In recent years reflexology has been gaining more and more popularity. This form of alternative medicine includes application of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands and normally provides immediate pain relief.
Acupressure & Reflexology
Both acupressure and acupuncture are based on the same principle, the only difference being that the first uses finger pressure, while the second uses needles to relieve pain.
The theory behind reflexology is to apply therapeutic pressure massage on specific areas of your hands and feet in order to stimulate increased flow of energy, instant pain relief and good overall health. These specific points on your hands and feet are called reflexes and they are linked to certain organs and systems in the body. Pain usually results from obstruction of energy in the body and removing these blockages and ensuring functional flow of energy is crucial for overall health.
Read on to find out how to address different types of pain using acupressure.
Migraines and Headaches
If you are dealing with headaches or migraines, apply pressure on the webbing between thumb and index finger.
Sinus Pressure and Pain
To relieve sinus pressure and pain, use your thumb and index finger to apply pressure close to the cuticle of your index finger. Hold like this for 1-3 minutes pressing firmly. Follow with a light massage on this area. Repeat the method for each finger.
Tension and Pain in the Neck
Massage your index finger starting from the top knuckle and move toward the base of the finger. Repeat the process for each finger on both hands.
Massage the thumb to the point of warming it. The stomach and spleen meridians will respond to this. Also, you can directly apply pressure in the center of your palm.
Cold or Sore Throat
As with an upset stomach, massage the thumb until you warm it. Alternatively, apply pressure on the web of your hand for a few seconds. Also, press with your thumb and index finger on both sides of the nail on your thumb.
Use gentle pressure to massage the whole hand. Follow by applying pressure directly on your middle finger just below your nail.
Menstrual Cramps or Abdominal Pain
Start by massaging the whole hand gently then press the point on your index finger just your nail on the side closest to your thumb. Also, apply pressure on the side of your small finger just away from the nail toward the outside.
The first thing you do when using acupressure is massage your hands together for about 60 seconds to increase the energy flow in your hands. This will also improve your hand sensitivity. Follow with a gentle massage using your fingers and thumb of your opposite hand to warm up the skin.
What you do next is apply firm pressure on the affected area using your opposite thumb and fingers. You hold like this for 1-5 minutes then repeat the procedure 1-5 times, depending on how many reps you need to relieve the pain. You can also do the treatments every day to prevent the occurrence of this specific issue.
If the area on your hand is more sensitive, hold for 3-5 seconds. Maintain the pressure while slowly massaging in small clockwise circles up to five times. Follow by a short break. It’s important to massage the tissue, not just rub the skin. Press again firmly holding for about a minute. Take a break then repeat up to five times.
Another important thing strongly recommended by massage therapists is maintaining proper hydration. Getting enough liquids is vital for optimal tissue health as well as better circulation. It also supports effective toxin elimination from the blood following a massage.
Pregnant women should be particularly careful when using acupressure. In fact, they should avoid deep pressure on the web of the hand as this can trigger uterine contractions. During pregnancy, supervision by a professional MT is a must.