COVID-19 is top of mind in this challenging chapter of our lives and learning to deal with the repercussions its effect is having on us as a population is our new normal. Feelings of isolation, fear of contracting the virus or worse, being the one who passes it along can be devastating to our mental health and trigger PTSD symptoms that can lead to irrational behaviours and can cause more panic and distress that can lead to very real health issues in everyone, especially the vulnerable and those who care for them. Reflexology has been proven to reduce stress and improve circulation and lymphatic flow which helps exponentially to improve our general well being mentally, physically and emotionally.
There is a plethora of information on the internet, most of which is helpful but can be overwhelming to locate information that is easy to use and understand.
I will attempt to share some simple self - help tips that you can do at home for yourself or for your family. These reflexology tips can be used on everyone from infant to senior. Please remember to start SLOWLY and with VERY LITTLE PRESSURE for a SHORT period of time each day - Best to start with 5 minutes per foot or hand or ear up to 3 times a day. If you have any reason to be concerned about the effects of reflexology - Please consult your physician before beginning.
A professional reflexology session lasts 45 minutes to 90 minutes as often as once a week or once a month and encompasses all of the body systems, a self help session done daily can help prolong the benefits of a professional session and may only target one or two systems. Self applied reflexology can still be effective in helping your body relax and deal with the issues at hand.
The preferred technique is called Thumb and Finger walking
Thumb and finger walking is a motion similar to a caterpillar or inchworm type of movement from the first joint to the tip of the thumb or finger. It is a press and pull motion going forward where the contact remains as you walk along the skin. Always walk forward and slide back, never walk backwards.
Today I will share a simple relaxation session of self reflexology for your feet. (you can apply this technique to your hands as well)
- Put on some pleasant relaxing music ( I enjoy the YouTube Grounding Meditation music from MindValley) use aromatherapy of your choice in a diffuser, or have a window open to allow fresh air into your space. Ensure you have a glass of fresh water to drink after your session. You do not need any special lotions to do reflexology, just clean feet, however, if you so desire you can use a tiny amount (about the size of a dime) of your favorite lotion to massage into your feet at the end of your session.
- Set yourself up in a quiet relaxing spot of your home, sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor or on your bed so your body is fully supported and comfortable.
-Take in 5 Deep Breaths and focus on your breath as it comes into your nostrils and out slowly. Feel how your breath is filling and leaving your lungs.
-If you are flexible enough bring your right foot up to your left thigh and using both hands stroke your foot all over with a light touch moving from the toes to the heal and up the calf of your leg in a figure 8 infinity sign move. (If you cannot bring your foot to your thigh you can do the same motion with one hand on your other hand.) or have your partner do this for you.
-With your left thumb keeping it close to your fingers place your thumb onto the inside web of your great toe and `walk` down the soft indent between the bones of your foot till you reach the bones of the ankle and slide back to the top at the web. Pump or press firmly at the web (if it is a little painful you have the right spot). This is a lymphatic drainage reflex point. There is no need to press hard and make it hurt more - reflexology does NOT need to be painful to work!
- Walk down each soft channel between each toe and press gently at each web.
-Next thumb walk from the tip of the great toe on the medial (inside) edge of the foot along the instep of the foot - feel for the metatarsal bone and press on it with your thumb walking towards the ankle. This is your spinal reflex.
- Next feel for the soft spot on the medial edge of your instep and thumb walk in all directions (this is your bladder reflex point) remember to always walk forward so turn your hand to walk over this area.
- Next place your fingertips along the bone of the great toe on the top of your foot and gently rock your foot while holding the fingers in place (place fingers from the bottom of the nail bed down to the head of the metatarsal (bunion spot). Your thumb will naturally fall onto the sole side of the toe. Hold this for 10 to 15 seconds. You can do this on the thumb of your hand as well - it is very handy (pun intended) when you can't reach your feet or when you are in a stressful moment. This is the vagus nerve reflex point which helps to harmonize your body.
