Hand reflexology is a therapeutic massage technique. When administering hand reflexology, pressure is applied to parts of the hand in order to stimulate other parts of the body. Reflexology is a holistic massage technique. This means a person’s whole being is considered (body and mind) in order to restore balance within the body. Each organ, gland, and body part corresponds to areas in both the hand and foot. The perception of pressure by the feet and hands taps into the reflex network that makes possible our every move. W
hen consistently applied, reflexology is believed to exercise specific pressure sensors. As a result, these exercises condition and stimulate the internal organs to which they are connected. Stimulation of these reflex points can promote relaxation, improve circulation, and encourage self-healing. For a holistic approach on optimizing your health and lifestyle, check out The 5 Pillars of Optimal Health course here at Udemy.
Reflexology can improve a wide range of issues including female reproductive problems, digestive issues, back/neck/shoulder pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches/migraines, and pain relief. This article details some of the health benefits of reflexology. If you are interested in using pressure points beyond reflexology of the hands, this course on acupressure to relieve pain and tension would be beneficial to you. However, it is important to remember that reflexology is not a substitute for medical care. Be sure to consult with your general practitioner or medical specialist for any issues or problems you may have.
A graphic display of how each body part is represented through different sections of the hands is called a reflexology hand chart. Hand charts are used when performing reflexology so the person performing the massage can pinpoint a specific area that needs to be targeted. The practice of hand reflexology is when pressure is applied to specific parts of the hands using the thumb, finger or full hand massage technique. Generally, hand reflexology experts work with charts that follow similar patterns when it comes to coordination with internal organs and body parts. Most individualized charts are slightly varied as reflexologists focus on a holistic, personal approach to care and healing.
This hand reflexology chart was developed by Barbara and Kevin Kunz. Considered experts in their field, Barbara and Kevin Kunz have written over 17 books on reflexology – a field which they have studied and practiced for over thirty years. The chart uses color to show the reflex areas and points on the palms and tops of the hands. This interactive hand map allows you to use your mouse to explore various body parts and view specifically where the reflex points are located on the hand.
Locating the Major Reflex Points on Your Hands
One large benefit of hand reflexology is that the hands are easily accessible and therefore you can easily administer a self-massage. For a course on self healing that develops sensitivity and awareness of energy in your hands, explore Introduction to Energy Healing. You can view a hand reflexology chart and compare your hand to the area(s) where you are experiencing discomfort or need intervention. There are reflex points on the palms as well as the tops or backs of the hands. Many of the reflex points on the tops of your hands mirror the points on the palms of the hands. However, it may be more difficult to access these points due to the bones in the top of your hands. The reflex points on your right hand correspond to the left side of your body and vice versa.
- The thumb represents your head.
- The inside of the upper thumb corresponds to the side of the head.
- The tips of the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger relate directly to your brain.
- Working with the area between your fingernails and first thumb knuckle will help to relieve sinus pain or pressure.
- Working the pinkies will de-stress shoulders.
- The area beneath the fingers that extends to the thumb will stimulate the lungs, heart, stomach, and pancreas.
- The area from the base of the thumb down to the wrist will bring relief to intestines, spleen and kidneys.
- The area below the index, middle, and ring fingers accesses lungs and heart.
- Just below the lung/heart area is the point for stomach and intestines.
- Focusing on the wrist area will access the reproductive organs.
Common Problems and Techniques to Alleviate Them
Deborah Flanagan, a certified reflexologist and correspondent for the Dr. Oz Show, described five common afflictions and how you can use hand reflexology to improve or alleviate symptoms. For more information on pain relief through reflex therapy, Udemy offers this course on Chinese massage points for the relief of headache, back pain, allergies, and more.
Digestion Issues: to help regulate and support digestion, stimulate the intestines reflex.
- Interlock fingers
- Roll the ball around in the lower area of the palms or heels of the hands
- Do this for a minute once or twice a week to help with digestion
Insomnia: stimulate the pituitary gland reflex.
- Find the middle of your thumbprint.
- Using the side of the nail of the opposite thumb, press it into the center of the thumb and hold for 45 seconds.
- Perform on both thumbs, 2-3 times a day.
Cold and Flu: focus on head and sinuses reflexes.
- Press and rub from the base of each finger to the tip
- Fingers are the reflexes for head and sinuses. (Fingers might feel tight and puffy if you are congested.)
- Perform on each finger 3-4 times a day.
Back Pain: stimulate spine reflex.
- The side of the thumb all the way down to the wrist is the spine reflex
- Press with the flat of opposite thumb, starting at the top of the thumb down to the wrist. (This might feel tender if suffering from back pain.)
- If certain spots are tender, spend more time on those tender areas but you do not need to apply a lot of pressure if it is painful.
- Repeat on both hands several times for 3-4 times a day.
Low Libido: stimulate ovaries and uterus/prostate and testes.
- Grasp your wrist with thumb and forefinger forming a circle.
- Twist the opposite hand.
- Twist wrist about 20 times, and then perform on opposite wrist.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Performing a Simple Relaxation Massage
A ten minute simple massage can be very effective when you need to stimulate relaxation and or achieve balance.
- Beginning with the right hand first, you can pinch each fingertip and thumb tip by applying slight pressure for a few seconds.
- Next, tightly squeeze the sides of the fingertips for a few seconds.
- Then, from top to bottom, rub fingers and thumbs vigorously going back and forth across each finger.
- Spread out the fingers and place palms together.
- Allow the right thumb to massage the top of the other and move down toward the inner wrist.
- To end the massage, press the thumb of one hand into the center of the palm of the other hand while breathing deeply.
Experimenting with this holistic massage technique could not only leave you feeling distressed and renewed, but could improve current pains or lingering health ailments. By helping the body to release stress, the body in turn ends up healing itself and restoring balance. To learn how to perform an anti-stress, full body massage by placing hot and cold stones on energy points, check out this course for the treatment of stress, anxiety, and muscle comforting. To help bring health and balance to your life, check out this course on Ayurvedic yoga. Taking the time to care for and restore your entire being — body and mind — will help you to live a life of balance and personal wellness.