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How to Give a Reflexology Massage

At the end of a week as busy as the one I’ve just had, I sometimes find myself tense and have a hard time winding down at the end of the day. Of course, it would be nice to go visit my favorite massage therapist every day, but, as I’m sure you can relate to, that doesn’t always fit into a busy schedule! I’ve found that even a 5-minute break to treat myself to a short hand reflexology massage during the day is a great treat.

Thankfully, it’s easy to learn hand reflexology techniques for a massage you can easily do yourself. If some moments you spend a lot of time on the computer like I do, it feels amazing after all that typing!

Below, learn how to relieve tension and take a mental break from your day-to-day activities:

  1. How to Give a Reflexology MassageStart by adding a few drops of your favorite hand lotion to soften your hands and make massaging them easier.
  2. Rub the heels of your hand with your thumb in gentle circular motions.
  3. Use your thumb and forefinger on the opposite had to massage up and down along the muscle where you thumb meets the rest of your hand. This area does a lot of hard stretching on the keyboard and mouse, so give it a break now and feel it relax.
  4. Using the same technique as you used on the heel, rub the palm of your hand at the base of all your fingers.
  5. On the back of your hand, use an upward circular stroke and massage from the base of your hand to the bottom of the finger joints.
  6. Using a very gentle hand, pull on each finger. This stretches the muscle and relives joint pain.
  7. Clasp your fingers at the knuckles and pull, focusing your attention on the muscles in your palm, rather than in your fingers.
  8. Turn over your wrist as if you were taking your pulse. With your hand around your wrist, move all your digits in a soft circular motion.
  9. Repeat all motions if desired.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

What is reflexology?

Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. People who practice this technique are called reflexologists.

Reflexologists believe that applying pressure to these parts offers a range of health benefits.

Read on to learn more about how reflexology works and whether it’s worth a try.

There are a few different theories about how reflexology works.

In traditional Chinese medicine

Reflexology rests on the ancient Chinese belief in qi (pronounced “chee”), or “vital energy.” According to this belief, qi flows through each person. When a person feels stressed, their body blocks qi.

This can cause an imbalance in the body that leads to illness. Reflexology aims to keep qi flowing through the body, keeping it balanced and disease free.

In Chinese medicine, different body parts correspond with different pressure points on the body. Reflexologists use maps of these points in the feet, hands, and ears to determine where they should apply pressure.

They believe their touch sends energy flowing through a person’s body until it reaches the area in need of healing.

Other theories

In the 1890s, British scientists found that nerves connect the skin and internal organs. They also found that the body’s entire nervous system tends to adjust to outside factors, including touch.

A reflexologist’s touch may help to calm the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and other benefits just like any form of massage.

Others believe that the brain creates pain as a subjective experience. Sometimes, the brain reacts to physical pain. But in other cases, it may create pain in response to emotional or mental distress.

Some believe that reflexology can reduce pain through calming touch, which may help to improve someone’s mood and reduce stress.

Zone theory is another belief that some use to explain how reflexology works. This theory holds that the body contains 10 vertical zones. Each zone contains different body parts and corresponds to specific fingers and toes.

Practitioners of the zone theory believe that touching these fingers and toes allows them to access every body part in a particular zone.

Reflexology is linked to many potential benefits, but only a few of them have been evaluated in scientific studies.

So far, there’s limited evidence that reflexology may help to:

  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • reduce pain
  • lift mood
  • improve general well-being

In addition, people have reported that reflexology helped them:

  • boost their immune system
  • fight cancer
  • get over colds and bacterial infections
  • clear up sinus issues
  • recover from back problems
  • correct hormonal imbalances
  • boost fertility
  • improve digestion
  • ease arthritis pain
  • treat nerve problems and numbness from cancer drugs (peripheral neuropathy)

There aren’t many studies about reflexology. And many experts consider those that do exist to be of low quality. In addition, a 2014 review concluded that reflexology isn’t an effective treatment for any medical condition.

But it may have some value as a complementary therapy to help reduce symptoms and improve someone’s quality of life, much like massage. Since the massaged area is the feet, for some people that will provide even more relief of stress or discomfort.

Here’s a look at what the research says about using reflexology to manage pain and anxiety.

