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Reflexology

Reflexology

St. Mary's Wellness Center Reflexology
Holistic and Complementary Therapy

Reflexology is not just a feel good, foot massage. It is much more.

As proven by research the benefits of reflexology include:

  • Relaxation
  • Pain reduction
  • Reduction of symptoms for health concerns
  • Improvement in blood flow
  • Impact on physiological measures (ex. Blood pressure, cholesterol, ECG, EEG, and fMRI)
  • Improved post-operative recovery and pain reduction
  • Enhancement of medical care (ex. Diabetes, phantom limb pain, and hemodialysis patients)
  • Adjunct to mental health care (ex. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Compliment to cancer care (pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety)
  • Easier birthing and post-partum recovery.


Cindy Goodwin (RN, MSN, CR, CHTP) is a retired USI nurse educator and Evansville hospice nurse, and is a certified practitioner of Reflexology and Healing Touch. She has special interest in the use of sound, music, movement, art, journaling, and creative writing as tools to promote healing, stress management, and personal growth for herself and others.

Reflexology is a therapeutic practice that uses controlled pressure, massage and movement to specific areas of the feet, with the intent to restore the client to a state of balance and relaxation. It is based on the principle that reflex areas on the feet correspond to all parts of the body, and stimulating these areas reduces stress, relieves symptoms, and promotes total body relaxation.

Reflexology - How Does It Work?

Reflexology is a natural non-invasive healing art that is based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet well as the hands and ears that correspond to every part of the body. By working these reflexes using specific pressure techniques, Reflexology helps promote natural functioning of the body systems and allows the body to heal itself.

The nerve endings found on the bottom of the feet, as well as those in the hands face and ears are sensitive and responsive to the sensory input of Reflexology. The slow and intentional patterning of the pressure applied to specific areas and points primarily on the feet initiates the body's own healing process. Basically, this is similar to what happens in a garden where the water is unable to reach everywhere. Places begin to show sign of stress and fatigue, or just dry up and die. Reflexology assists to break through the nerve blockages so things get flowing again.

Reflexology helps to uncover the areas where higher tension related to stress is present. It can also assist the body to let go of the tension through the release of endorphins. There are many theories about how Reflexology works, with the most commonly held belief is the Reflexology acts to relax the reflexes that in turn, are connected to the various parts of the body, improving lymphatic drainage and circulation as well as stimulating the nerve connections which improves the overall function of the internal organs.

The Native Peoples of North and South America, China, India and Egypt practiced forms of reflexology thousands of years ago, as shown in the Egyptian papyrus in the next frame, dating 2300 B.C. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and America, these ancient techniques were translated into modern scientific methods, and are practiced today by trained and registered Reflexologists. Dr. William Fitzgerald, an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, in the early 1900's, was one of the pioneers in the United States while working at Boston City Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Connecticut. He referred to his theory as "Zone Therapy". Eunice Ingham was the American practitioner in the 1930's that further systemized this theory and coined the term, "Reflexology".

By alleviating tension build-up from stress responses, Reflexology serves to:

  • Reduce and / or eliminate pain
  • Improve sleep which allow the body to repair
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve organ function for better nutritional uptake as well as elimination of waste material
  • Improve oxygenation throughout the body
  • Increase mobility, agility & balance
  • Improve ability to concentrate


Michigan State University and the National Institutes of Health have now concluded a $3.1 million grant 5 year Reflexology study from 2005-2011 in which 451 women with advanced breast cancer on chemotherapy agreed to participate. The grant established for Reflexology:

  • Safety
  • Feasibility
  • Efficacy

In reflexology there is no diagnosing, prescribing, nor working in opposition to other medical fields and care. Reflexology is not a substitute for any current Medical prescribed therapies and should not be sought out as a replacement for such. Reflexology is considered a support or adjunct therapy and is recognized as such by CAM.

Call St. Mary's Wellness Center for more information and to schedule an appointment 812.485.5725

© 2014 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000