Reflexology VS. Massage Therapy – Advantages & Disadvantages

Before finalizing upon which form of therapy between Massage Therapy and Reflexology might best work for you and your body-type, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of both, along with their advantages as well as disadvantages.

The content mentioned below; therefore, consists of all core details regarding both Reflexology and Massage Therapy, which can aid in deciding upon which form of therapy should be opted for.


Originating from practices incorporated by ancient Chinese for improving the general well being of the human anatomy, Reflexology as a form of therapy focuses primarily on targeting body parts such as the feet, hands and even the ears.

For more than 3000-years practitioners from a Chinese origin utilized reflexology to balance out ‘Qi,' the force of life believed to be continuously flowing between different energy channels.

Based on Chinese affiliated principles, this particular form of therapy has its foundation upon the principle of manipulating reflex zones allocated within specific points of both the feet and the hands which as a result correspond to thousands of nerve endings located within other different parts of the client’s anatomy.

Since Reflexology functions on principles deviating from the typical western norms of medicine, there is a limited amount of science-based evidence which strengthens its role in improving the general well-being and health of clients. Regardless of very little scientific back-up in the form of researches, a large percentage of physicians whom of which practice alternative forms of therapy have been utilizing Reflexology with promisingly positive results.

Based on the Kunz studies conducted in 2008 regarding the effectiveness of Reflexology, various advantages of the practice include the following:

Advantages of Reflexology

Reduction of Anxiety

Due to the sheer manipulation of thousands of nerve endings in a carefully conducted manner via the hands, feet, and ears of clients, Reflexology practitioners can successfully reduce anxiety as well as levels of stress. 

According to studies conducted by Hudson patients whom of which went through Reflexology before Varicose Vein Surgery suffered from significantly lowered levels of intra-operative stress of anxiety as well as relatively lesser pain than those receiving regular treatment.

Relieving Migraine

Increased blood flow with the help of Reflexology helped alleviate cases of migraine in a study conducted by Testa during the year 2000. The study included an aggregate of 32 patients suffering from chronic headaches each of which was placed under Reflexology as a form of therapy, following which after 3-months of treatment, Reflexology proved to display the same results as that achieved by drug Flunarizin Therapy.

Increased Healing Postoperative

Through the help of studies conducted by Kumar Choudhary and Singh regarding Reflexology, it was established that patients who received Reflexology in various intervals post-surgery were subject to higher recovery and healing rates than those that did not receive Reflexology as a form of post-operative therapy.

Disadvantages do, although exist regarding utilizing Reflexology as a form of general health improvement which includes the following:

Disadvantages  of Reflexology

High Prices

To observe the results, it is best advised to indulge in a long-term form of Reflexology therapy; therefore, regular sessions of Reflexology can prove to be extremely expensive for clients. 

Specialization is a Necessity

Clients must always opt for hiring physicians whom of which are professionals within the field of Reflexology since any cases of incorrect pressure being applied to core acupuncture points may lead to further issues and problems being caused within the anatomy of users. 

Can Cure a Limited Number of Conditions

Severe or medical illnesses whom of which are in their last stages cannot be relieved or cured with the help of Reflexology; therefore, clients will ultimately have to opt for conventional forms of medicine. 

Massage Therapy

Massage as a form of achieving optimal relaxation and a certain level of recovery from various ailments is utilized as a form of effective therapy all around the globe. Massage therapy incorporated a vast variation of massage motions including but not limited to kneading, tapping, rolling, stretching, vibration and much more being delivered onto the body of clients for attaining pre-set objectives.

Massage Therapy to promote user convenience has been categorized into various types, each of which is specialized at obtaining different effects on the anatomy of clients. Variations include subcategories such as Swedish Massage Therapy, Sports Massage, Thai Massage, Trigger-point Massage, Deep-tissue Massage and much more.

Due to the high-efficiency levels of relaxation along with other advantages Massage Therapy can deliver, it has been used as a popular tool within the world of therapy since decades. Core advantages include the following:

Advantages of Massage Therapy 

Stress Relief

It has been well established with the help of a vast number of researches that even a single session of Massage Therapy can significantly increase levels of Endorphins within the body which help control insulin levels as well as Cortisol, both of which decrease stress levels within the anatomy. 

Cure Muscle Adhesions

Muscle adhesions caused as a result of exhaustion can best be relaxed when any tension knots that may have been created within are loosened through an effective Deep-tissue Massage. The high intensity of a Deep-tissue Massage helps with enhanced massage penetration levels to release any trapped strain within. 

Enhance Blood Circulation

Regular Massage Therapy sessions can significantly increase blood-circulation levels with the help of a full body massage experience by loosening muscles and lifting strain trapped within. With the help of increased blood-circulation within the lower back specifically, the overall posture of clients can also be re-corrected leading to lower risks of being subject to back-related problems. 

Disadvantages of Massage Therapy may; however, include the following:

Disadvantages of Massage Therapy 

Appropriate Timing

Athletes in particular need to be careful regarding the timing of massages being received, for example, a deep tissue massage should always be scheduled not less than five days before a big game since it may lead to soreness being caused within the body which can ultimately affect the performance on the field. 


Daily massage sessions regardless of whether in the spa or by hiring a personal masseuse can cost a significant amount once they are delivered by professionals within the field. 

Reflexology, as well as Massage Therapy, have their advantages as well as disadvantages; therefore, it is always important to discuss your health history and pre-set objectives with a professional doctor before initiating any of the above-discussed forms of therapy.

Other factors such as the pricing of both forms of physical therapy should be analyzed and evaluated to check which would best suit your needs and personal objectives.


A geek at heart, 5'7, 22 years old, single, expert in psychological science and massage therapy. I am a fun loving girl and love to travel and explore the world. I hope you find my blog useful. Leave a message :)

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