Reflexology Therapy – Foot Reflexology and Hand Reflexology

| November 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

Reflexology therapy occurs in a session in which  certain amount of pressure is applied either to the hands or feet to generally relax a person and also some cases it can be a way to relieve stress.  Depending on what a reflexologist wants to achieve, they use different techniques and follow foot charts so as to apply pressure to certain areas. Different people do practice reflexology differently, for example, massage therapists, chiropractors and physical therapist and so many others. In some cases tools like wood sticks, rubber balls and rubber bands can also be engaged into the session for more effective results. Reflexology can result into very many benefits health wise as noted in this post.

 

Foot Reflexology:

Basing on the olden theories that all organs and systems in the body connect to specific reflex areas in the feet, reflexology has been found as one of those really helpful therapies in achieving different health benefits in individuals. Different from a foot massage, foot reflexology is a really excellent therapy for overall body wellness as the different techniques used focus pressure on those impulse points to improve the self-healing abilities of the body and at the same time release any energy channels that have been blocked. The foots is divides into ten reflex zones that correspond with body organs therefore any pressures inserted on the reflex points gets rid of blockages in the corresponding organs thus bringing about health balance. So whether you are bothered by back pain, abdominal pain, sinus pain or pain in the eyes; foot reflexology can help reduce that pain significantly. There is no discrimination in age or sex of who can receive foot reflexology as it can be administered to absolutely anyone, it could be a child, youth or those very old person, anyone can will definitely benefit from foot reflexology.

Foot Reflexology Chart

 Reflexology_Foot_Chart1

 

FOOT REFLEXOLOGY CHART

 

Benefits of Foot Reflexology

With all the work that we put our feet through, they really  need some kind of soothing to keep them strong and there is no better way to do that other than foot reflexology. All the strain and stress that is added on to your feet will later on be felt in other parts of the body. There are very many benefits that you will gain from foot reflexology starting from just relieving pains to going as far as helping to manage stress which is number one reason to many health problems. With that, we shall now go straight into the different benefits of foot reflexology.

  • It provides relaxation: foot reflexology eliminates any blockages in neural channels hence creating overall relaxation for the body as a whole since there is improved flow in neural activity. With this many doctors have also advised foot reflexology just before you jump into bed as it relaxes the body helping you to get a more peaceful and sound sleep. It returns the body into its usual circadian cycle that is healthy hence getting rid of any sleep disorders and has been linked to increased fitness and weight loss.
  • It Improves circulation: both blood and oxygen will circulate much better in all parts of the body as a result of foot reflexology. Due to the tight daily schedules that we have, in most cases we tend to incorrectly use foot muscles which results into poor blood and oxygen circulation. However, foot reflexology is one of the best solutions that you can opt for. Foot reflexology helps to transfer blood and oxygen to different cells of the body which in turn helps to bring back life into those already damages body cells.
  • It is very helpful in eliminating toxins in the body: foot reflexology greatly improves functioning of the bladder and reducing risks of urinary tract infections that arise from presence of toxins in the body. Better functioning of the bladder means more effective removal of all harmful substances in the body such as those you might get exposed to if you smoke or drink alcohol excessively.
  • It is effective in relieving aches and pains: foot reflexology helps to release tension in the lower and upper back, the neck, and headaches, as pressure is applied to various reflex points of the foot you will feel relief in different parts. Massaging the toes and joints in between the toes helps to relieve neck pain, for headache and any pain in the ankle helps to get rid of headache as well as inflammation and pain in the ankle. There is a lot more that foot reflexology can do when it comes to getting rid of pain and aches in the back and different parts of the body as long as you master the foot chart and the different foot reflexology techniques.
  • It helps to heal all foot problems: foot reflexology does not have to be done for a long period of time to achieve the great results, even just 10 minutes will be very helpful in helping you get rid of most of your problems. Things like sore muscles, stiffness, and inflammation among others can all be healed with a good foot reflexology therapy. However, it is not that you should wait until you get any sort of foot problem before you begin foot reflexology because even without any particular problem it is essential in making your feet stronger, more flexible and more resilient to any injuries.
  • It helps to get rid of depression: some reflex points in the feet correspond with emotional and mental stability so each time some pressure is applied to soothe such points it helps to reduce depression symptoms. So when a person is suffering a really terrifying condition that is emotional; foot reflexology can greatly help to balance the desire to be distressed and to cope or adapt to new changes.
  • It is very advantageous to pregnant women: when women are pregnant, their feet tend to swell because of poor blood supply to the feet. However, foot reflexology by improving blood and oxygen transportation helps to solve that problem. Also during labor and quick recovery after birth; foot reflexology helps to make the process faster taking away the depression of having to wait a long period of time before getting back in shape.
  • It alleviates symptoms of menopause: in such times there are high chances that someone will feel a lot of mixed feelings like depression, loss of sleep, a lot of fatigue, constant headaches, being sad and unhappy all the time therefore foot reflexology during such difficult times can of great help.
  • It is a solution to high blood pressure: due to people’s unhealthy eating habits and lot of work and emotional related stress, there is a drastic increase in the people that suffer from high blood pressure (heart disease), the good news though is that regular foot reflexology can help to lessen feeling of stress and anxiety hence lowering blood pressure. Adding regular reflexology sessions to your lifestyle can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Foot Reflexology Therapy Techniques

