Difference between Palm Therapy and Reflexology

Submitted by Matt Papa on February 4, 2013

Palm therapy and reflexology are both forms of alternative medicine. Both palm therapy and reflexology are performed by massaging different points on the hands, foot, legs, or face. Many people therefore confuse them with each other, or with a massage, but in truth, they are all different from each other.


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In this article, we will explain what exactly palm therapy and reflexology is and what their benefits are.

Palm therapy

Palm therapy is the application of pressure on different points of the palm that correspond with different points of the body to achieve a certain result. The understanding is that the palm has different points on it that are directly connected to different organs.

By massaging these points on the palm, the organ that it relates to achieves some benefit.

Some of the benefits that are achieved through palm therapy are listed below:

  • Improved blood circulation and lymphatic flow
  • Relief from pain
  • Resistance from disease
  • Relaxation

What is Reflexology?

The concept of Reflexology is very similar to palm therapy, but the method of application is different. Reflexology believes that there are reflex points for different internal organs externally on the foot, ankles, legs, hands and ears. Reflexology therefore does not restrict itself to only one part of the body, but includes the whole body. By massaging these reflex points, the internal organs can be stimulated and benefits accrued.

The benefits from reflexology are almost the same as those for palm therapy, which is one of the reasons for the confusion. As systems of medicine go, however, reflexology is probably older than palm therapy with hieroglyphic depictions of the reflex points on the foot found on Egyptian tombs. The Chinese have also been using reflexology, and the earliest texts that deal with it are more than 1500 years old, with the actual science being much older.

The reflex points are also not the same across both systems, and even in the same system, practitioners do not agree on the reflex points. This has led to large inconsistencies in the practice and therefore large inconsistencies in the results obtained.

Yet, many people who have undergone reflexology and palm therapy feel that they have benefited from it. There are however not too many clinical trials that have been conducted, and in the only one that was conducted on patients with multiple sclerosis, it was found that patients did report benefits in such areas such as sensory, urinary, and motor functions.

In Denmark, a number of reflexologists have been employed since the 90s by various municipalities and companies, and it was noticed that not only did the average job satisfaction increase, but there was also a lower absenteeism and sick leave across the board. In sum, referring back to the main question of the difference between reflexology and palm therapy, there is only one: palm therapy restricts itself only to the palm and wrists and that the reflex points differ from reflexology.


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