Take a look at this hand reflexology map—every part of your body is literally in the palm of your hand. Skeptics will argue there is no scientific evidence of reflexology being used to effectively treat medical conditions, but before you write off this alternative medicine as snake oil, consider this—chronic pain affects over 100 million people in the United States. Although Western medicine is effective in curing pain associated with injuries, it falls short when it comes to chronic pain.
Medication is often prescribed for chronic pain, but if often only treats the symptoms—not the cause. Additionally, pain pills can be addictive and have a long list of side effects.
“If there is free flow, there is no pain; If there is no free flow, there is pain.”
This wise Chinese proverb means as long as qi (pronounced chee) and blood flow freely without obstruction, there is no pain in the body. On the other hand, if there is obstruction, there will be pain. Pain is feedback for damage and inflammation that has not been resolved.
Where should you begin with relieving inflammation? Try palm reflexology. This method is both simple and noninvasive. Read on to learn how to do it.
Here’s how it works. Find the points on the hand corresponding with the pain you are experiencing. Now firmly press the tip of your thumb on the appropriate area of your hand for approximately five seconds. Release for three seconds, and press again. Better yet, share your newfound knowledge with a friend or your partner to help them experience pain relief. Maybe they’ll return the favor!
This simple and relaxing exercise can be practiced for several minutes at a time, two to three times per day. Advocates report pain relief, improved circulation, improved range of motion and headache relief.
Want more? Check out these advanced techniques developed by reflexologists to relieve common ailments.
This technique was developed by leading reflexologists Barbara and Kevin Kunz to support digestion.You can use either a small massage ball or a golf ball. Begin by interlocking the fingers and rolling the ball around the lower area of the palms.
This simple exercise will help improve reflexes of both the small and large intestines. You may even notice the area feels a little crunchy or bumpy. All it takes is one minute per day for two weeks and then as needed to see a change.
2. Cure Insomnia with the Pituitary Gland Reflex
Few things are worse than lying awake at night and not being able to sleep. The pituitary gland controls the entire endocrine system, so proper function is necessary to achieve shut-eye. To relieve insomnia, first find the middle of the whorl of your thumbprint.
Next, take the side of the nail of your other thumb and press it into the center of the thumbprint and hold for 45 seconds. Repeat on the other side. You can even use this trick if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep.
3. Combat Low Libido with the Ovaries and Uterus Reflexes
British reflexologist Lynne Booth created a technique known as the wrist twist to help revive your low libido. Grasp your wrist with your thumb and forefinger forming a circle, and twist with the opposite hand approximately 20 times. Then do the opposite wrist. This simple move also works for men—targeting the prostate and testes.
If you’re still reading, it’s safe to say you haven’t shrugged off reflexology as a pseudoscience just yet. Give these simple moves a try next time you’re watching TV or need a break from your hectic day. They are all a surefire way to interrupt stress and feel more energized.