What are the benefits of foot reflexology

Reflexology: Effect & Instructions

Reflexology is a special type of reflexology in which you stimulate certain areas - the reflex points - on the soles of your feet with your hands. It was developed by the doctor William Fitzgerald at the beginning of the 20th century. He divided the entire body into ten symmetrically arranged areas. These areas also run through the feet and contain the reflex points.

The foot reflexology massage is based on the assumption that all parts of the body are connected to one another and are reflected as an overall picture in the foot. By massaging these reflex points you can alleviate various ailments.

For example, a foot reflexology massage can help with problems falling asleep and staying asleep, relieve digestive disorders and reduce mental stress. In a study by the Jena University Hospital, the effectiveness in knee osteoarthritis was also proven. We have summarized the effects of foot reflexology for you.

Reflexology: reflex points and their effects

You can have a foot reflex zone massage done by a trained physiotherapist, doctor, masseur or alternative practitioner. Treatment should be done once a week. Depending on the discomfort, you will also massage certain areas more often.

The foot reflex zone massages have a supportive effect on:

  • Pain treatment for menstrual cramps, for example

  • Skeletal or muscular disorders

  • Indigestion

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Allergies

  • Mental stress, which manifests itself in sleep disorders, stress, exhaustion and depression.

The reflex points on the feet

The reflex points are specific areas on the feet. The nerve endpoints of certain organs and muscles should be reflected in each of these areas. The individual reflex points are therefore assigned to certain organs and tissues: the brain is connected, for example, to a point on the big toe, an area in the ball of the foot with the heart.

The individual reflex points are roughly the size of a bean. If a certain organ is diseased, the tissue at the corresponding reflex point often also changes. Not only is the sensation of pain increased at this problem area, the connective tissue can also feel spongy or you can feel deposits like small grains of sand under the skin. Small nodules can also form.

With targeted pressure massages on these areas of the foot, those affected treat physical and emotional complaints throughout the body.

This is how the foot reflex zone massage works on the body

Massage of the toes affects the brain, eyes, ears, nose and teeth, among other things. The reflex points for the bronchi, stomach or kidneys are located on the metatarsus. The heel is in communication with the intestines and the genital organs. The inside of the foot and heel correspond to the areas in the middle of the body, i.e. the spine and bladder.

The right half of the body is also assigned to the right foot, the left to the left. Exception: nerve pain. Because the right half of the brain is responsible for the left side of the body and vice versa, the opposite reflex zones must be treated.

This is how the foot reflex zone massage affects the psyche

The feet connect people to the earth, they are the foundation on which the body rests. They show whether a person has a stable footing, is in balance and stands firmly in life. The reflex points on the feet also provide information about the mental state: If, for example, the big toe is sensitive to pain, grief or suppression may be the reason. The left little toe, on the other hand, is sensitive to pressure when someone is persistently pessimistic.

Possible side effects: This is how your body reacts

Side effects of a foot reflexology massage are rare, but do occur every now and then. In a few cases, the foot reflex zone massage initially worsens the symptoms. This shows that the body is responding to the treatment. After that, however, the symptoms should subside.

During the treatment, some patients also sweat more, after which a runny nose or muscle tremors are possible side effects. These are reactions of the autonomic nervous system that occur only temporarily and last at most a few days.

In these cases, you should not use the foot reflexology without medical advice:

  • Pregnancy - certain zones can trigger premature labor.

  • Injuries and inflammations such as fractures or wounds

  • Fungal attack

  • Diabetic foot

  • Diseases such as rheumatism or Sudeck's disease, a disease that is accompanied by severe pain

  • Psychoses

  • Infections with fever

  • Arthrosis on the foot

Reflexology Instructions: How to do the treatment yourself

You use the foot reflex zone massage in addition to conventional medicine. However, it must not replace traditional treatment.

Before starting reflexology, alternately stroke your entire foot with both thumbs. One hand should always be in contact with the foot, the thumbs alternately stroking the skin one after the other. The deletion is particularly recommended if you feel hardened tissue. It stimulates the blood circulation, the foot relaxes. If it feels pleasantly warm, you can start the treatment. If your feet are naturally cold, a foot bath can help warm them up.