Primarily, most people will want to get a massage for example a back massage because they want to get rid of pain and stress however, reflexology has a lot more to deal with. A little different from how you would give a regular foot massage, foot reflexology entails applying pressure to particular points in order to help the body move back into normal functioning and balance for better health. The techniques that are used during reflexology are very different from those used in other massage forms since only the hands is used to perform a particular technique. In most of the techniques, you will realize that one hand is always used to perform the technique while the other provides support. Below are the foot reflexology techniques.

Hook and back up reflexology technique

If you have any small reflexes in certain body organs for example, the appendix, spleen or gallbladder; this is a really perfect technique to use. The hook and back up technique is used in case you want to apply deep pressure on a particular reflex point. After finding the area on to which you want to apply pressure, directly put your thumb on that specific area and there after bend the very first joint to insert pressure. Also move your thumb on the side opposite to the point of focus while deepening the pressure, try as much as possible to maintain the pressure.

Walking and rolling reflexology technique

This technique mainly involves two special finger techniques that is to say finger walking and thumb walking where by pressure is directly, quickly and steadily applied on the ankles and plantar foot.

  • Thumb walking: this is the ideal technique for reflex connected to the spine, when using thumb walking you use one hand to provide support for the foot and use the other to apply the technique. It is best to start from the medial side of the heel and then move the thumb upwards to the toes. Start bending the thumb on the first spot while pressing deep into tissues, you can then make the thumb so as to move to the next spot. Keep on with the same procedure along the foot line but keep in mind that you should only use the center or edge of the thumb when applying pressure. The main issue with thumb walking is that it must be kept flowing and systematic, it is the other four fingers that help to regulate pressure while the supportive hand presses your foot more to the thumb.
  • Finger walking: another way in which you can use the walking technique in through finger walking and it is more advantageous when it comes to applying pressure over areas like the pelvic reflex and flat ankle bone as well as smaller areas like the toe sides or children’s feet. For reflexes on the whole plantar of the foot, thumb and finger walking will definitely leave you feeling better.
  • Rolling: this is usually practiced for larger reflexes like the neck, shoulder and spinal reflex because it can only be performed on a single reflex. It is an option to the walking technique and in this you only have to apply pressure using the thumb and finger tips on a specific area of interest. While holding the thumb and fingertip onto the reflex, you are required to roll your hand over the area.

Press and flex reflexology technique

This technique can also be used to work  where one hand is used to offer support from the back of the foot then you start pushing the foot towards the thumb or finger to apply deep pressure. Place a finger or thumb on to the specific area desired, hold the position tightly and then firmly flex your foot in the direction of the finger or thumb.

Performing A General Foot Reflexology Session

A full foot reflexology session should be performed for about 30 minutes and with the patient seated in a really comfortable position for example on a massage table. It can be a lying massage table or alternatively a semi-reclining massage chair. Follow the instructions below in order to properly prepare for the session;

  • Prior to the session you need to talk to the recipient to make sure in they are in perfect shape simply because at times when someone has fever or too much nausea it is not advisable to undergo a reflexology session so verbal screening will help you to find out those flaws.
  • Ensure to find out if the person receiving reflexology  does not have any physical problems with their feet or transmittable foot problems like athlete’s foot. Just in case you find any of those conditions you must forego reflexology reason being in such cases of physical damage it could become even worse and if there is any skin condition you could end up catching it too.
  • As you apply the different techniques; make sure the person is in a really good position where the spine is perfectly aligned. The best you can do is to put a something just under the knees and keep the legs raised as well.
  • Position yourself at the feet of the person receiving reflexology
  • Wear gloves to protect yourself from any infectious conditions
  • Towel dry the feet in case they were soaked before the session and apply foot powder or starch to prevent the skin from gliding and being slippery otherwise you will not be able to apply the required pressure for reflexology.

