It is true that I see more women than men in my practice, but I can tell you the men I do see, really appreciate the benefits. It takes men so much longer to do something about their health and unfortunately, complementary therapies like reflexology, massage, acupuncture, etc. are considered the only for women.
So, what are the barriers? Are they nervous about being in a therapeutic setting? Are they skeptical about how reflexology works? Do they not like their feet touched? Do they think it's only for women? I would say the answer is YES to all of the above! However, every time I have worked on a male client, they quickly relax and forget about any reservations they may have had. I even had one male client tell me that he only wanted me to provide hand reflexology. He absolutely did not want his feet touched. After I coaxed him into a foot session, he laughed after and told me he couldn’t believe how relaxed he felt and ok, he may like his feet touched after all.
Why is reflexology such a great treatment for men? Because men experience everything women do – stress, fatigue, muscle pain, anxiousness, depression... This list can go on! Mental health for men is a serious subject. According to the American Psychological Association, 9% of men experience depression or anxiety daily, 30% experience depression in their lifetime, and the suicide rate for men is 4x higher than it is for women. Men don’t cope as well either. They are less like to reach out to friends or family.
Reflexology can really help support men’s mental health. It’s amazing when the body can take a break, for even 30 minutes, worries lessen and your mind is strengthened to focus on the everyday goals and challenges that lie ahead.
Not only used as a tool for emotional release, reflexology offers many physical benefits as well. Reflexology triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which restores the body to a state of calm and deep relaxation. The body then has space to restore energy to all the systems of the body from the digestive, to the respiratory, to the joints and muscles and everything in between. And let’s not forget about the area that receives support that men tend to neglect the most– their FEET!
Reflexology, like with many of my athletic/active female clients, can be so beneficial for men who are also active. Many of my clients have reported faster recovery times, as well as, relief with joint and muscle pains. In between our sessions, I recommend “rolling out” both the feet with a tennis ball and legs with any type of foam roller.
And lastly, let’s not forget taking care of his sex drive. As all of us know, the demands of life lower our libido and quite frankly just get in the way! Working reflex points like the brain, hypothalamus, pituitary and the reproductive system, can stimulate hormone production and help put him back in “the mood.”
So! If you are a man considering reflexology why not give it a try? Or if you have a man in your life who you think could benefit from some chill out time and a chance to re-energize, why not suggest reflexology? Reflexology does no harm and there is nothing to lose from trying it out. I promise that just one session will change his opinion of self-care!