Reflexology is a non-intrusive form of alternative therapy that involves targeting pressure points on the face, ears, hands, legs and feet. There is a belief that these points can affect other areas of the body and stimulate healing.
As with any form of therapy it’s important to be aware of reflexology contraindications. Even a non-intrusive form of therapy such as reflexology isn’t going to be available to everyone. It’s good practice to always get the all clear from a healthcare professional before going ahead.
What Does Contraindication Mean?
In medical terms, a contraindication is a condition, reason, or cause for a person not to receive a certain type of medicine or medical procedure. This is because doing so would cause more harm than help.
Absolute contradictions mean that a certain course of action should absolutely be avoided. For example, someone with an allergic reaction to a certain food or medicine has an absolute contraindication to the foods and medicines that cause the reaction.
They are there to help people be aware of any conditions that may mean they are not suitable for a treatment. You should always take the time to read the contraindications for any treatments you are looking into. Failure to do so could result in irritating an existing health condition or causing other problems.
Contraindications are the opposite to indications. Indications are reasons for a person to have specific type of treatment and doing so will help them.
Contraindications in reflexology mean that the patient should seek permission from a medical professional before going ahead with treatment. You should always disclose and discuss any relevant information with the reflexologist prior to treatment also.
Some minor problems with certain areas of the body may be possible to work around. This will be discussed in a pre-therapy consultation.
- Internal bleeding, either recently or currently
- Being under the influence of alcohol or banned substances
- Varicose veins or a history of similar conditions
- Contagious skin conditions
- Athletes foot or other fungal conditions
- Viral infections causing vomiting or diarrhoea
- Severe bruising
- Bone fractures of bone bruises
- Gout, or swelling and inflammation in and around joints
- Any cuts, open wounds or sores
- Full stomach, you shouldn’t eat 2-3 hours before
- Excessive scar tissue
- Internal implants
Reflexology Contraindications That Require Special Medical Permission
There are some absolute contraindication, or conditions that require special medical permission. These are areas for serious consideration, and patients with any of the following should always proceed with caution.
- Recent major surgeries and operations
- Taking medication for serious health conditions
- Severe swelling anywhere on the body
- Severe mental conditions
- Any form of cancer
- Being pregnant
- Current or recent infections in the kidneys
- Any conditions affecting the nervous system
- Any cardiovascular conditions
- Any heart conditions
Special Cases and Additional Notes
Reflexology focuses mostly on the feet. If you have any unhealed wounds, fractures, gout, or other painful conditions it may be possible for the reflexologist to focus on other areas. Such as the hands, legs, face and ears.
You should discuss all of your concerns and conditions with the therapist in detail to see if they offer a solution.
Reflexology improves blood circulation. This is where a lot of the healing abilities come from as is stimulates the body’s natural healing process. But this can also prove dangerous if the patient has blood clots.
If you have any concerns that you may have a blood clot, or have a history of this condition in your family, seek medical clearance before treatment.
Pregnant women can have reflexology. The type of treatment will be tailors depending on how many weeks pregnant the woman is. It’s not advisable in the final trimester as it can cause contractions.
Children and Babies
These techniques are beneficial to young children and babies. The biggest challenge is usually having them concentrate for a whole session. So shorter modified sessions are usually formulated.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.