- Turn your foot so the sole is facing you as best you can, wrap your hands around the metatarsals below the toes with your fingers on top and your thumbs placed on the sole of the foot, walk along the ball of foot on the sole with your thumbs moving towards the toes. This is the lung reflex point and helps to clear congestion.
- Finish your session with the first step of figure 8 infinity sweeps this helps with lymphatic drainage and reducing stress.
Repeat on Left Foot.
Remember to breathe deeply and drink lots of water
Be kind to yourself - you deserve it
I will post another reflexology tip at a later date, if you have any questions please message me and I will do my best to help you.
With kind regards
I have recently been reminded of a simple but powerful truth that enables us to regain our calm and balance.
This simple act has the power to lower your anxiety, lower your blood pressure and reboot your system to regain your calm and balance.
As the story related to me tells of a patient with severe chronic hypertension was admitted to the hospital with unrelated hyperemesis (extreme vomiting) due to food poisoning. As a result of the gravity of the situation the patient had an alarming spike in her blood pressure (195/105), the nurse on duty did not offer the presecribed medication immediately, instead she asked the patient to focus on her breath and to breathe deeply into her abdomen, (gut), with each deep breath she had her imagine the air flowing to all cells of her body, another breath from her lungs to her gut, another breath from her lungs to her fingertips, another breath from her lungs to her toes, another breath from her lungs to her heart, another breath from her lungs to her head...after 7 breaths and about 5 minutes, the nurse took her blood pressure again - it had reduced to a normal rate of 128/78 - a successful non-medicated outcome from a medical professional who has embraced alternative health practices.
The patient now has a useful tool that will enable her to calm herself whenever she needs to, without medication - a true win for alternative health!
We often forget to breathe deeply, as we rush through our busy days, we are sometimes holding our breath and then wonder why we feel so exhausted at the end of the day. If we can take the moment to take a deep breath and breathe deeply into our gut, we will instantly calm ourselves and then be better able to manage our busy hectic days.
Conscious Breathing has helped me in my practice of reflexology. I encourage all of my clients to take that initial deep breath and to focus on the area of their body that needs a little love at that moment. By taking that deep breath and engaging the energy of love , every reflexology session can have a profound healing effect.
Reflexology is the therapeutic application of specialized pressure techniques to the hands, feet or ears to stimulate specific reflex areas that correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. The intention of this massage is to produce a beneficial response in all parts of the body. These non-invasive, manual techniques stimulate pressure sensors along the body’s meridians via the central nervous system, triggering a relaxation response which allows your body to function optimally and begin to heal itself. Reflexology encourages good health, aids the lymphatic system to eliminate accumulated toxins, promotes relaxation, eases pain, helps to prevent disease and generally improves quality of life for everyone from newborn to elderly.
Research as well as personal success stories demonstrate that Reflexology can create a positive change in the body thus improving the functioning of virtually every part, gland and organ and therefore making a positive difference in how we age.
Reflexology research has proven that the specialized pressure point massage as provided by qualified practitioners in reflexology sessions are safe for everyone and achieve positive results, improves body function, and enhances the effectiveness of traditional medication, homeopathy, Chiropractic, Reiki, physiotherapy, etc.
Self-help reflexology will provide you with the opportunity to help yourself and assist the effectiveness of professional sessions. Marie will teach you a few simple ways to help yourself with Reflexology during your session, and you may take one of her classes to learn about Reflexology at a deeper level.
Reflexology also aides in recovery from illness or surgery, alleviates pain, migraines, constipation, inflammatory responses and other troublesome symptoms in patients of all ages.
Incorporating regular Reflexology sessions into your everyday life at an early age can bring health benefits many decades into your future. Weekly or monthly professional sessions as well as helping yourself daily will reduce daily stress so you can live the healthy balanced life you deserve.
Like any positive move toward better health –
It is never too late to start!