Do you have pain in your body, neck, back, or head? Reflexology might be the cure you’ve been looking for. It’s only just a theory, but reflexologists believe that by applying pressure to certain parts of the hand or feet, pain or conditions in all sorts of places in the body can be alleviated. Reflexology is considered a holistic massage technique, that is, it focuses on the entire body to restore balance. Each organ, gland or body part corresponds to areas in both the hand and foot. When pressure is applied to the points on the hands or feet, it is believed to activate specific pressure sensors that stimulate the internal organs which each point is connected to. The perception of pressure by the feet and hands taps into the energetic reflex network that makes everything we do possible (1).
As a note, you should always consult a physician before embarking on any alternative treatments, although reflexology as an adjunctive treatment is seen as very safe. Stimulation of these reflex points can promote relaxation, improve circulation, and encourage self-healing (1).
Heals a variety of conditions
Reflexology is believed to heal a variety of conditions including (1):
- female reproductive problems,
- digestive issues
- back, neck, and shoulder pain
- depression, anxiety
- headaches and migraines
While reflexology can be a great addition to any wellness routine, it’s important to remember that reflexology is not a substitute for medical care or treatment.
To pinpoint the exact area of the hand or foot that needs to be targeted, a graphic display of each body part is represented by different sections of the hand and is called a reflexology chart. This chart allows the person who is doing the massage to apply pressure to the exact part of the hand that affects the body in certain ways (4).
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The Reflex Points in the Body
The good thing about reflexology is that the hands are easy to access and readily available for self-massage! If you wanted, you could look up the parts of your hands that have to do with your affected areas and perform the techniques yourself (if you felt up to it). You should know that the reflex points on your right hand correspond to the left side of your body and vice versa.
You should also know that:
- The thumb represents your head
- the inside of the upper thumb corresponds to the side of the head
- the tips of the thumb, pointer finger and middle finger relate directly to your brain
- working with the area between your fingernails and first thumb knuckle will help to relieve sinus pain or pressure
- working the pinkies will de-stress shoulders
- the area beneath the fingers that extends to the thumb will stimulate the lungs, heart, stomach, and pancreas
- the area from the base of the thumb down to the wrist will bring relief to intestines, spleen, and kidneys
- the area below the index middle and ring fingers accesses lungs and heart
- just below the lung or heart area is the point for stomach and intestines
- focus on the wrist area will access the reproductive organs (1)
To help tackle digestive issues with pressure points, stimulate your intestines reflex by interlocking the fingers, roll the ball around in the lower area of the palms of heels of the hands, do this for about a minute once or twice a week to help with digestion (1).
According to reflexology, to take care of insomnia by focusing on your head and sinuses reflexes. Simply press and rub from the base of each finger to the tip. Perform on each finger three to four times a day (1).
For back pain stimulate your spine reflex which is the side of the thumb all the way down to the wrist. Press with the flat of opposite thumb, starting at the top of the thumb down to the wrist. Repeat on both hands several times for three to four times a day (1).
For improving your libido, reflexologists believe you can stimulate the ovaries, uterus, prostate, and testes by grasping your wrist with thumb and forefinger forming a circle, then twist the opposite hand, twist wrist about twenty times and then switch sides. Repeat two to three times a day (1).
For a simple relaxation massage follow these easy steps:
- Begin with your right hand first, pinch each fingertip and thumb tip by applying slight pressure for a few seconds.
- Next, tightly squeeze the sides of the fingertips for a few seconds.
- Then from top to bottom, rub fingers and thumbs vigorously going back and forth across each finger.
- Spread out the fingers and place palms together. Allow the right thumb to massage the top of the other and move down toward the inner wrist.
- To end the massage, press the thumb of one hand into the center of the palm of the other hand while breathing deeply (1).
(1) Udemy blog. Reflexology hand chart: locate reflex points for relaxation and healing https://blog.udemy.com/reflexology-hand-chart/ Published: March 20, 2014. Accessed: January 10, 2017.
(2) Taking charge of your health and wellbeing. How does reflexology work? https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology/how-does-reflexology-work Accessed: January 10, 2017.
(3) Taking charge of your health and wellbeing. Reflexology https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology Accessed: January 10, 2017.
(4) Reflexology-Map. Hands Chart http://reflexology-map.com/hands-map/ Accessed: January 10, 2017.
(5) Youtube. What is reflexology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8mWlgKMJZ0 Published: October 29, 2013. Accessed: January 10, 2017.
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