Should a Christian participate in reflexology?Question: "Should a Christian participate in reflexology?"
Answer: Reflexology is a system of foot massage (or sometimes hand massage) that focuses on specific “reflex points” in the foot in order to relieve stress or promote healing in other parts of the body. Some who practice reflexology hypothesize that the body contains an energy field, invisible life force, or Qi, the blockage of which can prevent healing. This view of reflexology is rooted in Eastern mysticism and is unbiblical. Reflexology is popular in the New Age movement. However, not everyone who participates in reflexology believes in mystic energy fields or personal divinity. For some, it is a form of alternative medicine; for others, it is simply a foot massage.
Behind the technique of reflexology is the belief that pressure points in the foot directly engage specific parts of the body. Stimulation of certain spots on the sole of the foot is thought to affect the health of various organs of the body. The connection is accounted for by nerve endings or blood vessels (the alternative medicine theory) or by a supposed life force (the New Age theory). Traditional medicine has not accepted reflexology as having a valid medical benefit beyond that of a normal massage.
While the New Age philosophy often associated with reflexology is unbiblical, that does not necessarily mean the practice of reflexology itself goes against the Bible. Many people have found a reflexology session assists in the diagnosis of physical problems and is deeply relaxing. So, if the practice of reflexology can be separated from a pagan Eastern worldview, perhaps reflexology is something a Christian can consider. Again, however, believers should use extreme caution to avoid the spiritual aspects associated with reflexology. A Christian should have nothing whatsoever to do with New Age belief.
The Scriptures exhort us to “test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21–22). What procedures we subject ourselves to in search of healing or relief from pain is a matter of perspective, discernment, and conviction, not dogmatism. Scripture does not condemn alternative medicine practices such as reflexology specifically. The Scriptures do condemn teachings that remove God as the sovereign Creator and Savior (Exodus 20:4–5), which the New Age movement clearly does.
Recommended Resource: The Kingdom of the Cults, revised and updated edition
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