"When our feet hurt, we hurt all over" - Socrates
Who doesn't love a luxurious foot massage? I know I do! Let's get a little deeper.
Reflexology vs. a Foot Massage
While a foot massage may feel the same as a reflexology treatment, a professional reflexologist works on areas to promote a healing response in the corresponding organs. A massage therapist giving a foot massage will manipulate muscles and other soft tissues to improve circulation, relieve pain, and heal injuries in the area or to induce overall relaxation. Both reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Reflexology takes the average massage to the next level. You can do this on your own or you can schedule time with a professional reflexologist.
So how does Reflexology actually work?
There are areas on your feet that connect energetically to specific organs through energy channels in the body (think of them like nerve endings). You can alleviate pain or discomfort internally by applying pressure to these "reflex areas" on your feet. Additionally, applying enough pressure to these areas is said to release any energy blocks within that area, therefore, restoring proper health and organ function.
Why would I need to practice Reflexology?
There are various reasons why people opt for reflexology along with a foot massage, here are a couple of reasons why:
Although reflexology should not be used as a sole treatment for any condition, it can be coupled with other treatments suggested by your Physician. Additionally, it can be a relaxing therapy session for your feet with whole-body benefits.
Can I practice Reflexology at home?
Yes of course! For casual healing benefits, ie. improving sleep before bed, it is encouraged to practice reflexology as a part of your nighttime routine. Besides, what could be sweeter than a night of peaceful, restful sleep?
Before reaching for chemical sleep aids that may cause side effects and create dependencies, try the natural relaxation effects of reflexology!
Here’s a 15-minute routine in four easy steps that you can incorporate into your bedtime ritual:
1. Relax the feet with a massage, one at a time, with simple relaxation techniques: pressing and squeezing, lightly slapping or gently kneading — whatever feels good. Finish by pressing and holding your thumb on the solar plexus point of each foot for 5-10 seconds each.
2. On the bottom of each foot, “walk” your thumb up from the base of the heel to each toe (imagine your thumb is a caterpillar inching its way up your foot), then press the reflex points listed below with the outer edge of your thumb or tip of your forefinger:
If you have other particular areas of your body that are stressed, you can press the corresponding reflex area or point.
3. Apply the relaxation techniques again, and finish with another thumb press on the solar plexus point on both feet.
4. End with “breeze strokes” — lightly running your fingertips down the tops, bottoms and sides of each foot in a feathery motion, barely touching the skin. Repeat this several times. It is very soothing to the nerves.
Your bedtime ritual can include a nurturing exchange of reflexology mini-sessions with your partner. It is also safe for those who are pregnant or nursing. You can even use these same techniques to help your baby go to sleep more easily. See the chart below for a baby's foot reflexology.
The technique described was created by Laura Norman, M.S., LMT, world-renowned Holistic Reflexologist and author of the best-selling book, Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology.
The practice of reflexology has been around for decades and is widely used in holistic medicine. Hopefully, with the techniques listed above, you all can find comfort again and peaceful sleep. Add reflexology into your self-care massage sessions and you'll definitely reap the benefits! Comment below to let others know if you've tried reflexology before and your experience with it.
Till Next Time,
Be sure to speak with your Physician if you have any serious illnesses before practicing Reflexology.
Scholarly Journal: Revisiting reflexology: Concept, evidence, current practice, and practitioner training
Hello world! I am Chérie Jade, I am passionate about promoting a holistic lifestyle and encouraging preventative practices for day to day healthy living.