Not all foot massage is reflexology. Although it can be a very soothing experience, and help the general free-flow of your body energy, a foot massage is - just that. True reflexology includes (dry) massage, but it's the application of pressure onto particular areas of the sole of the foot, which makes it a specialised treatment. The manipulation of each specific area causes a reflex action in another part of the body - thus the name.
The Chinese and the Egyptians' superb documentation techniques confirm that foot and hand massage therapies aren't a new discovery. They've actually been helping mankind for at least 4,500 years. During this time, practitioners have meticulously mapped out the exact locations of all the body-part's corresponding zones on the foot. Modern-day reflexologists can now go straight to a particular section of the sole, apply pressure to it, and relieve pain elsewhere in the body.
“The manipulation of each specific area
causes a reflex action
in another part of the body – thus the name.”
All kinds of ailments and afflictions ranging from insomnia to indigestion, benefit from the use of reflexology. And the added bonus is that there are no side-effects! Pressure on the tip of the big toe will help relieve pain in the sinuses. Attention to the big toe's second joint will ease neck-ache, and so on.
Treatments vary in length and intensity according to the nature of the problem and the physical condition of the patient. Experienced practitioners usually give the elderly, the young and the very sick shorter sessions with less pressure applied, than those for the sturdier clients.
The similarities of reflexology and acupuncture are numerous. Both help maintain a good circulation of vital body-energy. Each offers painless remedies to health problems - without the need of resorting to surgery. And, most curiously, both treat a section of the body away from the part being touched!
Reflexologists regularly offer their services on Samui at one or more of the island's health centres/retreats, so do try and experience this ancient art while you're here.