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What is Reflexology?

“I see the energetic body as a river, and reflexology can assist in restoring a lovely, even flow.” Natalie Gold, Certified Reflexologist

Reflexology is an ancient practice thought to have been passed down through an oral tradition making its origin and history is difficult to track. It was possibly first recorded as a pictograph on the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor in 2330 BC. Reflexology symbols are also thought to be recorded on the feet of statues of Buddha in India and later China.

Reflexology is the study and application of pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists believe that these areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems, and that pressing them has a beneficial effect on the organs and person’s general health.

Natalie Gold, a reflexologist with over 25 years experience says, “People are surprised by how powerfully they are affected by reflexology – not only will they experience physical releases, but emotional ones as well.”

Natalie stumbled upon the art of reflexology on a kibbutz in Israel in 1989. An experience, she says, which was completely life changing. Since then she has studied in Israel, Holland and Canada, and received her certification from the Wild Rose College in Vancouver in 1993.

Natalie says that some people confuse reflexology with massage. While both massage and reflexology use touch, the approaches are 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, whereas reflexology focuses on reflex maps of points and areas of the body in the feet, hands, and ears using unique micro-movement techniques such as thumb or finger walking and hook and backup with the goal of creating a response throughout the body. In addition, all that is required for a reflexology treatment is bare feet and a comfortable place to relax.

Despite the complexity of the modality, Natalie says reflexology is a great starting point for people interested in massage as the key concepts can be distilled into a simple and easy-to-learn routine.