Derived from ancient cultures' study of meridians, or energy channels, the practice of reflexology stimulates the complex pathways that wind throughout the body. Thus, a foot reflexology massage doesn't simply interact with the soft tissues of the feet. Instead, the practitioner applies various learned techniques to treat the reflex points that connect the foot to other body parts, whether they be internal organs, bones, or body systems.
By comparison, a foot massage proves much more direct and less complex. While several massage traditions apply different approaches to a foot massage, the concept remains much the same: apply pressure to relieve soft tissues on and around the foot. This can mean massaging tightly constricted muscles, relieving stagnant circulation, and otherwise providing relief to soreness and discomfort.