As you take charge of your health and wellbeing through nutrition, exercise, sleep and checkups, you can fine tune your body through the practice of reflexology.

Reflexology is an art and science based on pressure points of the hands and feet that correspond to organs, glands and systems of the body. Pressure is applied to these points using thumb and finger techniques that result in improved blood supply and circulation, and decreased tension.

Reflexology helps the body achieve homeostasis, or balance.

Here is what you can expect in a 60-minute session:

As a client, you have the choice of receiving reflexology on your feet or your hands, or a combination of both. Just let your practitioner know. For practical purposes, feet are described here.

You will sit in an antigravity chair that leans your upper body back, extends your legs, and carries the weight of your body. As you comfortably relax in the chair, your feet are examined for cuts, bruises, abrasions and irritations.

Then they are cleansed with an antibacterial wipe. Next, relaxing techniques of the foot are used by kneading, stretching, loosening and gently twisting.

Now the foot is open to receiving specific and pointed touch called thumb and finger walking. The thumbs and fingers of the practitioner are systematically working the reflex points on the feet.

The pressure point for the spine is located on the medial side of the foot, head and neck are located in the toes, and eyes and ears located at the distal end of the foot, where the toes begin.

Points for the torso of the body and its organs and systems are found in the upper half of the foot, while the pelvic area, including sciatic and lower extremities, is on the lower half of the foot.

The practitioner will go from “head to toe,” providing overall wellbeing while looking for specific spots on the feet that might appear tender to touch, or that might feel somewhat grainy just under the skin.

The areas on the foot that are tender or grainy will be mapped to identify the corresponding body part and will be worked on more specifically to break up blocked energy and to increase blood supply and circulation.

Over time, with treatment, the tenderness or graininess will be eliminated through touch and increased circulation to the area. The corresponding body part will be refreshed and function in a healthier manner.

Other holistic benefits received are elevated energy levels and deeper sleep following a session. If you are looking for improved health without prescriptions, give reflexology a try.

Barb Bausch is a nationally certified reflexologist at the Just Be Centre in Bluffton.