  • Make yourself comfortable on the sofa or in your favorite armchair. Reflexology is best for relaxing you when you are in a cozy atmosphere. You can also play calm music in the background.

  • If you have a specific problem, for example, suffer from a tense neck or headache, then look for the relevant point from our diagram and treat it directly.

  • You have no complaints? You may still notice a tense area, an unevenness or a small knot while you are stroking your foot. These are an indication that there is a blockage in your body. With the massage of the point you solve this.

  • Stimulating impulses: To protect your thumb joints, swing your arm out of your shoulder and set the impulses with your thumb. Your thumb acts like a trampoline jumper when you just want to apply pressure for a short time.

  • Soothing impulses: Press the reflex point with the tip of your thumb for about five to 20 seconds, as is comfortable for you. Start with gentle pressure, being careful not to dig your fingernail into the skin. Imagine slowly depressing an accelerator pedal, stepping it up, and then gently releasing it.

  • Release the pressure slowly.

  • If a reflex point hurts during the massage, reduce the pressure, but hold it longer until the pain subsides. Another option: First massage the area around the pain point and slowly feel your way.

  • Repeat the treatment of the individual points several times with short pauses in between until the area no longer feels uncomfortable. Overall, the massage takes a period of 30 to 40 minutes.

  • The rule is: A gentle, targeted touch always does more than a strong grip.

  • Finish the massage with gentle strokes of the entire foot and lower legs, first on the right and then on the left foot. Take five minutes to do it. You should then rest for 20 minutes.

Depending on the symptoms, you can vary between different grips and movements. We will introduce you to the most common.

The solar plexus handle

With the solar plexus grip you begin and also complete the foot reflexology massage. The corresponding reflex point is located on the upper third of the sole of the foot. The solar plexus is also known as the solar plexus, it is a nerve plexus between the breastbone and the navel. For example, if you have tightness in the area, it may have an emotional cause.

A massage of the reflex point gives strength and strengthens self-confidence. To do this, linger gently with your thumb for up to five minutes. This grip has a calming effect, relieves stress and helps with exhaustion, sleep disorders or inner restlessness. Important: Do not cross your arms and legs when doing this. This would block the flow of energy. If you tend to suffer from low blood pressure, perform the grip in a toning, i.e. stimulating manner.

The toning grip

Toning grips have a stimulating effect on the organs. These are short, fast movements that are also performed in circles. The pressure increases and decreases again and again, like a trampoline jumper. Keep the direction of your circles once started and do not change. In this way you stimulate the blood circulation in the body and the lymph flow and thereby improve the removal of toxins.

A treatment of the corresponding point for the kidneys should, for example, support the detoxification of the organ. This reflex zone is located roughly in the middle of the sole of the foot.

The sedating grip

Sedating, calming movements are used particularly in pain treatment and have a relaxing effect. In doing so, press the corresponding reflex point constantly. First, the pressure intensifies the pain before it completely subsides. This can be the case after ten seconds, and sometimes it can take up to two minutes. You should use this grip a maximum of two times in a row.

Sedative movements are used, for example, for toothache or migraines. If the pain persists, interrupt the sedating grip and instead activate four to five times with the activating grip. Then reinsert the sedating handle.

Reflexology oils

Combine foot reflexology with aromatherapy and use appropriate body and massage oils. For a relaxing effect, lavender, tangerine, orange or sandalwood are suitable. Citronella and rosemary are stimulating. Comfrey and juniper relieve pain, herbal oils with peppermint or sage help with colds.

This is how you will notice an improvement after the massage

Is your treatment also successful? You will notice this primarily when the symptoms become less and even disappear completely. First of all, there is an improvement in the fact that the area on the foot is less painful and better supplied with blood. The tissue is relaxed, you no longer feel any hardening or changes under the skin. In addition, you feel relaxed yourself, do not sweat or shiver.

Author & source information