General Foot Reflexology Session

Take five minutes to warm up: with different kneading, joint mobilization and sliding techniques you should try to prepare the softer tissues of the foot. It is at this stage that you should try to look out for any skin problems or physical conditions of the foot.

Spinal twist: This is for the vertebral segment and lumbar reflexes, move on to the pelvic, waist and diaphragm guidelines and apply fast systematic twists on each one of them, 3 or four times will be enough. This helps release tension around the spine and stretch out any tissues that have been softened around this area.

Spinal reflex: this works for the whole spine and also affects the spine, to practice, use the thumb walking technique along the spinal reflex starting from the heel of your foot and upwards to the top of the big toe and from the top of the big toe backward to the heel. Alter the supporting and working positions while you move along the spinal reflex going up and down. To cover the whole area, you should use thumb walking but in different directions whereas thumb rolling will help you add to the pressure as you may require

Neck and occipital ridge: this works for the head, occipital and the neck, therefore use thumb compression on the whole part just at the base of the big toe. As one hand applies pressure, the other hand will be offering support and to increase on the pressure you will just have to bend the toe towards your thumb. With this is proper circulation of blood and nerve supply to the neck and head and is also very helpful in releasing tension.

Bidirectional pressure on plantar surface with the thumb: this will actually help to with abdominal cavities as well interior cavities, use this kind of pressure on the whole bottom part of the foot. Apply the technique all over the chest and abdominal reflexes endeavoring to start with elbows moving out and pushing downwards to help out on the pressures on the your thumbs.

Medial pelvis or hip: this works for hip muscles and uterus, use the finger walking technique to move your fingers around the ankle. Press and flex the medial ankle then at the end of the process roll the ankle.

Diaphragm: for the diaphragm you have to put your finger just over the diaphragm guideline and use thumb pressure to flex the toe just above that particular spot. As you work on the diaphragm from medial to cross wide there will be improvement in breathing, supply of nerves as well as circulation of blood.

 

Hand Reflexology

Hand reflexology can simply be defined as that healing massage in which pressure is applied to certain reflex points of the hands in order to arouse other parts of the body. Just like foot reflexology, hand reflexology is as well based on a belief that every reflex point on hands corresponds or reflects a certain organ or system in the body. Hand reflexology has a very many benefits in the general well being of a person and with the help of a hand reflexology chart it becomes much simpler of a reflexologist to offer the perfect massage to any problematic areas. Oils and creams are not of great help when it comes to reflexology but with right thumb and finger pressure movements you can get a really relieving hand reflexology session.

Hand reflexology is as effective as foot reflexology however the major difference is that with hand reflexology you might take a little longer to get the results yet with foot reflexology it is more of immediate relief.

Hand Reflexology Chart

 hand reflexology chart

 

Benefits of Hand Reflexology:

Just when you need simple immediate relief, hand reflexology is may be one of the quickest and easiest ways in which you can have certain pains taken care of. Since the hands are much more accessible than feet, hand reflexology can performed from anywhere and at any time. It has various health benefits as we are about to view in detail below;

It relieves pain: for anyone suffering from arthritis pain of the hands, studies have proved that hand reflexology is very effective in decreasing the pain and also increasing on to strength in your hands to help your grip more firmly. However, this does not mean that those without arthritis do not benefit from hand reflexology because they also do especially if you subject your hands too really hard tasks like over typing. With a professional hand massage any pain, aches or cramps in the hands will be gone in the shortest possible time.

Improves flexibility and motion range of the hands: hand reflexology improves the flexibility of your hands making it easier for you to move them in various directions as it aids to loosen any stiff or tight muscles that could be limiting your from properly moving your hands in different directions. One of the commonest cases that require hand reflexology is trigger finger; a condition in which you cannot easily open and close you finger. A combination hand reflexology techniques such as stretching the finger and massaging the affected areas with ice helps to release those tight muscles that make it difficult to change the finger in all possible movements.

It Improves circulation: hand reflexology helps to improve circulation of blood to different parts of the hand therefore for those who are planning to have an operation or major surgery; you should do it. It helps blood to be transported perfectly to different cells hence promoting the healing process after surgeries much faster. With improved circulation, there is improved removal of dangerous substances in the body and also helps to get rid of  possible emotional conditions that could possibly lead to trauma.

Hand Reflexology Techniques:

You will realize the techniques used for hand reflexology are entirely different from those used during foot reflexology and that is simply because reflexology therapy on the hands is not so close to skin as on the feet. This therefore requires you to use techniques that will reach quite deeper so as to cause some kind of stimulation for the coordinating reflex. Here are the four hand reflexology techniques that you need to know so as to conduct a perfect hand reflexology session. Hand reflexology professionals advise that you should always begin with the right to have perfect results from your session.

