Recently, reflexologists have renewed working with the hands as well as the feet. Evidence shows that hand and foot reflexology were both practiced since ancient times. An Egyptian papyrus dated 2330 B.C. clearly depicts both.

It was primarily the teaching of Eunice Ingham in the U.S.A. that made foot reflexology popular this century. Eunice acknowledged hand reflexology, but only to be used as “a back up” when it was not possible to work on the feet.

In 1975, Mildred Carter’s popular book “Hand Reflexology: Key to Perfect Health” presented using hand reflexology on your self. It was not until 1985, when Kevin and Barbara Kunz published “Hand Reflexology Workbook – How To Work On Someone’s Hands”, that directions for practicing hand reflexology on another person became available.

Todate there have been very few courses or books that teach hand reflexology.

Consequently, hand reflexology is rarely offered by professional reflexologists and has little awareness by the general public.

An obvious benefit of hand reflexology stems from the easy availability of the hands. In order to practice foot reflexology effectively two conditions are necessary: the recipient’s feet be bare – this requires removal of shoes and stockings, and, both recipient and practitioner are positioned comfortably for the feet to be worked on. These requirements of foot reflexology severely limit the settings in which it can be performed. In comparison, hand reflexology can be performed in almost any setting.

A second benefit of hand reflexology is that people are much more comfortable having their hands touched and worked on. Ticklish feet, smelly feet, ugly feet (perceived or real), and for some people and cultures, the simple invasion of privacy and the intimacy of having ones feet touched by a stranger can all be barriers to the practice of foot reflexology. In these cases hand reflexology is very good news. For the first time these people will be able to enjoy all of the benefits of reflexology without any of the above discomforts.

The third benefit is that the hands are very comfortably accessible for working on your self. So much so that it can be done very discreetly. Now, working on yourself is never as pleasant as having someone else work on you. However, working on your own hands is an effective way to provide yourself with the therapeutic benefits of reflexology. This is particularly beneficial for people who wish to complement their professional sessions.

These three major benefits of hand reflexology are worth consideration of anyone who is considering learning reflexology – to practice reflexology professionally, as a hobby with their friends and family, or, on their own hands – for their own health and vitality.

Professional reflexologists would be well advised to add hand reflexology to their skills. Inevitably, circumstances arise where it is not possible to work on a clients feet and it is necessary to have an alternative modality. Similarly, people who want reflexology, but are not comfortable having their feet touched, become potential additional clients.

It wont be long before the practice of hand reflexology will have an equal footing (excuse the pun) with foot reflexology, and, may even become more popular than foot reflexology.

If you haven’t experienced a hand massage, it is one of the best kept secrets on this planet. There is nothing quite as exquisite as surrendering those overworked, and yet, extremely sensitive hands to the bliss of nurturing touch. Give it a try.

Christopher Shirley owns the Pacific Institute of Reflexology where he practices and teaches reflexology. He teaches courses for hand reflexology on one’s own and other people’s hands every six months. For information: http://www.pacificreflexology,,or, call (604) 875-8818., toll free: 1(800)688-9748.

Author's Bio: 

Christopher Shirley, certified Master Reflexologist by Natural Therapies Accreditation Commission, has taught, practiced and promoted reflexology since 1978. He has developed basic training courses for foot, hand and ear reflexology and advanced reflexology. Chris publishes reflexology foot, hand and ear charts, and, an instructional DVD. He currently offers franchise opportunities.