Hand Reflexology uncovered… by one of our therapists Gini
Reflexology is a safe, non-invasive therapy that we literally have at hand (and foot!) wherever we go. Whilst booking yourself in for a treatment is always a great option, reflexology is something that we can all carry out on ourselves if we need a quick health fix. Most people associate reflexology with the feet, but we can actually carry out reflexology on ourselves by applying pressure to the reflexes on our hands.
Here are my 5 quick and easy steps for self help reflexology:
1. Studies have shown that reflexology can relieve stress. Knowing that we have our hands available at all times is therefore very reassuring.
We can calm the nervous system by accessing the brain reflex and the spine reflex. The brain reflex lies at the tips of our fingers, so simply pinch and hold several times. The spine runs down the side of the thumb; reflexologists use a thumb walking technique, but this isn’t necessary if you are using reflexology for a quick fix. Just add pressure to the area, in whatever way feels most natuaral to you.
The diaphragm and the solar plexus are also great reflexes to work to ease stress and tensions. Massage across the hand just underneath where the fingers meet the palm. This will actually be the lungs, but if you go a touch further down the palm of the hand and work across you hit the diaphragm line and solar plexus. Practice some relaxing breath work techniques by inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 6, at the same time and you will really feel the benefits.
If it’s convenient try giving yourself 5 – 10 minutes, using these relaxation techniques.
2. Congestion and colds can cause a lot of discomfort, particularly around the face and in the head. Work the whole of the fingers to connect to the reflexes in the face. Working them on the front and back and around the sides, really give them a good old massage! Once again pinch the tips of the fingers to work the brain reflex for any headaches.
3. For back pain! Whether it’s tension around the shoulders, or discomfort in your lower back, connect to the spine reflex on your hand. Try pressing the edge of your thumbs against each other so that they massage each other. Simple and effective!
4. If you suffer from IBS or bloating after meals, there is a great way of working the digestive reflexes using a golf ball. The reflex for the colon and the small intestines sit at the lower palm of your hands. Take the golf ball and connect to these reflexes by holding it between your two palms, and rolling it around the lower part of your hands. Just remember to pop the golf ball in your bag so you can do this anywhere at anytime!
5. Having trouble sleeping? Reflexology can be great for helping with insomnia. The pineal gland that is found in the brain is the regulator of sleep, as it produces the hormone melatonin. If you’re off balance in this area, connect with the tip of the thumb where the pineal reflex sits; my advice is roll the tips of the thumbs together so that they are massaging each other, nice and easy and something you can do when you are tucked up in bed. Remember to make sure there is no light creeping into your bedroom too, as this stops the release of melatonin which is essential for sleep!
My advice is to work from hand to hand so if you get interupted you can be sure you are balanced!
Don’t worry if you forget these reflexes, just give yourself an over all hand massage and be assured that this is having a balancing effect, and just make sure you take off your shoes and walk barefoot when possible! Feeling the grass underneath your feet, or the sand in-between your toes, enjoy the feeling of being balanced and grounded by the earth.
You can also meet Gini on our retreats as she is our invaluable retreat assistant too!