Saturday, 12 March 2011

An Introduction to Reflexology for Self Help in Daily Life

I am posting this after attending the Me Too event today and being asked for written information on the warm up massage and hand charts. I have met some lovely caring people and hope this helps them and anyone else interested.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology involves applying pressure to the feet or hands using thumbs, fingers and hands. It is based on a system of zones or reflex areas that correspond to areas of the body.
 Reflexology creates relaxation, can reduce pain, improve blood flow, and ease pregnancy. A big effect is in stress reduction, which reduces tension in the whole body.
 Reflexology has been used since Egyptian times, there are hieroglyphic pictures on the walls of the Tomb of the Doctor, the Chinese and Japanese also used reflexology. It emerged in the Western World in the nineteenth century.
Although reflexology is most commonly known as being practiced on the feet, hands can also be used.

Hand Reflexology
Used today as hands are more accessible and anyone can work on themselves at home, on bus, lying in bed etc.
Today I used a non-perfumed hypo-allergenic hand cream to help my fingers move over my dry hands, this is not essential but can be used if desired.

Warm Up Exercise for Hand Reflexology
This exercise could also be done on its own at any time for relaxation. At no point should any moves hurt, reduce pressure if pain is caused.
1.       Squeeze end of each finger.
2.       Rub each finger between finger and thumb of other hand.
3.       Gently pull each finger between finger and thumb of other hand.
4.       Gently pull webbed area between fingers.
5.       Massage top of hand with thumb.
6.       Inner wrist – cradle hand with other hand and use thumb to massage inner wrist. Soothing if you do repetitive movements like using keyboard, computer mouse, video games, play guitar.
7.       Massage palm of hand with thumb.
8.       Press centre of palm with thumb 3 times and take a deep breath to relax each time.
Hand Reflexology for Headaches
Start on one hand with palm upwards and apply pressure using thumb to for 3 seconds to the top of each finger and thumb. This is where the head, brain and sinus reflexes are located.
Hand Reflexology for Back and Neck Pain
Massage along spinal reflex which starts on the outside of the thumb and follow down and round to the centre of the wrist. For lumbar/sacral pain keep thumb pressed on this point for 5 seconds. For neck pain circle one thumb around the bottom of the other thumb.
Hand Reflexology for Digestive Problems
 Massage clockwise around centre of palm (same direction as bowel). Press with thumb for 5 seconds.
Hand Reflexology to Relax
 Make hand into a cup shape, feel for dip in palm in line with space between index and middle fingers (along diaphragm line in diagram), this is the Solar Plexus reflex area, massage in an anti-clockwise direction to wind down.

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