In a 2011 study funded by the National Cancer Institute, experts studied how reflexology treatments affected 240 women with advanced breast cancer. All women were undergoing medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, for their cancer.

The study found that reflexology helped to reduce some of their symptoms, including shortness of breath. The participants also reported an improved quality of life. But it didn’t have any effect on pain.

Experts have also looked at the effects of reflexology on pain in women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In one older study , researchers looked at the effects of ear, hand, and foot reflexology on 35 women who previously reported having of PMS symptoms.

They found that those who received two months of reflexology treatment reported significantly fewer PMS symptoms than the women who did not. However, keep in mind that this study was very small and done decades ago.

Larger, long-term studies are needed to fully understand whether reflexology helps to reduce pain.

Anxiety

In one small study from 2000, researchers looked at the effects of one 30-minute foot reflexology treatment on people being treated for breast or lung cancer. Those who received a reflexology treatment reported lower levels of anxiety than those who received no reflexology treatment.

In a 2014 study that was slightly larger, researchers gave people undergoing heart surgery a 20-minute foot reflexology treatment once a day for four days.

They found that those who received the reflexology treatment reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who didn’t. Touch by another human being is a relaxing, caring, anxiety-reducing action for most people.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

Reflexology is the art of massage and an ancient alternative medicine therapy, came out of China and Egypt. Foot reflexology or foot massage is among the most popular alternative therapies and is practiced in many parts of the world. Reflexology is based on the concept that stimulating specific points on the feet, hands or ears can improve the functioning of corresponding organs, glands and other areas of the body. In this poster, you can see the corresponding areas of the body of each section of the feet:

Reflexology has many health benefits from improving headaches to reducing anxiety. A new large scale study in the Michigan State University shows that foot reflexology is beneficial in reducing symptoms in cancer patients. In this study, the researchers examined the effects of reflexology in women with breast cancer who undergo chemotherapy and indicated that those in the reflexology group experienced significantly less shortness of breath, a common symptom in breast cancer patients.

If you’re interested to learn more on how to practice foot reflexology, watch this video for the instructions.

Anne Brashier, the therapist in the video is a licensed massage therapist with the American Massage Therapy Association.

References:
Mei You, David Victorson, Mohammad Hossein Rahbar, Alla Sikorskii, Gwen Wyatt. Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes: A Reflexology Trial With Patients With Advanced-Stage Breast Cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 2012; 39 (6): 568 DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.568-577

Stephenson NL, Weinrich SP, Tavakoli AS. The effects of foot reflexology on anxiety and pain in patients with breast and lung cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000 Jan-Feb;27(1):67-72. PubMed PMID: 10660924.

Reflexology is an alternative therapeutic treatment based on the idea that areas of the feet, hands, and ears are connected to other areas of the body. According to reflexology, pressure applied to the right reflex points can correct problems with correlating body parts, organs and ones. For instance, a point on the arch of the foot may correspond with liver function. When pressure is applied to the reflex point on the foot, it will improve the liver functioning.

History

Reflexology is an ancient art. The precise date of origination is unknown, but there is evidence that it was a common healing treatment practiced 5,000 years ago in ancient Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Reflexology is coming back in vogue and is the top alternative medical treatment in Denmark, where it is incorporated into employee health programs (see Reference section).

Body Map

Reflexologists use “maps” of the hands and feet to determine which body systems correspond with one another. The extremities are broken down into tiny color-coded sections on the map that make it clear which organs, valves and bones will be affected by applying pressure to certain areas.

There are maps for the feet, hands and the outer ears (see Reference section). For example, in the feet, the left foot corresponds to organs on the left side of the body, while the right side of the foot corresponds to the right side of the body. More specifically, the gallbladder is on the right side of the body, and therefore the reflex point is on the right side of the foot.

Massage

Reflexology is sometimes referred to as a massage, but it is not a massage in the typical sense of the word. Massage involves applying pressure over large sections of the body to target the muscular and circulatory systems. Reflexology, on the other hand, focuses on pointed, specific areas of the feet, hands and ears. It can target not only the main body systems that massage affects but also specific organs, like the liver, bladder and kidneys.

Diagnosis

While a reflexologist can address specific conditions of the body, they cannot and should not attempt to diagnose disease. In fact, Bill Flocco, the Director of the American Academy of Reflexology, says it can be dangerous to use reflexology to diagnose a condition (see Reference section). This is because the reflex points on the body may already be strained or sore, and they, therefore, won’t give a clear read of the body. This breakdown in response can be a result of regular wear rather than an issue with the body system that the point corresponds to.

