Soul of the Sole

Are you curious about reflexology, but not sure what to expect or what it really is? Perhaps you’re intrigued by reflexology foot, hand, and head maps — diagrams that correlate pressure points with internal organs. I was and recently sought a 60-minute treatment by certified reflexologist Kay Hummel at Bodyworks Massage Institute.

Reflexology is a method of affecting the internal organs and systems of the body by applying pressure to specific points on the hands or feet. It differs from an ordinary foot massage in that rather than working only on the muscles, tendons, fascia, and circulation, reflexology addresses other areas of the body.

The Scoop
When I phoned Hummel for an appointment, she explained that during a 60-minute session she would focus on my feet; in 90-minute sessions, she also works on the client’s hands and head. She requested I dress in loose clothing, as reflexology is performed fully clothed, minus your shoes and socks. Arriving at my appointment, Hummel first talked with me about my general health history and explained she would use a combination of reflexology methods to meet my needs — which she would further assess during the treatment.

I was invited to recline on a massage couch covered by a blanket; a bolster may be placed under your knees. The treatment itself is a specific form of foot massage that stimulates reflex points across the feet. It was not at all ticklish or painful — it was extremely relaxing. I particularly enjoyed the technique where Hummel gently stretched my heels, creating a lengthening I felt from my soles to my scalp. (I claim to have grown a quarter-inch with yoga and I was tempted to measure myself after this!) I briefly fell asleep, as many clients do. The benefits of reflexology are realized even if you sleep through your treatment.

The Verdict
After the treatment, in Bodyworks’ attractive lobby that also is somewhat of a holistic resource library, Hummel gave me a glass of water and talked to me about her findings. She explained she felt tension in my jaw (I have previously been treated for temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJ) and congestion in my sinuses (it is winter cold season). Hummel encouraged me to drink plenty of water and to take it easy for the rest of the day. I left feeling both rejuvenated and calm.

Need to Know
Kay Hummel, certified reflexologist and certified Reiki practitioner, offers reflexology at Bodyworks Institute, 2112 Maxwell Ave. A 45-minute session is $45; a 60-minute session is $60. Bodyworks offers six therapeutic sessions for $300. Most of Hummel’s clients see her for reflexology at least monthly; clients beginning treatment will benefit from more frequent sessions.

To schedule an appointment, call (812) 490-9009.

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