Reflexology is a method of increasing blood flow and relieving pain by stimulating specific pressure points in the feet and hands. These pressure points are believed to connect directly to the body’s organs and glands through the nervous system. By applying pressure, this therapy can relieve pain and strengthen the function of specific areas of the body.
Of course, your experience with reflexology will be different than someone else’s but most people feel a sense of opening in their body and a tingling sensation throughout as the energy flows. Reflexology should not cause tension in your body. Instead, you should be headed towards a more relaxed state of being.
You might also feel:
- Perspiration of hands or feet
- Sensation of being cold or chilled
- The need for deep breaths
- A yearning to sleep
- The relief of most, if not all, pain and discomfort
- Loose, relaxed muscles
- Feeling like your organs are free, without stress and tension
Reflexology is available through a therapist trained in the ancient art. It is also something that can be done at home with a partner, or you can perform it on yourself.
Before beginning, your first step is to consult a foot chart and map your ailment to the appropriate spot on your foot or feet. Then, use your thumb and fingers to massage, slowly and deeply while kneading the pressure point. Continue to massage the specific point for 10 minutes before finishing with an overall foot massage. End each reflexology session with a series of deep, mindful breaths to solidify the energy flow.
How to Use a Reflexology Foot Chart
When you first look at a reflexology foot chart, it can be a little confusing and a bit overwhelming. Don’t let that scare you off. Make time to study it and become used to reading it. You can take as much time as you need to plan your course of treatment because there is nothing time sensitive about performing reflexology, other than relieving your pain that is.
You can perform a session that treats your entire body or get specific in terms of one condition. As mentioned, every organ, gland and body part are mapped to a point on either the right or left foot. If you know what organs are associated with your ailment, just locate that area on the foot chart.
There is no right or wrong foot to start with and many reflexologists with work on one specific area on one foot and alternate to the other, and then move to the next area and alternate again. When all else fails, and you aren’t sure what to do, start massaging at your toes and slowing move down to the heel of your foot. As you do, pay attention to the points on the chart and observe how your body responds.
You can see from the foot reflexology chart that some areas are mapped to the top of the feet as well including the mouth and teeth, the chest and the lymph nodes.
Here are some common ailments and their touch points using reflexology
Headaches are often caused by tension in the neck, so begin by massaging the big toes to relax your neck a bit. Then focus on applying more pressure on the upper halves of each toe to pinpoint the nerves connecting to the head.
To help with restless nights, the pituitary gland should be your target. Apply pressure to the bottom side of the middle of your big toe.
Colds and the flu
For colds and the flu, you will target the areas that correspond with your sinuses, nose, throat, eyes and lungs. Pay attention to the side of your big toe and then the middle of each toe. Finally focus approximately an inch below your toes.
There are many organs involved in the digestive process, and they can mostly be found on the bottom of the foot toward the bottom.
Asthma and Bronchitis
The help with your breathing, the lungs are the obvious target. They are mapped to the middle of the foot about an inch below your toes as well as the middle part of the top of your foot.
The back is connected to both the upper and lower body and can be targeted by massaging the bottom half of the bottom of each foot.
It’s important to remember that Reflexology is not an immediate cure, and the best results come from consistent targeting of specific areas. It is not a magic remedy but over time you will begin to notice improvements in your specific problem areas.
Reflexology is not a diagnosing tool but is used as a supplement to standard treatments for most ailments. It is not advised that you pursue a course of treatment using Reflexology without consulting your doctor.