Benefits

Reflexology has a number of benefits. At its most basic level, it is a soothing experience that is helpful for stress-relief. If the specific reflex points are targeted correctly by a reflexologists, the benefits can be remarkable, including relief from migraines, circulatory and digestive issues, sinus problems and more. In general, any organ of the body with a correlating reflex point can be improved through regular reflexology treatments.

Time Frame

Reflexology massage treatments usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. Treatments can be performed as frequently as necessary, but most people choose to visit a reflexologist every two weeks for optimal health benefits.

Everyone can learn how to do reflexology and read a reflexology chart, it is a universal therapeutic touch therapy, similar to massage.

Below are 11 Reflexology Guidelines every new reflexologist needs to know.

But, if you want to start straight away choose from these links for charts and instructions on;

11 things to know when learning how to do Reflexology

When doing reflexology always do the whole treatment – all of both feet or hands

Try to avoid doing bits and pieces for specific organs or symptoms

This is the same for doing reflexology on the hand, face and ears

Even when doing reflexology with a specific relief in mind it is so important to do the entire area, then, go back over the “Reflexology Helper Areas”

Helper Areas are pointed out through the website to help you target specific areas for mild pain relief

People that are ill have lower pain tolerances and can be very sensitive to touch

All the time when you are learning how to do reflexology, ask frequently if the pressure you are using is ok

And if they have been in bed for more than 24 to 48 hours don’t do reflexology at all

Creams and Oils are only used in reflexology for massage relaxation techniques

They make it too slippery to use techniques properly

Oils are great for doing relaxation exercises on hands at the end of a treatment as a massage, or at the end of a foot reflexology session

Talcum/ baby powder is best for doing reflexology on the feet and hands

Sprinkle all over the feet and hands

  • to absorb body oil (stop your hands from getting slippery)
  • to make it easier to move your fingers and thumbs over the body

It is hard to comfortably thumb walk (reflexology technique) for a complete foot reflexology session without talcum powder or something similar

We recommend a talcum powder with a nice fragrance because it will uplift your mood through the session

When learning how to do reflexology, its best to start on the foot because it provides the quickest results and has the most written about it throughout the world

Ear and face reflexology are great to give to someone that is stressed, that can’t sleep or is generally in need of a bit of love

– it is a brilliant gift idea to give someone an ear or face reflexology session!

You can follow the simple steps on this website, click here for instructions on how to do Reflexology on the Face

Reflexology sessions last about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the hands or feet

It is recommended that for ill people, the elderly or very young, that reflexology sessions go for no longer than 30 minutes

Some people have a physical response to reflexology, during or after a session

Physical responses include burps, coughs, unintentional farts, small unexpected spasms, and can happen anytime during the treatment

Crying, an increase or decrease in energy, feeling extremely tired, flu-like symptoms or exhaustion can occur up to 24 hours following reflexology treatment

(this is even more only likely if the person does not drink enough water or its their first reflexology session)

These reactions are short term and should be accommodated by drinking large amounts of water.

The body reacts like this because it is now working harder to create balance within its systems and to get rid of waste

Plenty of water and the person will be back to normal within 24 hours at the most

While learning how to do reflexology keep an eye out for reactions to reflexology sessions (in yourself and the people you give it to) so you can monitor how they get less and less with every session

It is always recommended that diabetics check their blood sugar before and after a session

Blood sugar levels can severely rise or drop during reflexology

When giving or receiving reflexology make sure both people are sitting or lying down comfortably

The person receiving reflexology should be relaxed and sitting on on a comfortable seat or lying on a soft bed

The person doing reflexology should be comfortable also, because it will come across in the treatment if they are not

For good practice, never do reflexology bending over, or at an awkward angle and make sure there is no pressure on your knees

You can use the relaxation or massage techniques anytime during reflexology

You might use it to break up the treatment, to change between areas you are working on and to keep excited while learning how to do reflexology

There are different techniques for doing reflexology on different parts of the body

  • Thumb walking is great for the feet as the reflexes on the foot are close to the surface
  • The reflexes in the hands are deeper so firm pressure applied with the index finger in a circular motion is more effective
  • Massage techniques are great for relaxation during a session too

If you’d prefer to find a Professional Reflexologist first why not visit our other site Local Reflexologist to find one near you!

