Some people confuse reflexology with massage. While both massage and reflexology use touch, the approaches are actually very different.

Massage is the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, using specific techniques (for example, tapping, kneading, stroking, and friction) to relax the muscles.

Reflexology focuses on reflex maps of points and areas of the body in the hands or feet using unique micro movement techniques such as thumb or finger walking and hook and backup to create a response throughout the body.

Foot Care Reflexology Chart

In short, massage therapists work “from the outside in,” manipulating specific muscle groups or fascia to release tension. Reflexology practitioners see themselves as working “from the inside out” — stimulating the nervous system to release tension.

Another difference between massage and reflexology is that a client will stay fully clothed for a reflexology session except for removing footwear, whereas clients remove clothing for a massage session.