Tomorrow marks the start of World Reflexology Week – a pressure and zone-based form of alternative therapy that involve different massage techniques applied specifically to the client’s feet (and, to some extent, their hands).
Reflexology primarily deals with the reduction of stress to help lead to better health and, with 85% of illnesses having stress as one of their suggested causes, it certainly doesn’t hurt to indulge in a little bit of stress reduction.
But just what is reflexology? What are its core benefits? And how might one make it a bit more intimate – perhaps even…tantric?
I’m an insatiable little research hound and, thankfully, Tantric Top were more than happy to support my investigations in this instance. So let’s discover (and celebrate) this event together.
A Closer Look at Reflexology
Reflexology can be described in multiple ways. The most simplistic would probably be as a ‘foot massage with benefits’. Reflexology concerns itself heavily with the feet, after all. According to the Federation of Holistic Therapists, the feet are considered by reflexologists to be a map of the body and are treated accordingly.
More aptly, however, reflexology can be considered as a non-intrusive complementary health therapy. Its focus is on the feet but the hands are also regularly considered as part of the practice (and sometimes the lower legs and ears).
When going to your first reflexology session you can expect your reflexologists to ask about your general state of health before doing a probing assessment themselves by gently pressing on different points in your feet and hands. This is considered to give them an idea of your overall health status, similar to when a doctor probes at an upset stomach to see if any of the organs are swollen.
Sessions last about 30–60 minutes and are not recommended for people with foot injuries, open wounds, blood clots, or on those who are pregnant. It should never be used as a primary form of treatment.
The Benefits of Reflexology
Reflexologists stress that they do not diagnose illness, nor act as a cure-all for all illnesses that should be used in exchange for any other treatment, but the complimentary benefits are so well-considered that reflexology is even offered as a free service on the NHS to many individuals (including those suffering from cancer, in some instances).
The recorded benefits of reflexology are less fanciful than some of the benefits you may find claimed by unlicensed practitioners, but here is what most professional bodies agree upon:
-Relief for urinary symptoms for those with multiple sclerosis.
-Induce a scientifically measurable state of relaxation.
-Alleviate stress and anxiety.
-Act as a mood booster.
-Create up to a 40% feeling of alleviated pain with an increase of pain for about 45% longer than those who haven’t had reflexology directly after a treatment (this makes reflexology as effective as some pain killers).
Once Chinese study reported a 50% success rate for the use of reflexology in the treatment of many conditions, but its findings are dubious at best.
Still, when looking at the above the notion of going for a reflexology session seems increasingly appealing (at least to my mind) and, besides, it can also easily translate to kink and more *ahem* adult pursuits in to alternative therapy.
Meet Your Feet
One only need look at the heavy focus of reflexology on probing, stroking, and applying pressure to the feet to see how it might have an erotic appeal to some.
Foot fetishism is one of the most common forms of kink out there and its allure can have an appeal even to those with the most fleeting of interest.
To have your feet pampered, specifically with the intention to discover more about the body, to explore the map of one’s overall energy (many reflexologists speak of ‘energy’), and to create a relaxed and stress-relieved state is, to the appreciator of feet, no doubt a divine premise.
In such instances, though, the erotic engagement might not necessarily be best to bring to a true reflexology session. Certainly, you wouldn’t be able to let go and revel in the experience as much as if you were to enter the session with intimacy in mind.
This is where tantric massage comes in.
Bringing Tantra to Reflexology
To my mind, tantric massage is the natural alternative to the alternative treatment of reflexology.
A tantric masseur won’t be a reflexology professional, but they will have many of the same intentions in mind and can convey many of the same benefits. Stress alleviation? Yup. Inducing a state of relaxation? Naturally. Boosting one’s mood? Oh fuck, yes.
But, in addition to this, a tantric masseur will understand that the experience you’re seeking goes beyond clinical wellbeing: It’s much more about connecting with your body and you desires, as sensual as it is soothing, and non-judgemental when it comes to the exploration of your sexual proclivities.
That’s not to say that a tantric massage is a sexual massage, but it isn’t afraid to allow clients to release any inhibitions and truly, completely enjoy themselves.
And, although many tantric massage parlors offer specific services, they are usually diverse enough to meet client’s needs, and highly interested in making sure they meet the individual needs of their clients.
In the instance of Tantic Top, for example, a sensual massage, erotic massage, or body-to-body massage could easily be modified to honor an interest in reflexology – with your feet and hands given all the extra attention that you would want and your masseur applying their techniques in a way that works for you. Plus, the notion is just really fun.
Can you imagine giving lose consideration to World Reflexology Week by booking a body-to-body session in which feet are run gently over your body – running across your back or dancing smoothly over your chest while your watch in admiration?
Or, perhaps, to be a bit more in keeping with the original practice, purchasing a sensual session in which your feet are rubbed in a pampering way, swirling motions decorating the soles and deep attention given as fingers run between toes? Imagining the combination of tantra and reflexology is enough to put a grin on my face and have me craving a session myself!
Alas, I am far away from Tantric Top, but, after this article, I might (at the very least) seek a local reflexology session to see just what’s involved firsthand (uhm…firstfeet?).
If I do this then you can bet there will be another article. But, in the interim, I hope you’ve got a better idea of how reflexology can help you and the many ways that it can be honored, and expanded upon, in an erotic, sensual, or tantric manner.