Reflexology hints

Reflexology is based on the idea that there are reflex areas in the feet, hands and ears that correspond to all organs, glands and other parts of the body.

Reflexology, also called zone therapy, is based on the idea that there are reflex areas in the feet, hands and ears that correspond to all organs, glands and other parts of the body, and that by massaging, squeezing or pressing on specific points within these areas, therapeutic effects can occur throughout the body.

In 1915, Dr. William H. FitzGerald, an ear, nose and throat doctor, introduced the concept of zone therapy. In the 1930s, Eunice Ingram, a physiotherapist, further developed this theory into what is now known as reflexology — an ancient art and science that can positively and naturally bring balance to the body.

Following are some reflexology tips you can use on yourself.

Sleep tight — For a more restful sleep, apply pressure to both big toes. The point on the outside of your big toe, just below the tip, corresponds with the pineal gland, which regulates the sleep hormone melatonin. Rubbing the rest of the big toe releases soothing endorphins, helping you relax.

Ease PMS — If you’re plagued by cramps, pinch either side of one foot in the groove under and slightly behind the ankle bone. With your other hand, press the center of the big toe on the same foot. This calms the ovaries and uterus, as well as the hypothalamus gland, which helps regulate hormones.

Nix sniffles — Have sinus trouble? Prone to headaches? Try walking your fingers up and down the bottom pad of each toe on both feet slowly and firmly. Applying pressure to these spots will help clear up nasal congestion and, at the same time, relieve painful headaches that can result from stuffiness.

Perk up — Get energy whenever you need it by applying pressure with your thumb just under the ball of your foot above the arch. This spot corresponds with your adrenal gland, which is in charge of releasing adrenaline, your natural pep booster.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 2, Apr/May 2009.

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