Dr. Gwen Wyatt, professor at Michigan State University, gives a great one-minute explanation here.
Reflexology is the science that there are reflexes in the hands, ears and feet relative to every gland, organ and part of the body. This means that any illness or disturbance in a certain part or area of the body is translated into an especially sensitive zone on the foot. Practiced on a regular basis, reflexology can lead to a true regeneration of the body.
Reflexology is experiencing growing recognition due to its effectiveness in stress-management and pathological conditions.
Reflexology stimulates the body's ability to self-heal. Reflexology can successfully restore the circulatory, nervous, digestive, hormonal and structural systems to normal functioning. It is equally valuable as a preliminary action before osteopathic and chiropractic manipulations, and as an adjuct therapy before and after operations.
Reflexology can be as easily applied to a newborn as to someone in the twilight of life. If homeostasis is no longer possible, reflexology brings comfort to those with serious illnesses and helps them tolerate their medications.
The holistic principles of the dynamic unity of the body and its self-regulating and self-healing capacities is fundamental to reflexology.*
*From Dr. Martine Faure-Alderson's book, Total Reflexology.