Reflexology is the ancient practice of applying pressure to specific points on the hands, feet, face, or ears. Pictographs depicting the ritual were uncovered in the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor, dating back to 2330 BC. Today, reflexology is commonly incorporated into holistic modalities like bodywork and acupressure, and the feet are the most common area to receive the therapeutic technique since they house more than 15,000 nerve endings!
Reflexologists use charts to accurately apply pressure to meridians, also known as reflex or acupoints, but this can also be achieved through self-massage. The traditional Chinese text, “Internal Medicine,” (approx. 1,000 BC) introduced meridians—energetic pathways that extend throughout the entire body. When pressure is applied to a meridian, the corresponding energy line and organ will relax and when practiced regularly, balance is restored.
Some areas will be more sensitive than others, indicating a physical or energetic block. These areas should be revisited regularly as reflexology can facilitate a release, by sending a calming message to the central nervous system, allowing energy to flow freely. Reflexology has been known to remedy insomnia, anxiety, and boost immunity.
How to Practice:
- Establish a supported seat where you’ll be able to comfortably hold one foot at a time
- (Optional) Apply a moisturizing blend to hands and feet to facilitate massage
- Massaging one foot at a time, use your thumbs to glide from the base of the heel to the top of each toe
- Using your index finger and thumb, apply pressure to your Achilles tendon and heel—the meridians linked to the kidneys and reproductive system
- Using both thumbs, apply pressure to the solar plexus point located in the arch of the foot, just below the big toe ball mound—this point mirrors the digestive organs
- Make a fist around your big toe to apply pressure to the top, middle, and base of the toe—the meridians known to soothe migraines, and mental blocks
- Repeat as desired, applying equal pressure to both feet, noting any sensitive areas and potentials blockages