As with many of the modalities we offer at blue marigold, foot reflexology has withstood the test of time as an ancient healing art. It appears to have been practiced for thousands of years before modernization by multiple cultures, most notably Chinese, Indian and Egyptian and Native American. The underlying principle of this work is that the entire body is mapped out on our hands and feet, and that treating these parts of the hands or feet will, through a nervous system reflex, create balance within the corresponding region of the body. This “body map” on the hands and feet include points to treat the musculoskeletal system (in other words, muscle or joint pain), the immune system, the digestive system and the endocrine (or hormonal) system, in addition to each specific organ.


There is a more recently discovered branch of reflexology healing which creates overall balance in a person by addressing the feet; it is called Zone Therapy and was brought to the forefront by William Fitzgerald in the early 20th century. He was an American medical doctor who made correlations between applying pressure particular regions of the foot to lessen pain in another area of the body. Through his work, he began to understand that the foot (and the entire body) can be divided into ten reflex zones – five on each side of the body – and that treating these zones on the feet could relieve symptoms in corresponding zones on the rest of the body. His method was expanded upon by Dr. Joe Shelby Riley and later Eunice Ingham, who developed the technique of “thumb-walking” reflexology.


People like to receive reflexology treatments for many  for many reasons.

Some of our clients stand on their feet ALL day at work, which is not only physically exhausting but is challenging to the body’s circulatory system in that (when working against gravity) cardiovascular fluids are not easily able to return to the heart for recirculation. Other clients have specific musculoskeletal or systemic ailments and are seeking complimentary care that brings pain relief and overall rebalancing. For instance, reflexology can assist in relieving tension headaches, digestive disorders, insomnia and diffuse or specific joint/ muscle pain. Points with particular tension or tenderness can indicate stagnation in the corresponding body parts, which can be a helpful hint during treatment.

While people most commonly use reflexology to see benefits in areas other than the feet, this reality cannot be denied: working tension in the feet tends to relax people on a level that they rarely achieve in regular daily life. With this deep relaxation, the body is taken into its parasympathetic nervous system state. Allowing our bodies to rest deeply into the parasympathetic state is so crucially important in our modern, busy lives. We are rarely given ample time away from the “fight-or-flight” sympathetic nervous system state which taxes our body’s hormonal, emotional and physical reserves and results in chronic stress – arguably the major underlying factor for most all illnesses! One of the most beautiful aspects of reflexology is this therapeutic effect is has on the nervous system, one of deep relaxation, stress relief and nourishment.

Being what essentially holds our body’s weight as we stand, walk and move throughout our day, the feet definitely accumulate a great deal of tension that can have major effects on other areas of the body. If only for this reason alone, receiving a foot reflexology treatment is well worth it. And generally speaking, for most people, having your feet massaged feels oh-so amazing!

We are always very happy to customize your sessions so that they provide you with the most healing and therapeutic benefits possible for your body, mind and spirit. Each person is so unique in their massage “needs” and we love catering to this by blending together our powerful massage modalities throughout each treatment. Feel free to let us know if you want to try reflexology for a portion of your appointment when you visit next; we will be happy to accommodate!

Click here to book your reflexology session at our North Portland massage studio.