OUCH - you are digging your nail into my foot!

 It is a common occurrence that someone receiving foot reflexology experiences discomfort that feels like the reflexologist is digging their nail into the foot. Occasionally, this will be an accurate interpretation of what is happening: the reflexologist is digging their nail into the foot. However, it is also frequently the case that the recipient is experiencing a sore reflex. The experience of the recipient is so similar to a fingernail being applied that it will be hard for them to believe that this is not the case.  The only way that I know to determine whether or not a finger nail is causing the discomfort is for the reflexologist to apply pressure to the same area of the foot making sure that their nail is not making contact. At this point the recipient will either feel the same discomfort or not. If the same discomfort is experienced when the nail is not in contact, it is safe to assume that this is a sore reflex.  If there is not the same discomfort, then it is safe to assume that the reflexologist's nail was, indeed, causing the discomfort.

So, it is important for people receiving reflexology to understand that a sore reflex may be experienced as a fingernail digging in. When having this experience it is also important for the recipient to communicate this to the reflexologist - "It feels like you are digging your fingernail into my foot." This gives the reflexologist the opportunity to check whether it is their fingernail, or, a sore reflex. If it is a sore reflex the reflexologist can then work it appropriately to ease the stress & tension in the corresponding area of the body.

Recently, I am beginning to recognise that sometimes a reflexologist can be more effective by using their nail to stimulate reflexes. This has to be done within the comfort zone of the recipient, of course, as all reflexology stimulation needs to be done. Moving outside of the recipients comfort zone causes the recipient to tense - which is counterproductive to the objective of the reflexology - relaxation and relief of stress.