Quick links below for

Reflexology does 3 amazing things!

  1. It is relaxing
  2. Promotes harmony & balance in your body & its systems
  3. Slightly increases blood circulation

Be sure to visit Reflexology Caution for full list of who can/ can’t have reflexology

Reflexology cannot cure anything and information on this website is followed at your own risk, for more read the Disclaimer here

We’re passionate about sharing the ancient techniques of Reflexology with every person that wants to learn them and relax, thank you for visiting our site!

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

Ever tried face reflexology?

Facial reflexology is super easy and incredibly relaxing!

Click here to learn the steps and see what each pressure point means!

All Rights Reserved Copyright how-to-do- Reflexology .com 2009

Foot therapy has been around a long time. There are records of foot reflexology being used in China as far back as 4,000 BC, and images depicting the practice in ancient Egyptian tombs.

However, an ear, nose, and throat doctor by the name of William Fitzgerald (1872 – 1942) is the father of modern reflexology. Dr Fitzgerald noticed a link between how massaging different areas of the feet could improve organ functions, and it’s this connection which makes reflexology so effective in providing relief.

How to Give a Reflexology Foot Massage

Your patient will be there for a while, so they will need a comfortable place to lay down.

Create a foot bath with warm water. Add about one-quarter of a cup of Epsom salts and stir until it’s fully dissolved. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate.

Magnesium is a mineral used by the body in hundreds of interactions and is absorbed through the skin. The warm water helps to relax the muscles.

Soak the patient’s feet for about 10 minutes before starting the massage.

How to Relax the Feet

Take the heel of the foot with the palm of your left hand in a gentle grip, while placing your right hand over the top and close to the ankle.

Give both the top and bottom of the foot a gentle squeeze. Uric acid crystals build up in the foot, and the squeezing action improves circulation by breaking up the crystals so they can be flushed out.

Thumb Walking Technique

The thumb walking technique is easy on the hands and can be done for long periods without tiring.

Bend and unbend your thumbs as you walk them up the feet. Apply slight pressure during the bend and release it when straightening the thumb.

Thumb walking allows the massager to stimulate the entire foot for a thorough and relaxing session.

Foot reflexology can be done by anybody when practiced often enough, but professional practitioners are the best at creating long-lasting results. Enjoy the exquisite sensations of reflexology in a relaxing environment at your Palm Beach Gardens, FL professional foot spa, complete with pleasant aromas, soft lighting, and relaxing music.

Main image credit: Healthy Diet Base

What is Hand Reflexology?

Hand reflexology is an ancient healing practice that targets specific areas of your body by applying pressure to points on the hands. It is a quick, simple treatment that can help to alleviate a variety of ailments and issues. It has been known to be effective in bringing about instant relief from pain and tension, although these results may also be cumulative.

Hand Reflexology shares many principles with acupuncture, in that it relies on a belief that our bodies contain channels of energy. Over time, these channels can become blocked, resulting in illness. Hand reflexologists believe that by applying pressure to certain parts of the hands, these energetic channels can be cleared. By removing the blockage you can restore balance and well-being to the whole body.

What are the benefits of a hand massage?

Even though a hand massage may seem simple, it can provide a whole host of health benefits. These may include:

  • Boosting circulation: either following an injury or as a result of a long-term complaint, such as Raynaud’s.
  • Increased flexibility: by improving mobility and easing joint movement, particularly in older people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pain relief: from chronic issues such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. It can also contribute to the alleviation of common everyday difficulties caused by repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel caused by computer use.

This type of treatment may also provide some relief for the following conditions:

  • Headaches
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Stress
  • Sports injuries
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Symptoms of menopause
  • Sinus and breathing problems

How to do hand reflexology at home

How to Give a Reflexology Massage
Credit: Montereybayholistic

If you’re interested in trying Hand Reflexology, the best thing to do is find a qualified reflexologist. They will be able to apply their specialist knowledge to meeting your specific goals. However, if you’re just looking for general relaxation you can try the basics either yourself or with the help of a willing friend!