  • Pressure: the amount of pressure is a very critical issue issue however, it must not be too much to cause result into pain. Only apply pressure enough to cause stimulation to the particular reflex point in which you want relief. In case you want to increase pressure you can do so as long as you make sure that you do not over do it to cause injury. On each point, you need to apply pressure in two directions, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
  • Creeping: in this technique you to bow your thumb to make the flat part touch a particular area of the hand that you want to relieve. By creeping you will simply be moving your thumb to the front in more like a caterpillar movement but ensuring not to pierce yourself or the other person with the nail. This is a very slow technique but also a very systematic one.
  • Spinal friction: this involves rubbing up and down several times and it is usually for warming up the spinal code. On the spinal reflex which is the area on at the edge of the hand parallel to the thumb; it is the friction that helps to bring relief in any pain felt in the spinal column.
  • Rotating: rotating is in most cases used for the eye, adrenal and kidney reflex points that are found on the left hand. While using this technique, you put your thumb flat on a particular desired point and make a small rotation towards yourself. It should be firm enough and also apply enough pressure for a few seconds before you can actually put the thumb off the area.

 

Hand Reflexology Session

Use the hand reflexology chart to find the areas that you want to work: with a hand reflexology chart, it will much easier to find the corresponding reflex for a particular point in which you want relief. For example, intestinal problems like constipation the hand chart will show that reflexology techniques should be applied on the area just below the palm from you middle finger. Or better yet if you do not know how to read the hand reflexology chart that well you can simply work over the whole hand to general body wellness as believed by reflexology experts.

Pinch over the tips: the very first step of a hand reflexology session is pinching the tips of all fingers as well as the thumb. When all the fingers on your right are finished you can turn over to the left hand and do just like you did with the right hand. As you pinch, give each finger just a few minutes while applying pressure that is just enough, not pressing too hard to cause pain.

Squeeze fingers from the sides: after pinching fingers from the tips, you now need to move on to the side, apply pressure while pinching sides of each and every finger until you are through with all of them, then you can move on to the thumb and do just the way you did with all the other fingers. Keep in mind that pressing too hard will just inflict pain.

Rub fingers from top to bottom: start from the very bottom of your finger and rub back and forth going up wards to the top. On each finger also use some vigor to rub back and forth on the sides. Two or three times will be enough for this session.

Grasp fingers with deep pressure: grip your finger from the base and apply deep firm pressure, as you move towards the tips of the finger try to loosen your grip a bit. Apply the technique on the entire finger until you are totally holding nothing.

Work on the area between the first finger and thumb: pull the skin on this area using the first finger and thumb of the hand opposite to the one you are working on. Maintain firm hold as you gently pull the skin until the area you are holding is released from you grip. Do this for all the other areas in between all the areas and repeat the same for the other hand.

Use thumb walking on the back of your hand: start with the right hand, so it is the one you should rest into the palm of the left hand and use the thumb to massage or walk over the hand of the hand. While relaxing work on the knuckles as well as in between the knuckles, then continue thumb walking until the entire back of the hand is completely worked on.

Work on the inner wrist: gently hold your wrist into the hand that is not being worked on and use the thumb to walk over the entire area of the inner wrist. If you tend to over use your wrist for example people who work involves too much typing and mouse movement then you will definitely gain from this exercise as it helps to keep your wrist strong and flexible.

Work on the palm of the hand: for this particular area you can use the either thumb or use the knuckle. If you want just minimal pressure then use the thumb and to increase or get deeper pressure the knuckle will do better.

Press the thumb into center of the hand: this should be the last step of your hand reflexology session as it help to relax the body and is also very good when it comes to relieving stress. Hold on of your hands into the other that is free and deeply press the thumb in the center. Take a deep breath and concentrate entirely on getting healed.

 

Tools for Hand and Foot Reflexology

Just the same way you have traditional massage tools, reflexology therapy too has some tools that help make it easier to perform. Some tools work may work on their own while others can be used by the therapist while in session.

Hand Massager Held Massage Therapy Reflexology Palm Fingers Tool Vibrating Far Infrared Ray Heat Compression Speed New

Hand Massager Held Massage Therapy Reflexology Palm Fingers Tool Vibrating Far Infrared Ray Heat Compression Speed New

For all the typing freaks out there, this absolutely the perfect tool that you will need to relieve your wrist and hands from all that typing and mouse moving as well as other hand activities that might cause pain or stress. This hand massager is extremely effective in helping you get rid of all that pain in the hands. This hand massager combines heat, pressure and gentle massage just the way a professional reflexologist does to help you get rid any pain. This simple devise simply emulates what a reflexology session would have done by improving blood circulation, relieving stress and tension and also getting rid of pain. It also uses a soothing regularity that helps in getting rid of fatigue, tension and stress which arises from constant use of the hands.

