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