We live in a world where most of us are frequently stressed, and the majority of us spend most of our time on our feet, from walking to work to racing around trying to get ready in the mornings. There are many different solutions for both problems, but what if you could find a treatment that reached out to both your woes?
Reflexology is a great way to relax and unwind, without the need for any specific supplements or medication, and it’ll get you off your feet for a while. Here’s how to relax in just 30 minutes with reflexology.
What is reflexology?
To begin with, it’s worth knowing what reflexology is as a process itself, as it’s an alternative therapy that many people aren’t aware of (but definitely should be!). Similar to a massage, it involves the application of pressure to certain areas of the feet, hands and even the ears to relax the patient and relieve pressure in the body.
It’s believed to have been practiced for thousands of years, with techniques being passed through word of mouth during its initial practice. It’s thought to have been first inscribed onto the tombs of Egyptians some four thousand years ago, as well as recorded on the feet of statues of Buddha in India and China.
During a session of reflexology, certain thumb and finger techniques are used to apply varying pressure to different areas of the feet, and sometimes the hands or ears are also involved in the process, too. As a result, it’s believed to relax the patient and alleviate stress, as well as benefitting corresponding organs (which we’ll talk about later).
How does reflexology work?
It seems a little crazy that, just by applying pressure to certain parts of the feet and hands, you have the ability to cure aches, pains, and tension in other areas of your body. Being such a brilliant method, which has stood the test of time, it’s worth knowing how it works.
Throughout your body, there are certain areas known as pressure points which are believed to correspond to different organs and areas of the body. For example, a certain point on the inside of the ear known as the Daith is an area of cartilage which is linked to migraines. Many people who suffer with migraines have piercing on their Daith, with an earring going through the cartilage, and it has been scientifically proven to reduce and prevent migraines.
The Daith isn’t the only pressure point of the body, as they’re scattered all throughout. However, one particular area abundant in pressure points to target stubborn concerns is the feet, along with the hands and the ears.
The theory behind reflexology is that, when certain areas are massaged and have pressure applied to them, it stimulates the nervous system, with a message being sent from the peripheral nerves in the area targeted, sent to the target organ.
How to relax in just 30 minutes with reflexology
Now that you’ve learnt about some of the scientific theories behind reflexology, it’s time to take a look at how it can benefit you in as little as half an hour. Any massage can calm you and soothe your soul, alleviating stress, but reflexology is a specific type of massage which can prove to be even more effective. Not to mention, one thing which sets it apart from other massages is that is doesn’t use oil and takes place on dry feet.
The first step to relaxing with reflexology is preparation. The first thing you should do is find someone to perform the massage for you. This could mean that you book a professional appointment, or perhaps a friend can help you. If you’re planning on performing the massage with a friend or someone with little experience, pull up on of the many reflexology charts available online to visualise where the different pressure points are, and how to stimulate them.
You may even like to have a quick stretch and warm up your feet before you begin. This will get your joints nice and open and improve the circulation in your feet in preparation for your session.
Next, find the ideal, calming space to relax during the session. This could be your bed or a sofa, where it’s comfortable for you to sit and the surroundings are peaceful. This could also mean that you turn on some relaxing spa therapy music, or even play your own playlist of your favourite songs.
Next up, it’s time for the session to begin. Because the process doesn’t rely on the use of any oils or lubricating products, you can get straight into it. Just remember to remain gentle and apply a comfortable amount of pressure. If you’re performing the reflexology for a friend, be sure to communicate with them to ensure everything is comfortable for them.
Take deep breaths during the process and allow your mind and body to relax, discovering what works for you and feels relaxing. If you’re really interested in finding more details about the best techniques to use, check out some informative video on YouTube and other platforms for a visual representation.