Foot reflexology is an alternative medicine treatment that can be done at home. Foot reflexology uses pressure applied to designated points of the foot to alleviate pain. It is believed that the foot contains pressure points for every major organ in the body, making it a central location to treat symptoms located throughout the entire body.
How Foot Reflexology Works
Foot reflexology uses specific points on the feet that correspond to nerve endings. These nerve endings connect to organs and glands of the body; the location of the nerve endings are called pressure points. When pain and other symptoms are experienced, foot reflexology uses steady pressure applied to the corresponding pressure point using a fingertip or knuckle. This pressure stimulates the organs or glands affected, relieving the symptoms and promoting blood flow.
Foot reflexology is not recognized as a medical treatment by the American Medical Association. Acupressure and foot reflexology are becoming more popular amongst the medical community as a complementary medicine, used in conjunction with other treatments. There is no harm in using foot reflexology at home. It is often used to relax, energize, improve circulation and stimulate internal organs.
Symptoms That Can Be Treated with Foot Reflexology
Foot reflexology can be used as a supplemental treatment for many symptoms. The most common symptoms that people use foot reflexology for are:
- Chronic Bowel Syndromes
- Sleep Disorders
- Digestion issues
Foot Reflexology At Home – Self-Treatment
Foot reflexology can be performed by an alternative medicine practitioner, an acupuncturist or a massage therapist. You or a loved one can perform foot reflexology at home as well. To effectively use foot reflexology, the first thing you must do is learn the proper pressure points of the foot. Find the pressure point you need by determining the affected area of the body and using a foot reflexology chart. Many can be found online; an interactive foot reflexology chart can be found here. Once the pressure point is located on the foot reflexology chart, follow the steps below.
Foot Reflexology Steps
- Using a finger tip or knuckle, apply pressure to the area indicated by the foot reflexology chart.
- Explore the area until the exact point makes itself known.
- A sharp twinge or jolt will be felt when you have found the pressure point that corresponds with the symptoms you are experiencing.
- Continue to apply pressure for 15-30 seconds. The sharp twinge will be followed by a numbing sensation that radiates from the point of pressure.
- You should feel immediate relief from your symptoms. This may be experienced as a release of tension.
- Using the foot reflexology chart, locate the same pressure point on the other foot. Repeat steps 1-5 on that point as well.
- If the first point doesn’t work, repeat steps 1-5 at the next point.