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Reflexology Massage Techniques

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Slide and Press

Place both thumbs on the heel and slide each thumb from the center of the sole to the edge of the foot.

Alternate the thumbs by using the right and then the left as you work up the foot towards the toes.

Loosening the foot with a back-forth movement

To accomplish this, first place the palms of the hands on either side of the foot with the fingers on the top of the foot. Ensure to keep the hands relaxed.

Gently push the foot forward with your left hand and pull the foot back with your right hand. Continue with this movement, alternating between pushing and pulling the foot back and forth.

Keep the hands relaxed but firm, and in contact with the foot. Repeat about five times until you feel that the foot is relaxed. Then repeat the process on the other foot. This movement helps to release tension.

Toe Rotation

In this movement we have the equivalent effect of rotating the neck, and this accordingly helps to loosen up the neck area. Nervous tension is located in the neck area and correspondingly the two big toes may be very stiff.


Holding the Big Toe


Holding, Rotating other Toes

Basic Thumb Technique

In reflexology you use your thumbs mainly to work the reflexes on the soles, and sometimes the sides, of the feet. Working with the first joint of your thumb, you “walk” forward along the reflex by successively bending and unbending the joint a little way. It is the inside or medial edge of the thumb that makes contact with the foot, not the tip or the ball (the part that touches the table if you put your hand down flat).

When the thumb is at the correct angle, the joint is not bent too far, allowing greater accuracy and smoothness of technique, as shown. Bending the joint over too far (below) not only strains it but also means that the person you are working on may feel your nail. The fingers of the “working” hand wrap around the top of the foot to provide leverage.

Index Finger Technique

The index finger comes into play when you are working on the top and side of the foot. Once again, you make contact with the inside or medial edge of the finger, bending the first joint slightly to “walk” or creep forward. This time, the thumb gives leverage from the other side of the foot and pushes the metatarsal head forward, to make working the top of the foot easier.

Practice the movement until you can execute it smoothly, keeping your pressure steady. Try “walking” over a painful reflex in one direction with your left index finger, then come back over it with your right.

As with the thumb, when you use your index finger correctly the joint is only slightly bent and the inside edge of the finger works the reflex, as shown . If you flex the finger too steeply and use the fingertip, as below, much of your contact with the skin is lost and you risk digging your nail into the person receiving treatment.

Hooking

Support the foot well in your “holding” hand and place the thumb of your “working” hand on a reflex area. Now hook the thumb in and back up sharply, to one side (in this instance, towards the outside).

This technique is useful for homing in on a particularly small reflex and for working on parts of the foot where the skin is tough, such as the heel. Like a bee inserting a sting, you push your thumb into the reflex, then pull it back. The leverage of the fingers is crucial here, as the technique demands great precision.

Reflex Rotation

Specifically designed to help “work out” a painful reflex, this technique is used on the reflexes to the upper abdominal area of both feet (i.e. between the Waist Line and Diaphragm Line). You should apply it if you come across a particularly tender area, keeping your thumb in position while you rotate the foot around it, as shown.

After a few minutes of reflex rotation, you will find that the pain has diminished considerably. Go gently, being careful to avoid digging your thumbnail in.

Press your “working” thumb gently onto the reflex. Now use the “holding” hand to rotate the upper foot around the thumb, clockwise then anti-clockwise.

The precise reactions which take place when the foot is massaged are not fully understood, although it is accepted that the treatment has a very positive effect on the nervous system and on blood circulation. The improvement to the blood circulation therefore has a beneficial effect on the vital transportation of nutrients to the tissues, and the removal from those tissues of waste products.

If you would like to learn Reflexology, Color Therapy, Crystal Therapy or Aromatherapy at your own pace in your own home, please visit the Alternative Healing Academy. We offer a wide range of comprehensive holistic health courses at affordable prices. The Alternative Healing Academy even offers payment plans!

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4 Responses to Reflexology Massage Techniques

  1. Wendy Owen September 21, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    Love your article! One of my favorite treats is having an a reflexology massage. Unfortunately is hard to massage yourself using this technique.

  2. alex September 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Thank you for this article! Could you recommend a good book on the subject? I’m very interested in learning more.

    • Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT September 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

      My 3 favorite Reflexology books are by Mildred Carter – Body Reflexology, Hand Reflexology and Foot Reflexology. She is one of the greats of this field and if you’re interested in this healing modality, she is the one to begin with. :)

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  1. Reflexology Massage Techniques | Natural Health... - February 16, 2014

    […] Slide and Press Place both thumbs on the heel and slide each thumb from the center of the sole to the edge of the foot. Alternate the thumbs by using the right and then the left as you work up the foot towards the toes. Loosening the foot with a back-forth movement To accomplish this, first… http://www.natural-holistic-health.com/reflexology-massage-techniques/  […]

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