Perspectives on Reflexology: A Qualitative Approach

5 mins read
Perspectives on Reflexology: A Qualitative Approach
 2016 Dec 3;7(3):327-331. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.08.008. eCollection 2017 Jul.

Perspectives on reflexology: A qualitative approach.

Embong NH1, Soh YC1,2, Ming LC1,3, Wong TW1,4.

Author information

1Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.
2School of Pharmacy, Taylor’s University (Lakeside Campus), Subang Jaya, Malaysia.
3Vector-borne Diseases Research Group (VERDI), Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences CoRe, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.
4Non-Destructive Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research Centre, iPROMISE, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.



Reflexology is the systematic practice of applying some pressure to particular points on the feet and hands to impact on health of related parts of the body.


To explore the practitioners’ perspectives of reflexology in Malaysia.


Data was collected using face-to-face semi-structured interviews with practitioners in Malaysia. The interviews were conducted in the Malay language and recorded. Interview conversations were translated and transcribed verbatim. Responses relating to different themes were identified in each of the interviews and a coding frame was developed. For each theme, the relevant data enabled a description of the range of views and experiences. Data collection and analysis were conducted concurrently and recruitment was stopped when saturation had been reached. All respondents gave written consent for their participation.


The findings show that reflexology treatment nowadays has been accepted as one of the ways to maintain general health. Practitioners believe that reflexology is able to detect some problems in to the body, which can make patients aware of a health condition and seek further treatment. However, if reflexology is not performed correctly, it may cause negative effects such as pain and bruises. Some practitioners voiced concern that illegal activities are taking place in unethical reflexology centers.


Empowering the practitioner as a professional would help gain the public’s trust and confidence in their treatment. Strict enforcement of regulation related to illegal conduct in reflexology centers will improve people’s perception of the practice.


Complementary and alternative medicine; Foot massage; Pain management; Professionalism; Reflexology; Treatment effect

Perspectives on Reflexology: A Qualitative Approach


Embong NH, Soh YC, Ming LC, Wong TW. Perspectives on reflexology: A qualitative approach. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;7(3):327–331. Published 2016 Dec 3. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.08.008

Actionable Information for Reflexologists

In this section you will find how this research paper enacted reflexology to produce these results. We at Reflexology.Report distilled the Methodology portion of this research paper and we are presenting you with:

  • General methods used
  • Organization and duration of sessions
  • Reflexology points

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to all reflexologists. This is a tool developed by the Center of Reflexology and Research (Κέντρο Ρεφλεξολογίας και Έρευνας) in Greece and supervised volunteers from across the world.

This research paper does not include actionable information for reflexologists.

Σε αυτήν την έρευνα δεν έχουμε εφαρμόσιμες πληροφορίες για ρεφλεξολόγους.

Full PDF of the Reflexology Research Paper


Previous publication

Who is a Reflexologist in Research?

Next publication

Hand Reflexology in 135 Female Patients with Coronary Artery Diseases