflexology sock, the problematic areas that cause certain afflictions can be targeted. For example, the toes correspond to the sinuses, and the heel area corresponds to the colon, large and small intestines. Stimulating the reflex points is believed to restore balance and allow the corresponding body parts to function properly. Other therapeutic benefits of a reflexology massage include reduced stress, increased energy and improved circulation.
Although the health benefits of foot reflexology have had some debate, most recognize it as an effective alternative medicine. Even if reflexology does not directly generate the specific health benefits its practitioners claim, the act of relieving stress through a relaxing foot massage can be enough improve one's health. Someone who has existing health problems or is pregnant should consult with a medical professional before relying on foot reflexology to address those issues.