When it comes to self-care, and treating what ails us with a more integrative approach, reflexology has become the go-to option for a lot of people. A drug-free way to relieve a host of symptoms is appealing for many reasons, and this method of self-care is as accessible as it is logical. Also called “holistic massage”, reflexology is just a theory, but it’s one that is steeped in a lot of wisdom too – particularly the idea that everything is connected to something else. The old “leg bone’s connected to the knee bone” routine, but with a solid “why” behind it.
The theory of reflexology essentially states that each of our bodily organs is connected to a part on the hands and feet. And that by applying pressure to and gently manipulating a particular area of the hand or foot, you can elicit a reaction from the organ it’s connected to. Having digestive problems? Massage the heel of your hand!
Of course, it’s not exactly that simple… it needs to be done more than just once, and the intention behind the action holds a lot of meaning too. For chronic problems and common ailments, adding reflexology to one’s self-care routine holds a lot of promise as an effective component of treatment. Supporting your body’s wellness in a way that really speaks its language, that’s what we’re talking about!
Reflexology is Therapy
If all of this seems really far fetched to you, consider that you have an entire network of nerves running throughout your whole body. They are responsible for the movement of your eyes across the screen right now, and the feel of your feet in your shoes… or bare on the cool tile… or socks sliding across linoleum. Those nerves which make your toes tingle, run all the way up your spine and touch parts of you that don’t seem likely to have much to do with bare tootsies on tile. But they do. It’s all connected.
Self-care isn’t just the latest hot trend. It’s necessary for you to live your best life. The cells in your body are always listening… they know when you’re having a rough go. (1) So there is a lot to be said for the power of your thoughts, and a great argument to be made for keeping them on the sunny side.
So, are you ready for better sleep, digestion and less stress? Of course you are! How do you know where to press in order to get those reflexes hopping? Glad you asked! You’ll want reflexology charts, for both hands and feet. An open mind with an understanding that it’s all connected, and a willingness to explore those connections, is a great help too.
Hand reflexology is believed to provide a great deal of help with anxiety. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during the day, try applying some pressure to the spot just below the wrist crease just below the heel of your hand. Among acupressure practitioners, this is known as the Heart 7 (HT7) pressure point. Massage this area for one minute on both hands. (2)
Reflexology may help to relieve both physical and emotional causes of constipation too. And since anxiety can play a role in digestive function, a comprehensive session incorporating multiple pressure points could really hit your anxiety with a 1-2 punch.
Your Large Intestine 4 (LI4) pressure point is located between your thumb and index finger. Gently squeeze this fleshy webbing on both hands, one minute each. This pressure point is viewed as a good target for general pain relief. (2)
Reflexology shows much promise in treating headaches. Here too, tension can be the cause of the pain, but your head has its own domain. Try the same LI4 pressure point described above, and you can also try the Pericardium 6 (P6) point. It is a few inches below your wrist crease between the two tendons. See what reaction you can get by gently massage this point for one minute on both sides. (2)
With so many methods of self-care out there, something is bound to work really well for your particular situation. So keep your eyes open, and your mind too! Keep the lines of communication open with your body, and you’ll enjoy life on a different level entirely.