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    D.I.Y. Reflexology

    Reflexology is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as "a system of massage used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands and head linked to every part of the body." I was curious if we could get access to some at-home reflexology know-how for treating loved ones or even ourselves. Chantel C. Lucier, from NYC's beloved Angel Feet shares some of her vast knowledge on the subject below.

    Love,
    gp

    Chantel’s tips for curative foot care at home

    There are a few reflexology points I find particularly effective for myself and in my reflexology practice. While my partner is not a reflexologist, if I am experiencing a headache, intense menstrual cramps or having a tummy ache there is nothing more relaxing then getting my feet rubbed.

    Stress is linked to so many ailments, what better than a reflexology session (especially at home!) to calm the nervous system and send the message to the body to relax?! Reflexology has been found to be helpful in the reduction of tension and stress, promoting balance, improving circulation and can assist in one's own healing process. In my practice, I often teach my clients the reflexology points where they're experiencing tension so they can continue to nurture themselves at home using reflexology.

    Important note: Certified reflexologists don't massage or rub the feet; we have specific thumb and finger walking techniques that are the most effective when reflexing a point, but this is not to say that a little home care by a loved one is ineffectual. In fact, I really believe that reflexology is very effectual as a complimentary modality and excellent for self-care.

    Headaches

    • Big toes, little toes, inside and belly of the foot. The big toes are where the head, brain, pituitary/pineal glands, & upper cervical spine (neck) reflexes are located. The tips of all the little toes too coincide with the head, brain and sinus reflexes (give more attention to these toes if you have a sinus headache).
    • The spinal reflex resides along the inside or medial aspect of each foot, also very effective since the spine is where the nervous system is housed.
    • Dehydration is a common cause of headaches too, sometimes hunger and/or a digestive issue might be a cause for a headache as well. In this case, the digestive system reflexes are located on the bottom or plantar aspect of the foot and can be reflexed accordingly.
    • Since it is sometimes difficult to isolate where a headache might be emanating from, there is no harm in giving attention to all these areas. If you want to be really precise, refer to a reflexology map (see below)!

    Menstrual Cramps

    I have always had very painful menstrual cramps. It was through receiving reflexology regularly that I discovered my menstrual discomfort was given relief and the associated back and joint pain decreased substantially. The areas that are most effective are the reflexes to the reproductive and endocrine systems.

    • Give attention to the sides of the heel (medial and lateral aspect of each foot); this is where the ovary and uterus reflexes can be found.
    • The endocrine system consists of the pituitary gland, the thyroid and parathyroid glands, adrenal gland, pancreas, and ovaries. Refer to a reflexology map to better pinpoint where to reflex!

    Tummy Ache

    The area that corresponds to the digestive system reflexes is located on the bottom plantar aspect of each foot. Many of the reflexes to the integral organs that contribute and play key roles in the digestive process are all located here.

    • This is a delicious area to give attention to in general as the arch of the foot can really use the care after a day in shoes pounding concrete as well. I refer to this area as the belly of the foot as it's the softer portion of the plantar aspect (between the ball and heel) of each foot.
    • Again, refer to a map (below) for more precise reflexology points and where each organ reflex is located.

    Reflexology Maps

    If you are without a friend or partner, reflexes to every part of the body can be found in your hands too!! I often give myself mini reflexology sessions on the train to and from work. Here’s a link to a great map for the hands.

    Maps courtesy of Angel Feet LLC

    1. Brain
    2. Sinuses/Outer Ear
    3. Sinuses/Inner Ear/Eye
    4. Temple
    5. Pineal/Hypothalamus
    6. Pituitary
    7. Side of Neck
    8. Cervical Spine
    9. Shoulder/Arm
    10. Neck/Helper to Eye, Inner Ear, Eustachian Tube
    11. Neck/Thyroid/Parathyroid/Tonsils
    12. Bronchial/Thyroid Helper
    13. Chest/Lung
    14. Heart
    15. Esophagus
    16. Thoracic Spine
    17. Diaphragm
    18. Solar Plexus
    19. Liver
    20. Gallbladder
    21. Stomach
    22. Spleen
    23. Adrenals
    24. Pancreas
    25. Kidneys
    26. Waist Line
    27. Ureter Tube
    28. Bladder
    29. Duodenum
    30. Small Intestine
    31. Appendix
    32. Ileocecal Valve
    33. Ascending Colon
    34. Hepatic Flexure
    35. Transverse Colon
    36. Splenic Flexure
    37. Descending Colon
    38. Sigmoid Colon
    39. Lumbar Spine
    40. Sacral Spine
    41. Coccyx
    42. Sciatic Nerve
    43. Upper Jaw/Teeth/Gums
    44. Lower Jaw/Teeth/Gums
    45. Neck/Throat/Tonsils/Thyroid/Parathyroid
    46. Vocal Cords
    47. Inner Ear
    48. Lymph/Breast/Chest
    49. Chest/Breast/Mammary Glands
    50. Mid-Back
    51. Fallopian Tube/Vas Deferens/Seminal Vesicle
    52. Lymph/Groin
    53. Nose
    54. Thymus
    55. Penis/Vagina
    56. Uterus/Prostate
    57. Chronic Area-Reproductive/Rectum
    58. Leg/Knee/Hip/Lower Back Helper
    59. Hip/Sciatic
    60. Ovary/Testes

    Chantel C. Lucier is an ARCB Certified Reflexologist and the Manager of Angel Feet, LLC in New York, one of my relaxation mainstays when lived in New York.

    The goop collection

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