Reflexology is a study of the feet and hands and how specific points on each relate to specific parts of the body. Through reflexology, the nerve endings in the feet are stimulated, which can help to relieve stress, improve blood supply, unblock nerve impulses and help to achieve a balance of the flow of energy throughout the body.
There are many ways to relieve stress in the body through the soles of the feet. Pressing on all the parts of the foot — called “walking the zones” — can stimulate the nerves of the feet that run all the way up through the body. This stimulation can improve circulation, bringing more oxygen to parts of the body and encouraging relaxation.
The same points that are found on the feet can be found in the hands as well. This is helpful if someone has a foot injury, the same points you would normally work on the feet can be worked on the hands instead.
One of my favorite points to hold on the feet is the solar plexus. In the body, this is the bundle of nerves that is found behind the stomach and in front of the diaphragm and extends throughout the abdominal cavity and is one of the main attack points of family-related stress. On the foot, the solar plexus can be located just below the ball of the foot in the middle where you can feel a slight indentation. On the hands, it is on the palm just under the joint of the middle finger.
At the end of a reflexology session, I hold this point on each foot until my thumbs feel an even steady pulse. Sometimes it can take a while before this pulse comes together. When it does, it indicates that the energy flowing throughout the body is balanced. For many of my clients, this hold is very relaxing.
Some other benefits of massaging and holding this point include assisting with regular breathing, relieving nervous disorders, insomnia, allergies, asthma, skin irritations, and maybe the best benefit of all is that it has been known to help young children fall asleep.