Who doesn’t love a good foot rub! Did you ever stop to wonder why massaging the feet feels so therapeutic? There’s actually a pressure point on your feet for every single organ/system of your body. Check out the reflexology foot chart below, which maps them all for you. This may be the most relaxing wellness hack ever!
What Is Reflexology?
Reflexology is process of applying pressure to specific areas of the feet for relaxation and pain relief. The reflex points in the feet are part of your nervous system. Applying pressure to those reflexology points can bring healing to their corresponding areas throughout your body. Reflexology is not a new age idea. Egyptian Hieroglyphics from 2330 BC show it being used as one of humankind’s earliest healing practices.
How Reflexology Works
Foot reflexology is all about getting stuck energy to flow, much like reiki, acupuncture, or tapping. It focuses on boosting your vitality by stimulating your nervous system, as opposed to traditional massage that focuses on the muscles and ligaments.
Reflexology helps move you out of fight-flight-freeze mode, and into relaxation response, which allows your body to heal itself more easily. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can also help you get a better night’s sleep. The best part is, this complementary healing method is easy to do yourself without any special skills or training. Plus, there are no downsides or risks, so why not give it a try?
Let’s get started. Got a body part that’s acting up? Find it on the chart below:
Foot reflexology offers countless benefits. Use it to:
- relieve pain
- reduce stress
- improve circulation
- encourage digestion
- prepare for sleep
- ease tension
- boost immunity
How To Use Reflexology
Reflexology is often worked into chiropractic or other alternative healing sessions. But there’s no reason you can’t do it for yourself in the comfort of your own home.
In general, the reflex points on your left foot map to the left side of your body, and the right foot maps to the right side of your body. Once you’ve located your problem area on the reflexology chart above, follow these steps:
- Get into a comfy position that will allow you to reach your feet. Cross legged works for many. Or, recruit a volunteer!
- Using the reflexology foot chart above, locate the reflex point on your foot that aligns with the side of the body you want to target (repeat on both sides if applicable)
- Apply firm pressure to the reflex point with your thumb for about 15-30 seconds. You should feel sensation but not pain.
- While holding constant pressure, make circular motions with your thumb.
- Repeat 3 times.
- You can also try “walking” your thumb across the sole of the foot as you apply pressure, inching your way along the targeted area
Repeat daily for best results. Also, feel free to do both feet in their entirety, for a therapeutic reflexology massage. There’s no need to wait until something goes out of balance! Foot reflexology makes a wonderful addition to your self-care ritual.
Examples of Common Uses
Whether you’re suffering from a tension headache, migraine, or mental fatigue, give this method a try. Sit cross legged, or with soles together if you can, and apply firm pressure to the bottom of your big toes. Massage in a circular motion. You can do one foot at a time, or both at once. This will stimulate the pituitary gland, which is part of your endocrine system. It will also help to balance your third eye chakra.
Heels and ankles are where it’s at for sacral discomfort. When its your time of the month, target the inner and outer sides of the heel. Sometimes it’s helpful to cup the back of your heel with your thumb and index finger, then give your foot a squeeze.
The arch of your foot is where you’ll find the point for your solar plexus, responsible for digestion. Apply pressure here with your thumb, using the approach described above, or stand up, and try placing some of your weight on a tennis ball.
Anxiety & Stress
Studies show that foot massage significantly reduces stress levels in the body, after just a few minutes. You won’t find this on the chart above, but if you place your finger on the top of the foot, between your big and second toes, you’ll find a hollow spot between the bones. This point is called the ‘Great Surge’ pressure point. Press down there for anxiety relief.
Foot reflexology is an easy, relaxing way to practice self-care and bring yourself relief. All you need is your reflexology foot chart, a free hand, and a few moments!
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