Here are the 5 steps you can follow at home:

  1. Relax the hand by rubbing your thumb in wide movements over your palm, working out from the centre to the edges. Then, gently rub down in long, straight motions from the knuckles to the wrist. Be careful not to press too hard and hurt yourself!
  2. Wrap your hand round each finger one by one and gently rotate at the joint, as if using a joystick on an arcade machine. You may like to add a small amount of oil or hand cream.
  3. Wake up the hand meridians by pinching the end of each finger. You can see which meridian each point relates to by looking at a reflexology map . Remember that each hand is different!
  4. Starting at the base of each finger, rub in small anti-clockwise circles until you reach the tip.
  5. Apply gentle pressure in small circles all over the palms, pads and backs of the hand, working down to the wrist.
  6. Drink a big glass of water! Increased circulation may result in your body processing expelling waste, toxins and lactic acid faster, so it needs water to help flush everything out.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

Basic Foot Reflexology and how to give a proper foot massage?

Basic Foot Reflexology and how to give a proper foot massage?

A perfect Reflexology Foot Massage is the best healing force which can help alleviate many symptoms like insomnia, headache, chronic fatigue, dizziness and it also helps in treating the hidden cause of many internal diseases such as Kidney disease, Heart disease, Liver disease, High blood pressure, plus virtually any other disease known to man.

Foot massage is also one of the most pleasurable experiences that you can have, if the proper reflexology foot massage technique is used by massage therapist. A proper reflexology therapy is one of the best stress relieving treatments and are a great way to end a full body massage.

Some significant fundamentals of Basic Foot Reflexology to keep in mind in order to give a proper foot massage technique are below:

  1. Make sure that your hands are clean and fingernails are appropriately trimmed before giving any type of massage technique.
  2. Feet are usually ticklish and hence great care must be taken in avoiding light touch or brushing lightly on the feet. Being tickled is not relaxing and this makes the nervous system to go in the alert response. So, always make sure to press or hold the feet firmly.
  3. Feet tend to be very sore in some parts. Make sure to apply pressure in a gentle manner and try to avoid digging directly into the tender point. The key to perfect massage is firm pressure in a gentle manner.
  4. Begin the foot massage by massaging every nook and cranny around the ankles. By loosening of all the ligaments and nerves that run through the ankle, the therapist is preparing the remaining of the foot for the direct pressure; this technique is part of any good Shiatsu or Reflexology Foot Massage.

Basics of Foot Reflexology

How to Give a Reflexology MassageHave a look at massage chart above. The entire human body is represented holographically on the sole of foot. The inside edges of your foot, the most medial or middle aspect, represents the spine. It is because the spine is the middle of the body. That is the reason it is represented by the most middle aspect of feet.

The liver is present on the right side of the chest and abdomen and therefore the area of your feet that treats the liver is the lateral aspect of the right foot.

The spleen is on the left side of the ribs, which is below heart. Therefore it is treated by the outside or the lateral aspect of the left foot.

Head is situated in the toes along with all of the sensory organs. The lower back, urinary bladder sacrum, genitals and lower limbs are positioned towards the heel.

The kidneys are placed in the very centre of the sole of the foot which coincides with the acupuncture point Kidney 1 (Yongquan – ‘Bubbling Spring’).

The anatomical position of Kidney 1 is in between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals, just posterior to the first phalangeal joint.

Massaging at this point is very advantageous for grounding someone’s energy out of their head, for symptoms such as headaches, insomnia or dizziness.

This point is also the major point where Earth Yin energy enters in the body and EMF (electro-magnetic field) radiation Yang energy is discharged back again in to the ground. This point is also very effective for fertility and longevity.

If you are looking for best quality massage supplies than you can visit Gecko Massage Supplies.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage | eHow.com

February 19, 2013

  1. eHow
  2. Healthy Living
  3. Massage & Body Work
  4. Reflexology Massage
  5. How to Give a Reflexology Massage

By an eHow Contributor

Reflexology is not exactly massage, but is similar in that it is used to promote healing in all parts of the body by stimulating specific areas of the body, specifically the hands and feet. Reflexology is purported to relieve stress and to bring the body to a state of homeostasis, or equilibrium. Reflexology is used to help sufferers of conditions like arthritis, insomnia and muscle strain.

