Reflexology - how to do it yourself and feel calmer
Updated: Apr 8
I'll happily tell anyone of my love of reflexology. It is such a wonderful therapy and you really can't knock it until you've tried it, trust me. My lovely friend Georgie Thorogood has given us all a little bit of love in these turbulent times. Here, she tells her story and gives us all a short routine to do on our hands. I've tried it and definitely felt much calmer afterwards. I'd urge you to try it - and make sure you have a reflexology session (with her!) once the world is moving once more...
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 can be key in optimising good health and building resilience. It is a touch therapy that is based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body and reflexologists work these points and areas. (Definition taken from the Association of Reflexologists – they write it much better than I do!)
My Journey into Reflexology
My own reflexology journey began in late
autumn of 2016 when I suffered a serious illness and needed something to help me focus on my recovery and ease some of the anxieties that I was feeling. Many friends suggested I try the therapy, and I’ve never looked back! Fast-forward 7 months and I had enrolled on an ITEC Reflexology Diploma course and was on my way – I wanted to help people with the same tools that had helped me so very much.
Providing Calm in these Times
Over the past few weeks, the world as we know it has turned on its head. Whether you are working harder than ever as a key worker or suddenly find yourself furloughed from your regular job with no certainty of the future, these times are scary, frustrating and unsettling for us all. Whilst the external influences in your life, your job, your finances, your future, can sometimes feel way out of your control, reflexology can provide you with some tools to help maintain calm and focus within your own mind and body. My usual reflexology treatment concentrates on the feet which, although this is great if you are at a treatment with a therapist, are not so easy to work on yourself! Thankfully, hand reflexology is equally beneficial and provide a much more accessible canvas for self-care.
As you will see from the diagram, the hands (and feet!) have been mapped over thousands of years to show the points which relate to specific areas of the body and I hope you can use these to work on the points below. By “work on,” I simply mean massage in any way you feel comfortable (usually thumb walking or using a knuckle works well) and with whatever pressure you feel suits you.
Hand Massage Routine
· Begin the routine by massaging across the palm of each hand, rotate your wrists and massage up your fingers and across the back of your hand too.
· Locate the diaphragm line (about ¾ inch below the base of your little finger) and work across this line towards the base of your thumb.
· Move to the centre of the palm and massage in a nice, slow rotating movement over this point, which represents your solar plexus (the SP is basically a big bundle of nerves which forms part of the Sympathetic Nervous System).
· Head over now to the adrenal reflex within the big muscle at the base of your thumb and work over this area too.
· Once you have worked the adrenals, thumb walk along the base of your hand and up the lateral side of your thumb (generally you will need a fairly firm pressure along here). This represents the spinal reflex and can help to ease the tension which often builds up in times of stress.
· The final point to work is the pituitary gland, located at the tip of the thumb, again, just use slow rotating movements on this point.
Of course reflexology is not going to make all of your troubles disappear, but this routine is a step in the right direction to restoring a little balance to a turbulent time, something you can do yourself (or on a partner!) without specific preparation.
Thank you so much Georgie. Please head to her website Revive Reflexology if you want to find out more.