What can I expect during a reflexology session and will it hurt?

Your first session will start with the completion of a detailed and confidential medical case history.

You will be asked to remove only your footwear and sit or lie on a special massage table.  Once you are comfortable a short foot examination and cleansing is done.  Special technique pressure will be applied to your feet which are mostly pleasurable but can be painful in areas that are congested.  A sensation can sometimes be felt in the corresponding organs of the reflexes that are worked on.  With proper pressure application on these congested areas as well as certain lifestyle changes, these pains should so away with time.  At the end of the session your feet are treated to a relaxing massage with special  lotion.


A typical reflexology session lasts approximately 45—60 minutes.

Why does a certain reflex hurt?

Certain reflexes will hurt because:

  • There is an energy imbalance and thus cause congestion in that area

  • Uric acid or calcium deposits on the nerve endings

  • Past injuries to a certain area

  • Normal responses for example the pituitary reflexes which is almost always sensitive

How many treatments are needed?

For maximum benefit, it is recommended to have a course of between four and six treatments, ideally on a weekly basis.  If the condition is serious or acute a bi-weekly treatment will be suggested.  The treatment  duration will be discussed during the initial treatment and the length of treatment will depend on various factors such as:


  • How long the patients has had the condition and how serious it is

  • Patients response to the treatment

  • Patients willingness to make certain lifestyle changes


Please note that the course of treatment will be reassessed after the first treatment.  After the initial course of treatment, a monthly or bi-monthly maintenance program may be recommended.

Why are personal details required?

Personal details give therapist a general picture of the client’s health. They serve as a guideline for treatments and inform the therapist of any contraindications.  Pre-medical history and lifestyle could be causing ill health being experienced.

Will a reflexologist be able to cure or heal a condition?


No.  Reflexologists do not work with a treatment orientation; rather they are oriented to revitalizing the whole body and supporting the body in its own healing process.


Can a reflexologist diagnose?


No, a reflexologist cannot diagnose.  A medical doctor should be consulted to get a diagnosis. 

Who can benefit from reflexology?


Everyone can benefit, from babies to the elderly.


Caution is advised in the following situations:

  • Thrombosis – as the clot could move

  • 1st trimester of pregnancy

  • Diabetes – type 1 insulin dependent, insulin intake might need to be adjusted due to the        pancreas being stimulated

  • Epileptics - as seizures can occur during a treatment

  • Certain types of cancer, i.e. lymphatic cancer

What’s The Difference between Reflexology and a Foot Massage?


Many people confuse Reflexology with Massage. There are many differences between these two modalities – each having its own strengths, application, techniques and educational requirements, for example. Massage is performed to the soft tissues of the body. Reflexology is performed on the feet, hands or ears. Only shoes and socks are removed. Massage and Reflexology have different bodies of knowledge, training, registration, and legal boundaries. Reflexologists stay within their scope of practice and adhere to AHPCSA (Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa) Code of Ethics.

Can I claim Reflexology Treatments from my Medical Aid?


There are currently 17 Medical Aid Schemes in South Africa that pay for Reflexology Treatments.  In order to claim from your Medical Aid, the Therapist needs to be registered as a Health Care Professional at The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa, and also have a Practice Number from the Board of Healthcare Funders. 

Please contact your Medical Aid Scheme to confirm if they will pay for Reflexology treatments.

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