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Vertical Reflex Therapy

Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT) is a highly effective reflexology technique concentrates on working the weight-bearing dorsal reflexes (top) of the foot rather than the familiar plantar or sole where the main reflexes are conventionally situated.
Vertical Reflex Therapy

In This Article
About VRT How VRT works
Reflexology foot chart Variations of VRT
How do VRT & Reflexology differ? What to expect?
What can VRT help? Who should avoid VRT?

Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT) is a highly effective reflexology technique that was discovered by Lynne Booth. Although the key principles and techniques which underpin Reflexology have remained over time practitioners have worked to move the therapy forward and improve it. One such practitioner is Lynne Booth who developed Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT).

Reflexology practitioners believe there are 10 energy zones which run throughout the body and each of these reflex points in turn relate to glands and organs in the body. So the right foot represents areas on the right hand side of the body and so on. Every part of the body is therefore found as a ‘reflex’ in the feet and hands and arranged to form a map, similar to the body’s anatomical layout.

So when the Reflexologist manipulates the feet or lower limbs it is stimulating the body’s healing mechanism for other parts of the body. The underlying principle is that a Reflexologist can locate specific blockages which are preventing the smooth flow of energy through these zones by applying gentle pressure to the corresponding reflexes. This pressure in turn restores the body to a state of healthy ‘balance.’

Research indicates that not only can all reflexes can be accessed through the dorsum but that the body is more responsive to a healing and energetic stimulation when treated briefly in a standing position.  It has been suggested that VRT can reach deeper, possibly new, reflexes, allowing homeostasis or balance to be achieved in a shorter time.
VRT has been developed into a simple but profound form of reflexology, which is used with, and complements, conventional treatments whilst achieving results for numerous practitioners in less than five minutes.


When the reflexes are stimulated, the body's natural electrical energy works along the nervous system to clear any blockages in the corresponding zones. A vertical reflex therapy session seems to break up deposits (felt as a sandy or gritty area under the skin) which may interfere with this natural flow of the body's energy. Manipulating specific reflexes removes stress, activating a parasympathetic response in the body to enable the disharmonies to be released by a physiological change in the body. With stress removed and circulation improved, the body is allowed to return to a state of homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the "automatic" process that the body incorporates to bring it back to the "normal" state. For example, if the blood pressure is abnormal, the kidneys will secrete the enzyme renin which is involved with blood pressure, and the hormone, erythropoietin that increases the rate of red blood cell production.


Below you can see a Reflexology chart displaying 'reflex zones' which can be found on the soles of the feet and the corresponding body areas they relate to:

1. Zonal Triggers
2. Fallopian tubes/ seminal vesicles/ vas deferens/ groin/ lympahtic / helper diaphragm/ heart
4. Colon
5. Small intestine
8. Appendix/ ileocecal valve
9. Knee
10. Elbow
11. Kidney
12 Helper lateral digestive reflexes
13. Liver
14. Gall bladder
17. Stomach
18. Adrenals
19. Duodenum
20 Diaphragm
21. Solar plexus
24. Shoulder
25. Chest/ lung/ breast

26. Trachea/ oesophagus/ bronchial tubes
28. Thyroid/ parathyroid
30. Lymphatics
31. Eyes
32 Ears/ eustachian tube
33. Pituitary/ pineal/ hypothalamus
35. Brain/ skull
37. Helper sinuses/ teeth
38. Sinuses/ brain/ skull
40. Helper ovary/ testes
42. Helper lower back/ sciatic/ colon/ uterus
44. Hip/ sacro-ileac joint
45. Leg
47. Hip/ Pelvic area
48. Helper lateral spine
50. Larynx/ vocal cords


As well as working the reflexes via the foot the hand reflexes can also be worked as successfully through the dorsal area of the hand as they can via the palm, especially if the hand is weight bearing i.e. applying pressure down onto a hard surface. This is known as referred to as ‘Weight bearing hand VRT’.

In addition there is a technique known as Synergistic Reflexology which manipulates the reflex area on the hands and feet simultaneously which is thought to speed up and maximise the overall effects of VRT treatment.

Another method is known as Diaphragm Rocking. It can be used in it’s own right or implemented alongside VRT or standard reflexology.This technique last from between 1 – 4 minutes and is carried out when the patient is in a reclined position and fully relaxed. Diaphragm rocking involves rocking the foot backwards and forwards, stretching the foot and applying pressure to the solar plexus reflex point at specific points during the movement. This particular technique is said to be particularly effective for those clients who suffer from insomnia, stress, addiction or chronic illness.


The key difference between Reflexology & VRTT is that reflexology works by placing the patient in a horizontal position and manipulating the reflex points located on the bottom of their foot.

However with Vertical Reflex Therapy the patient is (usually) treated in a standing position with the practitioner working the top of the foot to achieve the same results. It is thought that by treating the patient standing up the weight on the feet increases the pressure on the reflex points being manipulated by the VRT practitioner who in turn produces faster results than standardreflexology.


Upon arrival the VRT practitioner will start by filling out a questionnaire covering your overall health, lifestyle and medical history. VRT is a non-invasive therapy so you will remain fully clothed throughout your session but will be asked to remove your footwear and any socks.

As a rough guide a treatment session with a VRT practitioner will last around 30 – 50 minutes. VRT treatment is performed in short ‘bursts’ for maximum effectiveness. So the actual hands on treatment of VRT should not exceed 5 minutes in length at a time, ensuring the reflexes are not over worked. Depending upon your ailment a course of sessisons may be required.

It is important to note that VRT does not on its own deliver the complete spectrum benefits that perhaps a standard reflexology treatment would provide. So for this reason many practitioners mix or sandwich standard reflexology alongside small treatments of VRT whilst not exceeding more 8 minutes of VRT treatment i.e. 3 minutes at the beginning of the session and 5 minutes at the end.

The VRT 'Pituitary Pinch'


Due to the nature of the treatment and the fact it can be carried out in just 5 minutes it is increasingly popular with dancers and sports people who can quickly undergo treatment before and after their activity.

However for the broader population it can be used to treat almost anyone. It is non invasive and can help the spectrum of people from the young and old to frail and disabled. VRT has also been known to help clients deal with physiological symptoms such as the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.


As with any therapy if you are unsure always consult your GP, especially if you suffer from high blood pressure, deep vein thrombosis, epilepsy, varicose veins, heart condition or are pregnant.

Upon arrival for your treatment ensure you advise your reflexolgist of any medical conditions or ailments you have especially if you suffer from kidney stones; gallstones or you have a pacemaker.


This therapy or modality may help with:

Allergies Anxiety Arthritis
Asthma Back Pain Blood pressure
Breathing disorders Headaches Hormone Imbalance
Indigestion Insomnia Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Migraines PMS PMT Sciatica
Sinusitis Stress

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