May 4, 2020
Hi I’m Suzanne and I provide Massage, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage at the Herts MS Therapy Centre.
I hope you are all keeping safe and well and are coping ok during these difficult times.
I wanted to share a few tips on Reflexology and hand reflexology that you could try yourself at home. I have also included some facial pressure points for stress relief and relaxation.
At the bottom of each section there is a link to a relevant demonstration on YouTube.
Reflexology is a non–invasive complementary health Therapy that can be effective in promoting deep relaxation and wellbeing; by reducing stress in people’s lives. It dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China. This therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald developed Zone therapy in the early 1900s. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
In the 1930’s Eunice Ingham further developed this zone therapy into what is known as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body. Below I have drawn a reflexology chart of the feet showing their corresponding areas of the body.
If you think of the feet as a map of the human body, with the big toes as the head, the spine down the middle and other parts of the body in relevant order on the soles of the feet. Whilst it is always recommended that you see a trained reflexologist for the best results and safety, here are a few simple techniques you can try yourself:
Adrenal glands– A great area to work on to relieve stress levels. The position varies slightly from person to person, it is somewhere on the upper arch of the foot near the inner edge (see on diagram above). Have a feel around until you feel a slight lump or hollow or notice some tenderness. You can rub your thumb or finger on this point using a circular motion or apply gentle pressure where it feels tender. Working on the adrenal glands helps to alleviate anxiety and tension.
Head/ Brain – (top of each toe) promotes clarity and positive thinking.
Pituitary or master gland – (centre of big toe) stimulates/ balances hormone secretions of all other glands.
Pineal gland – (outer side of big toe) secretes melatonin, which controls our circadian rhythm/sleep cycle.
Thyroid – (base of big toe) balances metabolism. Neck/Shoulders- (ridge of toes) releases tension.
Chest / Lungs – (ball of foot) calms breathing.
Solar Plexus / Diaphragm – (under ball of foot in the centre) encourages relaxation and peacefulness.
Reflexology demonstration: click here
Below I have drawn a chart showing the reflexology points on the hands. Hand reflexology is a quick, simple treatment that can help to alleviate a variety of ailments and issues. It has been known to be effective in bringing relief from pain and tension.
Hand Massage can provide health benefits including:
- Boosting circulation
- Increased flexibility
- Some pain relief
Here are some steps you can follow at home –
- Relax the hand by rubbing your thumb in wide movements over your palm, working out from the centre to the edges. Then, gently rub down in long straight motions from the knuckles to the wrist.
- Wrap your hand round each finger one by one and gently rotate at the joint.
- Pinch the end of each finger.
- Starting at the base of each finger, rub in small clockwise circles until you reach the tip.
- Apply gentle pressure in small circles all over the palms, pads and backs of the hand, working down to the wrist.
- Drink a big glass of water as increased circulation may result in your body processing expelling waste, toxins and lactic acid faster, so it needs water to help flush everything out.
Hand reflexology demonstration: click here
Pressure Points for Face Massage
Make sure you have clean washed hands.
You can push down or use circular motions, use a little oil/cream as you don’t want to pull on your skin.
For anxiety and stress relief, massaging your temples may also help to relieve tension headaches, apply pressure and rub in small but firm circles.
For sinus drainage, massage pressure points at mid-eyebrow, spend about 30 seconds massaging this spot applying pressure using a circular motion.
Nasal Congestion. The joint near the bridge of your nose and eye socket is the area most affected by nasal congestion, use your thumbs on the inner point of each eyebrow in line with the side of the nose, press for 30 seconds and release, repeat until you feel the relief.
Increase energy – on the Temples and jaw area, apply pressure and rub in small but firm circles.
Relaxation. Spend 2-3 minutes massaging your face tracing the heart shape points in the picture above working in circular motions, paying extra attention to the jawline and just below the cheekbones.
Face reflexology demonstration: click here
Points to Note
Do NOT try any DIY reflexology techniques at home if you:
- have a temperature
- have an infection
- are under the influence of alcohol
- are pregnant
- you have open wound or injury of your feet or hands
Reflexology should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice.
The team at HMSTC would like to thank Suzanne for her practical, helpful tips. Would you like to know more or to book a session of Reflexology (once this meets safety guidelines)? Call our Centre on 01462 684 214 and leave a message with your phone number for Suzanne.