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Features:

  • 4 pressure levels: this special device offers you four different pressure points to choose from therefore you can have an entirely personalized session while using it. From this versatility you will be able to select the desired amount of pressure depending on the amount of pain you are feeling.
  • Infrared heat compression: the very same benefits that you will get from a reflexology session are the ones you will get from this hand massager since it is infused with infrared heat that helps to warm the hands and improve blood circulation. This same feature can as well be used to warm your hands during those extremely cold winter seasons.
  • Air pressure system: this system kneads the hand and compresses reflex points both on the back and palm of your hand. It further uses very gentle pressure for that really relaxing massage on top and bottom of the hands hence getting rid of all the discomfort and pain that may have accumulated in your hands.
  • Easy to use buttons: you will get the chance to enjoy between 5-15 minute sessions from this hand massager on just a simple press of a button; it is that simple when it comes to using the massager.

 

Reflexology Thai Traditional Hand & Foot Massage Wooden Stick Tool

There is a lot that foot reflexology therapy  can do when it comes to helping you prevent the risk of diseases that would have rather put your health to risk. On many occasions people will mind a lot about other body parts and ignore the feet yet they are subjected to way too much than we actually think. Feet indicate functionality in various parts of the body therefore if you don’t have the time to attend a foot reflexology session then do it on your own using the foot reflexology stick below.

Reflexology Thai Traditional Hand & Foot Massage Wooden Stick Tool

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Features:

  • High quality wood: this reflexology therapy tool is made from red wood of the highest quality to give you long lasting use of the tool. This is not just any wood that will break or get cracked easily.
  • 2 piece reflexology massage tool: it comes with a foot massage stick and cross massage tool which you can use to massage specific reflex points in order to improve different organs in the body, get rid of tension of the nervous system and improve circulation of blood in the entire body.
  • Easy to use: to avoid guess work this tool comes with a foot reflexology chart that shows which reflex point corresponds with which organ hence making it easier for your to go over the whole session on your own.

 

Colored Plastic Walk Stone Square Healthy Foot Massage Mat Pad Cushion

Walking on this plastic massage stone is another easy and cheap way to get your internal organs performing better. If you are one of those people that would never take off their shoes to have a foot reflexology therapy from a reflexologist well you can now have it in your own home using the plastic stone healthy massage mat.

Colored Plastic Walk Stone Square Healthy Foot Massage Mat Pad Cushion

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It is designed for use by people of different ages, the elderly, the young and the old so if you getting any kind of pain or discomfort in the feet, you have found the perfect solution.

 

Thai Reflexology Foot Massage Stick Tool for Relax Reflexology

With the very many theories that have come up about reflex points on the feet corresponding with different organs in the body there is no doubt you will need this foot massage stick that is super smooth and durable. It is very essential in stimulating functionality of the internal organs and betterment in circulation of blood throughout the whole body. This massage stick can be used on different parts of the body but is very effective on the legs as it can instantly get rid of pain and strain.

Thai Reflexology Foot Massage Stick Tool for Relax Reflexology

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Benefits:

It is essential for those who want to try out self-massage for the very first time as it relaxes and revitalizes body organs in the shortest possible time.

It has also been found very excellent at improving functionality of body organs as well as improving the rate at which blood circulates in the body.

During reflexology, this tool makes it very easy to manipulate the different pressure points on the feet which result into stimulation of muscles on the feet.

It can be used both on the hands and feet therefore it does not really matter is you are having foot reflexology or hand reflexology because this tool will perform effectively during both sessions.

 

Acupressure Hand & Finger Clips Stimulation of Hand Reflexology Points for Relieving Energy Blocks

If you are looking for the perfect tool to supplement your hand reflexology session then you can definitely not look further than these whale shapes finger clips. They do not just work on any pain and discomfort in the hands but also improve energy and blood flow to different associated parts of the body. The set comprises of 2 pieces where by the smaller one works on one hand at a time and the bigger one which applied multiple pressure on just one hand. It come with a hand reflexology chart to help you understand the different pressure points much better.

Acupressure Hand & Finger Clips Stimulation of Hand Reflexology Points for Relieving Energy Blocks

The main concept behind reflexology therapy  is that when pressure is applied to some areas of the foot or hands, there is a change in corresponding systems and organs in the body hence improving a person’s health. Try it and you will not be disappointed.

 

 

 References

Tappan’s Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques (5th Edition)

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