OVERVIEW OF REFLEXOLOGY
While the option to receive treatment from a licensed reflexologist is more available than ever before, this healing technique is unique in that, with a bit of research, you can perform reflexology on yourself relatively easily!
In this article, we will provide a brief overview explaining the theory and mechanisms behind reflexology. Following the explanation, we will break down a few techniques you can perform on your own hands and feet to alleviate several common discomforts.
Reflexology bases its overall approach on the theory that specific locations on the hands, feet, and ears contain pressure points that are linked to various internal organs and body parts.
Reflexology bases its overall approach on the theory that specific locations on the hands, feet, and ears contain pressure points that are linked to various internal organs and body parts, by @whiroblog Click To Tweet
By applying manual pressure to these points, reflexology attempts to alleviate a wide array of ailments affecting the corresponding locations.
REFLEXOLOGY FOR YOUR FEET
The utilization of reflexology on the feet has been supported by several research studies concluding that this technique is beneficial among individuals suffering from various health conditions.
For example, one study conducted at Inje University concluded that, compared to a control group, women who performed the self-reflexology treatment on their feet for a period of 6 weeks were found to have lower systolic blood pressure, lower reported level of depression and a decrease in their perceived stress levels!
Before targeting any specific area on your feet, it is important to begin by getting the whole foot moving and inviting more blood flow to the area. To achieve this, rotate both ankles in a circular motion for a minute or so. Next, use your fingers to briefly massage the entirety of both feet.
For headache relief, the go-to pressure points located on the feet are found on the 2-5th toes. To stimulate the connection to the head, begin by applying direct, static pressure to the area for around one minute.
Afterward, slowly begin to knead the area while maintaining consistent pressure for another minute. For stimulation of all pressure points, repeat this process on each of the aforementioned toes.
If you are looking to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, there is a location on both feet believed to calm down the adrenal glands. In the anxious individual, these glands are often overstimulated, raising adrenaline levels in the body.
To perform this treatment, perform the same pressure sequence we previously discussed on the inside edge of both feet, just below the knuckle of the big toe.
An important point to note is that the left and right feet thought to be linked to their respective sides of the body. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms like a headache on only one side of your body, it may be beneficial to focus your treatment on the foot that correlates to that side.
REFLEXOLOGY FOR YOUR HANDS
The hands are another location that has been the subject of numerous studies supporting the benefits of reflexology. One such study, performed in 2017, reported a significantly lower reported level of anxiety in patients receiving reflexology to their hands before undergoing a specific cardiac procedure when compared to a control group.
Before beginning hand reflexology on a specific location, a quick warm-up similar to the one discussed regarding the feet should be performed.
For relief of menstrual pain and cramping, there is a point located directly at the intersection of the thumb and the first finger believed to be able to alleviate these symptoms.
To effectively stimulate this location, apply firm pressure, just before uncomfortable, for about 5 minutes on either hand.
Hand reflexology has also been reported to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with Nausea. To find this pressure point, begin by turning your palms face up. Starting at the inside line of your wrist, work your way about one inch up the arm.
Using the same pressure discussed for menstrual pain, focus on this area for 3-5 minutes bilaterally.
Finally, if you found this post useful, check out our post on further reading in Reflexology to boost your health and wellbeing.