Someone recently asked me “Is it true that you can get an abortion from reflexology?”. At first I was shocked but then I looked on the internet and found several websites discussing exactly that topic. I’ve also heard concerns from pregnant women who are afraid to get a pedicure and foot massage during their pregnancy for fear of accidentally starting labor too early by touching around their ankles.
With all this fear and misconception about reflexology and the uterine reflex point, I wanted to take a few minutes to explain. First, the uterine reflex point is found in both feet, on the inside of the heel, below the ankle bone (malleolus). See the red dot in this illustration:
This area is not an “eject button”. If it were then women would never need labor to be induced, women would never suffer a traditional abortion operation, and reflexologists would rich and famous!
The truth of the matter is that reflexology doesn’t make anything happen that the body would not naturally do. Reflexology only encourages the body’s natural healing and relaxing processes. Reflexologists do stimulate this point at the end of pregnancy to try to give the natural process of labor a jump start. However, if the woman’s body is not ready to be begin labor, no amount of pressing or stimulating these points (or any other point) is going to make it happen. In the early stages of pregnancy, the body naturally wants to protect and grow the fetus, not begin labor. So, no, you cannot have an abortion through reflexology.
As a general rule of thumb, pregnant women could benefit from light reflexology or foot massage. Pregnant women are carrying more weight than normal, often throwing their center of balance off which causes new patterns of walking, and they sometimes experience swollen feet and ankles. They may also simply not be able to reach their own feet anymore. Light touch can help ease some of this swelling and pain. So, go have a pedicure and a light foot massage along with it. Ask your partner to rub your feet. If you want some more in depth work, visit a certified reflexologist or massage therapist who has received special training in pregnancy support.