Basic reflexology techniques

Updated April 17, 2017

Reflexology is a healing art therapy that eradicates stress, pain and congestion throughout the body by applying pressure and stretching techniques to the hands and feet. Although there are many advanced reflexology techniques, you can derive many health benefits by mastering and implementing a few basic reflexology techniques.

Warm-Up Techniques

Begin your reflexology session with a quick series of warm-up techniques to loosen your feet and ankles and prepare them for more localised reflexology exercises. Start by pressing down over the top of your foot, along the sole and between each toe. Once your feet feel warm and loose, move on to specific basic reflexology exercises such as the slide and press--a front and back, push and pull alternating stretching exercise--and toe and ankle rotations, in which you gently circle your toes and ankles in alternating clockwise and counterclockwise positions. You can now do the same procedures on both hands.

Thumb and Index Finger Walking

Thumb and finger walking are two basic reflexology techniques you should take the time to learn in order to ensure optimal accuracy and precision. These two basic reflexology exercises work the reflexes on the sides, soles and tops of your feet. While wrapping one hand around the foot to steady it, you "walk" along the reflex points of your feet with your other hand by alternately bending and straightening the first joint of either your thumb or index finger. You should use the inside edge of your thumb or index finger, not the tip or the ball of the finger. You'll know that you mastered the thumb and finger walk when you don't experience a notable strain or feel your fingernails as you work.

Reflex Rotation

You can use reflex rotations to work out painful or tender spots that you come across on your hands and feet during reflexology sessions. Use your thumb to push down gently on the tender or painful reflex as you use your other hand to roll your foot or hand clockwise and counterclockwise around your thumb position. Reflex rotations improve blood circulation, help transport nutrients to tissues and aid in the removal of waste products.

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