“Is it like reflexology?” This is one of the most common questions we get about our massages here at Heeling Sole.

I’m sure at some point in your life you have had an amazing foot rub or foot massage service – and they are definitely a treat for your feet! If you saw the term “Barefoot Massage,” it makes sense that you’d be quick to associate it with something like that. I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you…

The bad news is: that’s not what a Barefoot Massage is.

The good news? Barefoot Massage is even more awesome than a foot massage, and we can still massage your feet! 


A Barefoot Massage means that we massage your entire body with our feet.

Heeling Sole is a specialty massage clinic that offers Barefoot Massage Therapy – a style of bodywork that is much different than a foot massage or reflexology session. Our Licensed Massage Therapists on staff use a hybrid of techniques including what you might recognize as “back walking” …even that terminology falls short  – but it’s close! The Ashiatsu, FasciAshi, Ashi-Thai, Fijian and Rossiter services offered here are westernized, advanced therapeutic forms of deep tissue myofascial release and facilitated stretching. If you’ve heard the hype around town – San Antonio loves their massages at Heeling Sole! If you are looking for a deeper than deep pressure during your full body massage, then trust us and the reviews from our fans, you’ll love what we do. You can schedule your massage online here at this link. These full body massages are great for chronic low back, hip and shoulder pain. As we stand on you, our own body weight gives us the leverage and gravity to sink into the deepest layers of your muscle and connective tissue, and free up stuck, adhesive areas. This creates a neuromuscular recalibration within yourself that changes the way your body process and responds to pain, while also increasing range of motion in the joints. What you’ll experience is MUCH different than how you used to walk on your dad’s back.

To learn more about the many techniques and styles of barefoot massage that exist, click here.

Here’s a little insight from our insoles on what a typical foot massage is:

We don’t offer Reflexology at Heeling Sole – but it’s still a great service for you to try somewhere else. Reflexology in itself is a very specialized technique that is more than just a foot rub, and is seen as a holistic practice that treats the entire body and person by using finger pressure along a map of points on your foot, face and ears. Practitioners of this work are not always Licensed Massage Therapists – but they are professionals who should have at least attended an accredited education class, and can affiliate themselves with a reflexology association, an alliance group, certification board, or the like. If you are looking for a Reflexologist in San Antonio, look up our friend Tyshaun Layne.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb- and finger-walking, hook and backup and rotating-on-a-point, applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet and hands. These techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function optimally.

The effectiveness of reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complementary practice within the holistic health field.

-American Reflexology Certification Board

Just like how Barefoot Massage is not Foot Massage, keep in mind that Foot Massage is not Reflexology.

(Confusing!??! We know, but I hope this helps deliniate the differences!) A foot massage or foot rub that you may receive during a pedicure or in a strip mall shop is typically a relaxing lotion application given by the practitioners HANDS, working on your skin, with some attention to superficial (shallow) aspects of your lower limbs and feet. We don’t do this type of basic foot massage at Heeling Sole. Nail Technicians at your local Pedi Palace are trained and licensed pro’s – however the bulk of their schooling hours are not focused on the anatomy, physiology, pathology, or effects of touch therapy to the foot and legs. Strip mall shops sometimes employ those who are not licensed to touch through any regulatory board or agency – they may just be someone with a knack for rubbing feet (or they may be legit Reflexologists.) Although it all feels lovely, the foot massage service you’ll receive in a chair is hit or miss depending on their natural talent, and is typically intended as an add-on or filler service to their focal point of nail care.

Side note: did you know that anyone using the term “Massage” in Texas and charging for their services MUST be a Licensed Massage Therapist? There are education requirements, laws and regulations in place to protect the public and the profession from businesses using massage as a front for human trafficking or shady services that stay open waaaay too late at night, if you know what I mean. Always look for a Massage Establishment License for the business, and check to see that the person massaging you has a state license on display. Our’s are all hanging in the hallway at Heeling Sole and are available to see online. You can report funny business from questionable businesses to the Texas State Department of Licensing.

What about a Barefoot Foot Massage?

We actually do that! Due to all this confusion between the terminology of “Barefoot Massage” versus “Foot Massage” over the years, we developed a customized 30 minute service to give Alamo Heights what they wanted by offering a straight up foot massage… but we do it our way: WITH OUR FEET! For deep manipulation of the dense fascia that starts at your feet and travels throughout your whole body, our pressure can help relieve chronic pain from plantar fasciitis, bones spurs, bunions, hammer toes, mortons neuroma and more. As we massage your feet, the pressure penetrates to the tarsals, metatarsals (foot bones!) and then creates a chain effect that impacts the mobility of your ankles, knees and hips. So many peoples stiff, immobile feet need help breaking loose so that your gait and posture can be set free to move with more fluidity. You can read more about it, and schedule one for yourself here.

Part of the mission for Heeling Sole is to educate our community on the existence and benefits of barefoot massage therapy. As our clients become more knowledgeable about what our bodywork feels like and how it helps them, then Heeling Sole grows as an influencer within the massage industry – which helps us to train more massage therapists to utilize their feet as their preferred tool of the trade. The bigger picture is that, during Jeni’s lifetime, the term “Barefoot Massage” will be more well-known in the public eye, and will be recognized apart from a foot rub… meanwhile the world will get to receive better and better massages as the popularity of Barefoot Massage grows! Tell your friends about what we do here at Heeling Sole, send them in to try a session, and help this local business grow while we help to HEEL you!