Ask a Priest


Mar 31, 2014

Dear Father John Flynn,
My family has been going to see a reflexologist for like 20 years. The reflexologist is not a Catholic but is a very Godly women and respects the Catholic Faith. She has helped my family out a lot with our health over the years. My family has been aware for quite sometime now that there are reflexolgist out there that are new age and we have also read the document that the Vatican put out:
I read the document as we need to be aware of the new age being present in these different movements and not that all reflexology etc. is bad. Am I correct on this? My family has never thought or had the feeling that this reflexolgist that we see is ‘new age.’ In fact as she works on your feet she will tell you what is wrong and after will give you supplements produced by Standard Processing Company to take. And one would only see the affects on your body when one takes the supplements and not from having your feet worked on. I have actually considered writing the Pope since I am unable to find on the internet something coming from the Church that I can be sure to trust. Thanks for your advice.


Asked at 11:00 pm on March 31st 2014

Dear Jacinta:

Having read the document you link to you are no doubt aware that in section 2.2.3 it refers to reflexology. At the end of a number of other New Age practices it says:

“The source of healing is said to be within ourselves, something we reach when we are in touch with our inner energy or cosmic energy.”

The objection of the Church is not related to the physical techniques used, but to the spiritual danger that can arise from the philosophies that can be part of these practices.

If what you are participating in is just limited to some physical massage and a few vitamin supplements then there is no reason to have any objection to it, but if it becomes something more than this then there could be cause for concern.

It remains to be seen from a medical and scientific perspective if what this person is performing is objectively beneficial, but if you feel it is of help and does not involve the acceptance of any of the New Age philosophy then there is no significant problem.

You do say, however, that after working on your feet she tells you what is wrong. It would be prudent to examine what she is saying to determine if there are any underlying philosophical or New Age ideas are involved.

Replied at 12:54 am on April 01st 2014

Dear Jacinta:

From what you say it would not seem that she is conveying New Age ideas. I would wonder how a reflexologist could determine your body was contaminated by heavy metals as this would normally need to be the result of a scientifically verifiable test.

From what I have been able to determine reflexology is not a practice recognized by the medical authorities, so while I do not discount that you may find it of benefit, it would also be advisable to seek professional medical advice for any condition or problem you may have.

Replied at 04:29 am on April 01st 2014

Dear Father,
Thanks for your quick responses regarding my questions on reflexology. They were helpful. She has always been able to help me when I have seen her which has not always been the case when I went elsewhere so I am confident that there has to be a science behind what she does even though I don’t fully understand it.

Replied at 01:34 am on April 02nd 2014