Practitioners believe that, by stimulating the corresponding point on the foot, a wide variety of health problems can be successfully treated without medication or special equipment. The procedure can be learned and then self-administered.
Reflexology is a treatment that applies pressure by hand to specific areas of the feet to treat various problems throughout the body. It is based on the idea that parts of the feet correspond to each organ and part of the body.
Reflexology attempts to assist nature in the healing process. It does not deal directly with body organs, but instead targets specified areas of the foot that are believed to be related to the problem organ.
Proponents claim reflexology can relieve the discomfort that accompanies a wide range of ailments. It is believed to stimulate internal organs, boost circulation, and restore bodily functions to normal. A 1996 report from China said that in an analysis of more than 8,000 cases, reflexology had a 93 percent success rate in treating 63 different disorders ranging from respiratory infections to diabetes.