Some feet are a bit more ticklish, and their owners often want to know if Foot Reflexology will tickle.
When I am working on the feet I am using moderate pressure techniques to stimulate the reflex points. This pressure is adjusted to the comfort of the client in the chair — deeper pressure can be used over zones known to be ticklish, such as the sensitive arch of the foot. In a Foot Reflexology session the goal is never to cause a ticklish reaction. A ticklish sensation is often communicated to the brain as an unpleasant sensation and the body wishes to pull the foot away rather quickly.
Why is my foot ticklish?
Some hold the theory that a ticklish region on the body can actually be related to a pattern of tension. In the feet it might be an indicator to the Reflexologist that there is a stress-cue here – the corresponding part of the body may be imbalanced and it is showing up as a particularly sensitive reflex.
If an area of the foot is ticklish you should speak up! First to have the Reflexologist change technique by either slowing down or adjusting pressure, and secondly to spend a little extra time on that area. Sometimes having the Reflexologist compress that part of the foot using both hands (see image above) can stop the ticklish sensation in its tracks and reconnect the body to the job at hand: relaxing and releasing tension.
What if my feet are very sensitive?
Feet can be vulnerable to hyper-sensitivity in cases such as those with sensory issues, on the Autism spectrum, neuropathy, Reynaud’s, or even in the case of repeated tickling of the feet as a child or adult. Reflexology can be helpful in retraining the feet to experience touch as a pleasant, nurturing experience. In extreme cases I have found starting the session with the client, pediatric or adult, wearing socks to be ideal. As the feet grow used to the techniques I use the socks can eventually be removed and we continue on bare feet.
Reflexology applied to feet with neuropathy is also adjusted – sensations are not always accurate and sometimes a very firm pressure technique is communicated to the brain as a tickle. Most of my clients with neuropathy find it amusing when they experience a tapping technique as a tickle, “I know you’re not tickling me, but that makes me giggle so!”
Keep communicating with your Reflexologist
In the end my advice is to talk with your Reflexologist before the session about this or any other concern. Throughout the session he/she may be ‘checking-in’ with you about pressure to make sure you are comfortable. If at any point an area is ticklish, speak up! You won’t be offending us in the slightest and I’d prefer to hear that an area needs a bit more attention before I move on to the next reflex in my routine.