How to Give a Reflexology Foot Massage

A few years ago, a friend gave me a reflexology session as a gift, and I was looking forward to a good old foot rub. But I was surprised by how my entire body relaxed—more than during a full-body massage!—and how refreshed and revitalized I felt leaving the salon. According to reflexology practitioners, reflex points on your feet and hands correspond to your whole body, so stimulating those points helps release tension and gives you a feeling of overall well-being.

Why not try it at home? Could be a fun date night, right? My friend and illustrator Erin Jang and I put together this super basic, just-for-fun reflexology chart. Look up your partner’s ailment—headache? stuffy nose?—and see if you can foot-massage it away:)

(Illustration by Erin Jang for Cup of Jo. Thanks, Erin!)

  1. Thank you for the incredible information about how to give a foot massage. I am a massage therapist with the emphasis on acupressure and sports therapy, so I know that massage therapy is beneficial in so many ways.

  2. Nice tips! Do a short reflexology session on yourself just before you go to sleep.

  3. Ida says...

    Great chart. My husband has stuffy noses did to allergies, he takes allergie meds and my teen has migraines. I will try massaging their feet next time using this chart as a guide.

  4. It’s a really superb information. Thanks for sharing..!!
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  6. Great chart. I will have to use that as a guide.

  7. Hi,your blog is really nice and provides a great info about Massage elanora i want to continue with your blogs and thanks to share such a nice info with us.

  8. Wow! I love this. Very simple and way to get rid of headache.Your way of presentatio is also very good.

  9. You make greatful shares Jo, thanks all for this. refloksology is a science, also.for all ı konow that ıt makes baby more ıntelliagence..

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  11. I have gave my gf 1 foot massage b4 i want 2 give her foot rubs everyday but she dont like any massage what do i do

  12. I am a ProDomme and this well help me out with my foot fetish boys that aren’t that good at massging my feet. They are ticklish but when I wear heels for awhile I nice massage is just the trick

  13. I love to get whole body massage; I get a lot of energy with it. It is much interesting for me that massage provides a lot of relaxation and power to our foot.
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  16. this makes giving a good foot rub easy-peasy! thank you x

  17. While various types of reflexology related massage styles focus on the feet, massage of (usually) the soles of the feet is often performed purely for relaxation or recreation.more information

  18. I barely have an idea on how to massage, much less a reflexology massage. I’ll just ask someone to do it on me, so I can just sit back and relax. Haha!

  19. Very help full tips of the trigger points.

  20. I always wanted to have a foot massage. Thanks for the share.

  21. Reflexology covers a lot of areas with regard to massage. It can target different parts of the body just through pressing the right spots on the foot and soles, a therapist could typically do it in a 30 minute session and that would help enough on the vitality of someone receiving the massage. I can always remember my first reflexology session when I have felt it was totally painful, but it was stress relieving. In some way I know of another type of massage that could get some physical and mental benefits which is through the sensual massage.

  22. Thanks for the post, and I can remember my first time that I went to the reflexologist and before my appointment I was very nervous. But after him aligning my back and my neck, I can’t wait until my next appointment until he gets to do it again.

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  25. My husband loves going to get a massage, there’s this place in Burien, I swear he loves more than me. I don’t like going though. So he can look at this and give me one! :)

  26. Love the illustration! And super way to take away all that stress.

  27. If my husband and I weren’t both so incredibly ticklish I would love to give this a try!

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  29. Very interesting! Maybe it will work for my back. Thanks – enjoy your Blog.

  30. Thanks for the next date idea ;) As newlyweds on a budget and pedicures coming every couple of months rather than weeks this is going to be a well used image! Ha thanks!

  31. What a wonderful chart! So interesting.. will definitely try out! :)

  32. So would the left foot be the foot on my left, or their left foot?

    • I’m wondering too. ’cause my feet are not like this :D

  33. Awesome chart!! I love getting foot massages!! I always go to those $20/hr Asian places and have never done it at home but maybe I should give this to my bf and tell him I have every ailment on the chart ;D


  34. Such an awesome chart! My roommate who is a physical therapist also taught me that if you put pressure on the space between your thumb and first finger it can relieve headaches, I use that trick all the time :)

  35. Oh man, this is a slam dunk! My boyfriend and I have “foot-rubbin” night on Sundays and this chart looks like an essential. Can’t wait to try it out :)

  36. Such a small world, I blogged about pregnancy reflexology only this morning. I’m no expert but if you go to a specialist pregnancy reflexologist it is actually a really lovely and relaxing thing to do at the end of your pregnancy. I have had two sessions recently (I am 39.5 weeks) and loved it! If you want to read more check out my blog post, there is a link to pregnancy reflexology info there.

  37. Just adding 2 cents that there is some discussion whether foot reflexology is safe during pregnancy, because it can induce uterine contractions, and therefore theoretically pre-term labor. A gentle foot rub is of course always OK!

  38. I love Cup of Jo so, so dearly, but as a clinician with a physical therapist boyfriend, this is total bunk.

    • Totally appreciate your dissenting voice on this, Megan. <3 from a skeptical RN.

  39. Nice artwork, ERIN!!

  40. d’you think reflexologists get tired of duran duran references? i sure hope not.

    try not to bruise it,

  41. Yes, I totally just emailed this to my husband. A subtle hit, I’m sure!

  42. Very cool! A Japanese friend told me that her doctor told her she should rub in between the joints at the base of her toes to relieve her strong PMS symptoms (I love that there a places where docs give DIY solutions!) and it’s done wonders for her.

    And related to Anna and Megan above, my almost 3 year started requesting massages at bedtime a couple of months ago and it totally works for her!

  43. I love this! My 2 year old always relaxes completely when I give him a footrub. I think I need a print of this!

  44. Good idea. My 1 1/2 yr old son loves foot massages while he takes a bath. It’s adorable!

  45. I used to have reflexology socks- they had a diagram on the bottom telling you which part of the foot corresponded to which part of the body. They were white on top, and were also toe socks, so they made my feet look like I was wearing magicians gloves!

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Oooh, this is so great! Straight to the point :) Happy Friday!

  48. Ah! I love this! Perfect boyfriend instruction manual!!

    Have a great weekend,

    Sasha @

  49. I would love this as a date! Foot massages are the best!

  50. Never have, but have always wanted to. Thanks for this simple chart – I’ll try it on My Beloved!