While reflexology is an extremely safe healing practice, it is important to be aware of a few contraindications or times when reflexology might not be a wise choice. These contraindications include:
Reflexology on the foot is discouraged in patients with foot fractures, unhealed wounds, or active gout in the foot. Patients with osteoarthritis that impacts the foot or ankle, or those with vascular disease of the legs or feet, should consult with their primary provider prior to beginning reflexology on the feet. An acceptable alternative would be to use reflexology on the hands and ears.
Clients who report current thrombosis or embolism (which is an obstruction of the pulmonary artery or a branch of it by a free-floating blood clot or embolus) should not receive reflexology therapy. Since reflexology improves circulation, it could potentially cause a clot to move towards the heart or brain.
For women in early pregnancy (the first 6 weeks), the reflexology session is altered by treating the uterine and ovarian reflex points more gently or by avoiding them altogether. In general, caution should be exercised during pregnancy because of reports that stimulation may cause contractions.
Babies and young children will receive benefit from many techniques, but rarely have the patience for a whole session. Thus, sessions are abbreviated in length.
If you are using other touch therapies, such as massage, allow at least 48 hours between touch therapy sessions to avoid an overload on your system.
In general, practitioners will stay away from open wounds, and may choose to wear plastic gloves or not to treat areas that are compromised.