There are simple reflexology routines that work wonders for self-care.
Self-reflexology is an incredible tool to have in healing ourselves and helping us to feel better - and studies confirm this: in Korea three studies published in medical and nursing journals concluded that self-reflexology, specifically, could reduce depression, stress, and fatigue, strengthen the immune system, and improve blood circulation and skin temperature (1).
If you're interested in learning how to give yourself a hand...or a foot...with self-reflexology, here are a few routines.
When a headache strikes, instead of reaching for medication to soothe it, try this reflexology point!
To the Point: Press the point located on the hand, beyond the webbing into the fleshy space between the thumb and index finger.
This point is helpful for any type of body pain. The trick is to feel around for a tender spot - it's usually a bit sore - and then increase pressure to a tolerable level of discomfort.
The Routine: Hold the point for about 20-60 seconds, and do the other hand, then wait a few minutes.
Repeat as needed until any pain subsides.
Additional pain relief points are the center of the thumb pads and the center of the big toe pads.
One easy trick? Use your teeth. That's right - to cure a headache, just bite your thumb!
Having trouble sleeping, or waking up with busy thoughts? Press into the solar plexus reflex on both the feet and the hands.
To the Point: On the feet, this all important 'relaxation' button is located beneath the pad of the front instep, in a small depression of the upper arch. On the hands, make a "Live long and prosper" sign and follow the "V" to a point just beneath the knuckle pads on the palm.
This reflex has multiple benefits, such as increasing circulation, relieving anxiety and improving digestion, but for help with sleep, it can be a miracle worker....even for kids!
The Routine: Press into the solar plexus reflex on one foot, while taking three deep breaths; repeat on the second foot, three deep breaths; now move to the hands and do each one with three breaths. (You might not even make it to the last hand without drifting into feelings of blissful relaxation!)
A go-to for great success in relieving cramping are the reproductive organ reflexes.
To the Point: The inner wrist is the uterus reflex, the outer wrist is the ovary reflex (right wrist for right ovary, left wrist for left ovary.) The top of the wrist is the fallopian tube reflex.
The Routine: With one hand forming a "C" with the thumb and fingers, wrap it around the opposite wrist and twist it, like you're making a bracelet around the wrist. Do this twisting bracelet move on both wrists whenever you think of it throughout the day, as needed for cramping relief. Add in a few of the above pain relief reflexes and you'll feel much lighter and brighter!
Self-reflexology can be great whether you need a bit of pain relief in tiny spurts or help with sleeping. It can be practiced throughout the day or in a full session of self-care pampering for additional benefits of circulation, immune boosting and anti-stress properties. Self-reflexology proves itself worthy of being included in your "me" time.
1. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing. 2011 Feb;41(1):110-8; Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Feb;36(1):179-88; Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing. 2009 Oct;39(5):662-72.
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