Reflexology for Anxiety

Reflexology for Anxiety

Reflexology for Anxiety – Anxiety is all too common nowadays and a wide variety of treatment methods exist, some of which rely upon conventional medicine, while others take a more holistic route. 

Anxiety might appear in the following ways:

  • Lingering feels of panic, fear, worry
  • Restlessness
  • Consistent difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Notable fatigue
  • Abnormal (newly occurring) irritability or moodiness

When anxiety makes an impact on your daily life, relationships, or other areas of health, you might be seeking a change. If you are already receiving treatment in a conventional manner, or wish to explore other complementary methods, reflexology can offer a simple practice with healing offered to your physical, emotional, and mental layers of self.

Reflexology, a complementary therapy similar to a foot massage, offers immense healing benefits for a wide variety of symptoms, illnesses, and ailments. Anxiety seems to benefit immensely from the method as it takes emotional and mental wellbeing into consideration, as well. 

Rather than remaining a merely physical practice, similar to the methods of general massage or a ‘full-body massage’ from a spa, reflexology relies upon Chinese medicine to account for emotional and energetic shifts.

A reflexologist takes a client’s entire wellbeing and present state into consideration prior to treating them. Once they know how a client has been sleeping, eating, thinking, and physically feeling, they will consider the meridian lines, the reflex points on the feet, hands, and ears, and the corresponding organs and areas of the body. 

From there, they will use their hands to apply gentle pressure, some pulling, or tracing on specific areas of the feet, hands, or ears to elicit a response from the corresponding area.

The Main Points

In order to treat anxiety, a reflexologist might consider the following pressure points:

The inner frontier gate point

Located on: Your wrist, about two to three finger-widths below the base of your palm.

Benefits might include relief of anxiety, lessening of nausea, lessening of painful sensations

The union valley point

Located on: Your hand, in the space between your thumb and index finger where skin is rather thin.

Benefits might include reduction of stress, soothing of headaches, lessening of neck pain

This point might induce labor, so actively avoid if you are pregnant.

The great surge point

Located on: Your foot, about two to three finger-widths below the space between your big toe and your second toe, in the hollow space above the bone.

Benefits might include: Reduction of anxiety, lessening of stress, lessening of painful sensations, balancing insomnia, easing menstrual cramps.

The hall of impression point

Located on: Your face, in the space between your eyebrows.

Benefits might include: Lessening of anxiety and stress.

The heavenly gate point

Located on: Your ear, in the upper shell, at the very tip of the hollow before the cartilage.

Benefits might include: Relief from anxiety, stress, balancing of insomnia

The shoulder well point

Located on: Your shoulder muscles when pinched with your middle finger and thumb.

Benefits might include: Relief from stress, easing muscle tension, dissipating headaches

These points might also induce labor, so actively avoid if you are pregnant.

Scientific Support

A 2000 study, from East Carolina University, showed that a thirty-minute reflexology treatment on patients undergoing treatment for breast or lung cancer offered positive results. Those receiving the treatment shared that they had lower anxiety levels in comparison to those who did not receive reflexology (Stephenson NL, et al., The effects of foot reflexology on anxiety and pain in patients with breast and lung cancer)

Another study, from 2014, had patients undergoing heart surgery receive twenty-minute reflexology treatments. Over the course of four days, they received reflexology one per day. 

In comparison to those who did not receive reflexology, they seemed to have a more relaxed demeanour and were less likely to report symptoms related to anxiety (Masoumeh Bagheri-Nesami, et al., The effects of foot reflexology massage on anxiety and patients following coronary artery bypass graft surgery: A randomized controlled trial). 

Overall, the researchers involved concluded that the foot reflexology massage is a reliable and beneficial complementary therapy in the treatment and relief of anxiety.

Jayne Bennett

Aromatherapist, Alternative Health Practitioner

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