Reflexology Risks Side Effects Of Reflexology

Reflexology side effects are generally mild, and people rarely experience complications more serious than minor discomfort and headaches. More severe reflexology side effects may include blood clots or fractures, and reflexology during pregnancy requires special precautions.

Reflexology Side Effects

According to the Modern Institute of Reflexology (2003), people occasionally experience fatigue after reflexology sessions. The Institute believes fatigue and related reflexology side effects result from the detoxifying effect of reflexology and dissipate with continued sessions. Other reflexology side effects associated with detoxification include:

  • Chills
  • Confusion and depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fever and sweating
  • Foot sensitivity
  • Muscle soreness
  • Nausea.

Reflexology During Pregnancy

Reflexology during pregnancy is generally considered safe, but most reflexology practitioners will not treat a woman during her first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage is greatest.

Whether reflexology risks include miscarriage is debatable. Reflexology practitioners believe the same reflex points used to relieve pregnancy discomfort can also induce labor, and should be avoided early in pregnancy. With little available research into the risks of reflexology during pregnancy, most practitioners choose to err on the side of caution.

Other Reflexology Risks

Because reflexology sessions use pressure on reflex points, one possible reflexology risk is bone fractures in people with osteoporosis or other bone disorders. People with bone disorders should discuss possible reflexology side effects with their doctors before trying reflexology.

People with a history of blood clots or at risk of blood clots should consult with a doctor before trying reflexology. While highly unlikely, reflexology treatments could cause blood clot development. As with reflexology during pregnancy, little research exists to confirm or deny such reflexology risks.

The majority of people will never experience reflexology side effects, as the practice is very safe. The most common reflexology side effects are mild discomfort or pain due to tender reflex points.


Ask a Healer. (n.d.). Foot reflexology side effects. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from

Casa Palmera. (2009). Reflexology: A natural-based therapy. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from

Modern Institute of Reflexology. (2003). Reflexology. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from