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What is a Reflexology Map?

By Greer Hed
Updated May 17, 2024
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Reflexology is an alternative therapeutic technique that assumes that applying pressure to different parts of the feet or hands can influence changes in the rest of the body. A reflexology map is a diagram of the hands or feet that illustrates which pressure points on the extremities are linked to which parts of the body. Usually, the hands and feet are divided into color-coded sections that are each labeled with a corresponding body part. The reflexology map may be on a poster, so the therapist can easily refer to it while applying pressure to the patient, or it may be imprinted on a sock or glove.

The main principle of reflexology is that the hands and feet have pressure points that are connected to the rest of the body. These points are found on both the front and back of the hand and the top and bottom of the foot. Reflexology practitioners claim that they can help patients to achieve a wide array of health-related goals, such as weight loss or the cessation of pain, by applying pressure to these points in a strategic manner. Medical science has found that the application of pressure to the hands or feet does trigger the brain to send signals to the rest of the body that cause body parts to relax, but other medical applications of the technique require further research.

A practitioner of the technique usually uses a chart called a reflexology map to help her target specific pressure points. The reflexology map is usually a diagram of the feet, although maps of the hands also exist. Charts are often color-coded so the therapist can locate important pressure points more quickly. Each part of the body is usually represented by a different color. For example, the heart is usually represented by the color red, and the stomach is often bright green on the chart.

According to a reflexology map, the right foot and hand are connected to the right half of the body, while the left foot and hand are connected to the left half. The toes or fingers, located at the "top" of the foot and the hand, are associated with the head and neck and the organs, glands and tissues therein. Usually, the map depicts the ball of the foot as being associated with the upper back and chest region, as well as the heart and lungs. The inner part of the foot is connected to the spinal region, while the outer part is usually associated with the arms and shoulders.

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Discussion Comments
By serenesurface — On Sep 13, 2013

I saw the foot and hand reflexology maps at my reflexology practitioner's office. They're surprisingly very detailed. There is an exact point for every organ and the points are dispersed throughout the feet and hands.

I have a thyroid disorder and so we're concentrating on the pressure points for the thyroid gland a lot. They're located on the outer corner of the big toes.

By ZipLine — On Sep 13, 2013

@feruze-- Yes, I have done this before but I think it's better to go to a professional.

I had a reflexology feet map with directions and I did do it at home just to try it out. I'm not sure if I did it correctly because I know that reflexology practitioners use different methods of applying pressure, they go through a lot of training. It felt okay doing it myself, but when I go to a reflexology practitioner, I feel that I'm in safe hands.

Plus, they know all the different target points by heart. The practitioner I go to doesn't need to look at a map, he's been doing this for years.

By bear78 — On Sep 12, 2013

I found a book on reflexology at the library and it has reflexology maps for hands and feet. Can I use these maps myself at home to re-balance the energy flow in my body? It looks fairly easy to do.

Has anyone done reflexology at home with the use of maps like this?

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