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Treating Headaches with Reflexology

Reflexology has been used for many years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to relieve pain and induce relaxation. Specific areas of the foot and the hand are said to correspond to specific parts of the body. By massaging or putting pressure on these areas of the hand and foot, a person may bring pain relief to the corresponding part of the body. The massage stimulates nerve endings and releases an energy blockage. While reflexology can bring relief for a time, it is not a cure. On the corresponding area of the hand or foot that is giving discomfort, explore the area feeling for a tender spot. This is where you need to massage.

Ease of using hand reflexology

When it comes to seeking relief from a headache, massaging the hand over the foot is definitely easier, as it can be done inconspicuously at any time. There is also more area to work with than the foot. A spot often used to relieve headaches is the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and the index finger. Locate the tender spot and massage it, take a few deep breathes and release the spot when you feel relief. Another single spot to massage is the top of the thumb, as it corresponds to the brain.

The cause is your target

If a headache is caused by sinus or allergy problems, you can find relief by rubbing the top joint of all fingers. Massaging the sides and base of the fingers is an alternate way to relieve headaches. This action helps by relaxing the muscles of the neck and shoulders. The outer edge of the hand on thumb side can be kneaded in a motion called ‘walking fingers’. Each time you apply pressure to an area, you move the finger down slightly. This action on the outer edge of the hand works the spine.

Foot reflexology

Now let us move to the foot. The tops of the toes as well as the sides, work on the brain and sinuses. The inner side of the foot, running from the big toe to the heel, works with the spine. Again, feel for that tender spot and that is your target. It may take more than one treatment, especially if you have reoccurring headaches. If done on a regular basis a definite improvement will be felt.

Scientific study on reflexology

A study in Denmark, by the Royal School of Pharmacy, carried out a nationwide reflexology study with 220 patients and 78 reflexologists (Brendstrup E, Launso L, Eriksen L, Reflexions, March 1996, 10). The participants were suffering moderate to severe headache symptoms. Ninety percent of the research group was taking prescribed medications for relief, 36 of whom had side-effects from the medications. It was revealed that after 3 months of ongoing reflexology treatments, 81 percent of the participants confirmed that reflexology had cured or helped their symptoms. Of that group, 20 percent were able to stop taking the prescription medications.