What is the difference between massage and reflexology

By Floor Tuinstra

What is the difference between massage and reflexology

I sometimes get the question 'What is the difference between a reflexology treatment and a regular massage?' and 'Isn't a foot reflexology massage the same as a foot massage?'. In addition, there is a lot of talk about reflexology and foot reflexology and are they the same or is there a difference? To answer that, let's first look at the area on the body that is being treated.

foot reflexology

The massage area during a (foot) reflexology treatment and during a massage

A masseur can treat your entire body. There are masseurs who give a massage in combination with a reflex zone massage.

A foot reflexology therapist mainly treats the feet and lower legs, but depending on the complaint, can also treat your arms, hands, ears and/or face. There are also reflex zone therapists who only treat the face (facial reflexology), the ears (ear reflexology) or the hands (hand reflexology).

Reflexology therapist, reflexologist, facial reflexologist, foot reflexologist, baby reflexologist, foot reflexologist are all names of reflexology professionals and their different forms.

A massage or a foot reflexology massage?

The purpose of a massage or foot rub is to relax a person and relieve pressure. A reflexology treatment or foot reflexology massage has the same goal, reflexology is the targeted treatment of parts of the feet or hands, causing relaxation in corresponding organs. In addition, reflexology adds something to this: a foot reflexology massage activates the body's self-healing capacity by removing blockages so that energy can flow everywhere again. In this way it can relieve complaints such as constipation, migraines, insomnia and much more. Scientific research has now also proven that reflexology works .

Foot reflexology techniques versus massage techniques

A massage uses soothing movements of the hands to create relaxation by massaging the muscles, tendons and joints by stroking, kneading and rotating. Many flowing movements are used here, such as effleurage. Often no pain is experienced, but an area is stiff and tense. These techniques are also used in a foot massage.

Where massage remains more on the surface, reflexology goes deeper. Foot reflexology uses various techniques such as an 'ebb and flow' movement with the thumb (the thumb runs like a caterpillar over a reflex zone and thus feels the texture under the skin), pressing and vibrating movements, but also relaxed grips. such as ironing and kneading. For example, a foot reflexology treatment is often a combination of reflexology and a foot massage.

Foot reflexology works on specific zones. For example, a foot reflexology therapist assumes that a zone on the foot below the little toe corresponds to your shoulder. In short: the reflex zones correspond to organs in your body.

A foot reflexology treatment is often relaxing, but some areas can also feel like a 'beneficial feeling of pain', also described by many as a 'pleasant pain'. This feeling disappears when the area is cleared.

The masseur or foot reflexology therapist

A foot reflexology therapist has completed training in foot reflexology .

If you want the treatment to be reimbursed, you can look for a foot reflexology therapist who is affiliated with a professional association. In that case, a foot reflexology therapist has completed an HBO course in Basic Medical Knowledge.

If a foot reflexology therapist (also known as a reflexologist) has followed this combination, they often join a professional association. This means that foot reflexology therapy can often be (partially) reimbursed within the additional package of your health insurance.

As far as we know, a normal massage is not reimbursed by health insurance, but there are masseurs who have completed additional training, which means that the treatment can be reimbursed.