If you have never had a reflexology treatment, you might be wondering what it is and how it relates to massage therapy. Since most clinics that offer massage therapy also offer reflexology, many wonder what their differences are. Choosing one over the other may impact you in several ways, which is why the differences between these two treatment therapies should matter to you. Here is a closer look at the differences between reflexology and deep tissue massage, and why their differences should matter.


Reflexology is an alternative form of massage therapy. It is believed (by its practitioners) that your hands and feet are a reflection of your whole body. By massaging specific small areas of your palms, fingers, soles and toes you can correct the flow of energy in your body, thereby correcting the corresponding health problems you are experiencing. This therapy approach is much more spiritual in nature, because the patient should first believe in the Chi (Qi), the energy force that exists in all things, living or not. The idea is to use and activate the body's Chi and move it to the areas of the body where you are not well so that the Chi can heal you. While those that believe say that reflexology is their miracle, those that do not believe frequently report that reflexology is a nice hand or foot massage, but that is all.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is performed by a licensed massage therapist. Parts or all of your body receive a deep pressure massage, which releases biological toxins from the muscles and alleviates pain. It focuses on the areas of the body where you feel the most discomfort, but you can request a deep tissue massage for the entire body. It is a medically proven therapeutic treatment.

Why These Differences Should Matter

The most important reason why the differences between reflexology and deep tissue massage should matter is that many health insurance companies may cover the costs of a few deep tissue massages, but they generally do not cover the costs of reflexology. If you believe in reflexology and find that it works for you, you may want to find another health insurance provider who is willing to pay for your sessions or you will just have to continue paying out of pocket. Another reason why these differences should matter is that if you are pursuing a more spiritual life and spiritual approach to your personal health, or if you are a member of a religion that does not allow medical science or pharmaceuticals (e.g., Jehovah's Witness), then reflexology might be an acceptable alternative treatment. For more information, contact a company like Advanced Alternatives Massage Therapy.