What is reflexology?
The main benefits of reflexology are that it unblocks energy channels and has a relaxing effect. It can also stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms and help with pain relief.
William Fitzgerald developed the ‘zone theory’ after finding that he could induce numbness and reduce certain symptoms in the body by simply applying pressure to specific points on the hands and mouth. The earliest evidence of Reflexology comes from China, circa 2700 BCE.
The zones are throughout the body with the head having five zones on each side. All the zones lie in each finger and thumb and the theory is that energy travels through the zones and these have an energy connection to all organs, muscles, blood supplies, nerve cells and different tissue types. Disturbances in any of your body will affect these zones so applying pressure on your hands and feet to these zones it will stimulate the flow of energy back through your body to the area that needs it.
Most people know ‘reflexology’ as something that is done to your feet but hand reflexology is definitely another technique that is becoming just as popular.
Hand reflexology certainly provides some benefits compared to foot reflexology. The obvious example is that our hands are far more easily accessible compared to our feet, which makes hand reflexology the most usable self-help tool for both adults and children.
Stimulation of the so-called ‘reflex points’ promotes relaxation, improves circulation and encourages the body to heal itself. This explains why hand reflexologists sometimes use the axiom: “Health is at your fingertips!”
Hand reflexology is also brilliant as a relief from the new stresses technology has placed on our hands.
For lower back pain press the point where the centre of your hand joins your wrist and stimulates it. Always take medical advice if you don’t know what the problem is. This is a perfect antidote to backache caused by sitting at a computer for too long.
For your neck and spine using the thumb of the other hand, press and circle down the thumb-stopping at the wrist and repeat this move three times. Working on any areas that are sensitive can help to reduce pain, tension or muscle spasms in the back and neck.
The reflex is stimulated by direct pressure to a particular point. On the palm and wrist there are some 45 reflex points and on the back of the hand 28 reflex points.
Try having a go on yourself by pinching the fingertips and thumb of your right hand. The pressure applied to each finger should be firm, but make sure it is not painful. A few seconds for every single fingertip will be sufficient. Now do the same with the other hand.
Numerous hand reflexology charts are available for use by therapists and enthusiasts as well. The one shown below is a fundamental kind of chart, which is good to use. The points co-related with body parts are clearly marked.
Always check with your GP first if you are on medication.
A brilliant book on the subject with images is Press Here! Hand Reflexology for Beginners: A Practice for Promoting Self-Care Hardcover – Illustrated by Stefanie Sabounchian.
In Press Here! Hand Reflexology for Beginners, colourful illustrations and clear instructions show simple but powerful techniques to add to your daily routine.
Practising hand reflexology on yourself can help you achieve your goal of natural, holistic healthcare without the expensive weekly treatments. Hand reflexology, unlike the more common foot reflexology, is easy to incorporate into your wellness routine because it can be used anywhere—from riding the bus or listening to a lecture in class to enjoying a party.
This fun, easy, and accessible introduction to self-care through hand reflexology teaches the fundamental principles of reflexology and guides you through the reflex map of the hands, where every part of your body has a corresponding reflex point. Follow the illustrations and simple instructions to quickly learn techniques to use daily for overall good health and a balanced body and mind. In addition, guided techniques help you learn how to use reflexology for specific health issues, organized by ailments.
The Press Here! series offers contemporary takes on traditional hands-on healing practices for a new generation of practitioners. These introductory guides feature easy-to-access organization, clear instructions, and beautiful illustrations of each technique. Other Press Here! topics include massage, reiki, and acupressure.