The Connection Between Shiatsu and Reflexology

Reflexology and Shiatsu
Chart courtesy of the International Institute of Reflexology

During an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz (star of The Dr. Oz Show) recommended reflexology and shiatsu as complementary therapies for pain relief. He then went on to explain places to apply acupressure. For example, you can applying pressure on the foot eases tension. “If you push on the part of the foot next to the pinky toe, it can help blurry vision and other eye problems. The science behind the relationship between the pinky toe and eye function is one of the breakthroughs in understand the thousands-of-years-old knowledge present in Eastern medicine,” said Oz.

And guess what? The back of the brain controls your eyes. More specifically, the occipital lobe controls your eyes. There’s no way for us with Western medicine to understand this connection. Only the science of Eastern medicine practices can help us understand how this is possible.

My training and education about reflexology and shiatsu taught me about this connection that Dr. Oz was referring to. Reflexology works in zone lines that go from the toes all the way up to the head. Any pressure applied to the feet affects the areas all along the zone lines. If we follow a line from a big toe to a pinky toe all the way up to our face, the zone line goes through the eye. This is the mysterious, yet miraculous way our bodies function.

In shiatsu, the gall bladder meridian starts at the corner of the eyes and travels around the back of the head where the brain is located. The meridian then goes down to the occipital area in our neck, down the neck, around the shoulder blades and all the way down to the toe beside the pinky toe. The connection is truly fascinating.

I love reflexology and shiatsu, and the connection between the two. Often I recommend a combination of shiatsu and reflexology for my clients to experience maximum pain relief.