Reflexology is the study of pressure application to the feet and hands. The idea of reflexology involves the concept that certain pressure points in the feet and hands stimulate the nerves. The stimulation encourages a release of energy or endorphins to the corresponding body part. This process and the endorphins aid in the healing process of the corresponding body part. This ancient ritual of applying pressure to the hands and feet originated in China and Egypt.
Chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses and some doctors may employ the techniques of reflexology. Typically, no tools or massage oils are used in the process; however, in some instances where therapies overlap, this may occur. Scientists have studied reflexology for relief from anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic back pain, asthma, diabetes, depression, chemotherapy side effects, menopause, lung disease, and countless other ailments.
A reflexologist aiming to relieve the pressure of the patient’s headache may apply pressure to the farthest most extremity of the feet: the tips of the toes. Applying pressure to this area should send a surge of energy to the head and brain. The farthest most extremity of the hands are the fingertips. Applying pressure to the fingertips has also been cited to relieve pain in the head, if applied consistently over an extended time period.
Lower and Upper Back Pain
Lower back pain can be relieved by applying pressure to the heel and the area of the foot closest to the heel. Additionally, on the opposite side of the foot, pressure can be applied to the portion of the foot closest to the ankle. Upper back pain can be relieved by locating the pressure points on the upper portion of the foot. Both pressure points are located the entire width of the foot, closest to the toes. Additional pressure points are located on the bottom middle portion of the foot.
In the hand, the pressure point is closest to the wrist. Apply pressure to this point and the endorphins should release in the lower back area.
Sinus Pressure and Facial Tension
Sinus pressure and facial tension can be relieved by applying pressure to the middle portion of the toes on either side. Sinus pressure is also relieved through the fingertips of the hands.
Stomach ailments are alleviated through the upper left portion of the ball of the left foot, as well as, a small upper left hand portion of the right foot.
Pressure on the middle of the left palm, should provide relief of stomach ailments through the hand.
While there is some documented evidence that these techniques do provide relief, reflexology is not recommended to replace medical treatments. They are best used as complements to the traditional medicine until further studies prove otherwise.
“Reflexology foot and hand charts – Dorling Kindersley.” Buy Books – Dorling Kindersley. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk/static/cs/uk/11/features/reflexology/extract.html.
“InteliHealth: .” InteliHealth: . N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/8513/34968/360060.html?d=dmtContent.
“Reflexology foot map – Dorling Kindersley.” Buy Books – Dorling Kindersley. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk/static/cs/uk/11/features/reflexology/footchart.html.