Reflexology chart citing the different parts of the body and their corresponding foot or hand reflex zones

Computer with Internet access

Instructions

    • 1

Get a reflexology chart. Reflexology charts can be found online and in books on reflexology (see Resources below). You can also purchase books specifically on giving reflexology treatment to others.

Visit the Reflexology Association of America Web site and look at their nationwide events calendar (see Resources below). Get some hands-on experience while being guided by well-informed instructors.

Call your local reflexology association or local reflexology practitioner. They may have their own courses and seminars that are not listed online. You can find a listing of associations and reflexologists on the Reflexology Association of America Web site.

Target the areas of the body you would like to treat with a reflexology massage.

Use the reflexology chart to find the areas of the hands and feet that correspond to the target body parts. Mark the hands and feet with a marker or pen that is safe for skin. You can also order reflexology socks, which are socks with the reflexology chart printed on the sole.

Apply firm and constant pressure to the reflex zones for at least 20 seconds at a time. One should be able to feel the pressure throughout the entire reflex zone.

Use reflexology instruments in place of your hands. There are probes, balls and rollers you can use to really stimulate the reflex zones. The cost of such materials is fairly inexpensive.

Repeat the reflexology massage as many times as you see fit. Some people use reflexology as preventative medicine and use it throughout their lifetime.

Tips & Warnings

Please consult a licensed medical physician if you or the person you give reflexology treatment to experience severe abdominal or chest pain or if reflexology treatments provide no positive results. Reflexologists are not licensed medical professionals and are not ones to diagnose or cure serious illness.

Avoid reflexology if you are pregnant.

Before you start any alternative medical technique, be aware that many have not been scientifically evaluated. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about how alternative medicine practitioners can be professionally licensed. If you decide to visit one, choose one licensed by a recognized national organization. Consult your primary health care provider about your decision first. Keep your doctor informed about the alternative medical technique you undertake.

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How to Give a Reflexology Massage

Hey, cutie. Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our May issue, so if you like what you see, you should probably snag a hard copy ASAP. Bye!

I had heard rumors of so-called “foot-gasms” before, but they always sounded like the wishful thinking of people with more

fetishes than mine. I never thought one would happen to me, especially because feet, including my own, have always grossed me out. And yet, here comes the part where I tell you why that’s not the case anymore.

In 2015, I was 29 years old and spending a month in Bali to surf and earn my yoga-teacher certification. Every morning, I’d run a mile along a dirt path from the yoga compound where I was staying to the Balian Beach market so I could stock up on chocolate, chips, candy, and anything caffeinated for myself and the other girls who couldn’t stand the strict yogi diet we’d been asked to follow. I ran the same route, each time noticing a bright-green sign that read pijat refleksi massage, framed by images of two feet.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

On my last week in Bali, the sign called out to my tired, aching body. I followed
it down an alleyway, through a courtyard, and into what looked like a former temple, where I found a short, elderly Balinese man with thick, graying hair and deep-set laugh lines. He was wearing oversize athletic shorts and a polo about two sizes too big for his small frame.

“Foot massage?” I mimed in an embarrassingly dramatic gesture, pointing to my feet and squeezing the air with my fingers. He smiled, went inside, and returned with his wife, who explained that he didn’t speak English but, yes, he was a reflexology specialist. We agreed on three dollars for an hour-long foot massage, then the three of us made our way to a large wooden platform beneath a pergola.

I kept my clothes on but took off my shoes and lay facedown on a bed of beach towels layered on top of a makeshift massage table. I attempted to listen as his wife told me stories about how they had recently become grandparents, while I focused on trying not to kick her husband every time he shoved his knuckle into the center of my sore arches.

“You’re very tender,”his wife said, laughing loudly at my pain.

“Yeah, I think I really needed this,” I winced.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

Twenty minutes in, I found myself finally relaxing and learning a lot about this sweet couple. But then, while lying on my back with my right foot in the man’s hands and his thumb pressing into a spot right above my heel, a strong, warm, tingling feeling shot up the back of my leg and into my pelvis. Despite my confusion (um, that felt too good. ), I didn’t make a sound. When he pressed a point beneath the pad of my big toe, it happened again, but this time, the tingle lasted longer and felt like I was getting close to having an actual orgasm. I silently freaked out.

And yet, as he held his thumb in place right below my ankle bone, the tingles ignited into pulses, each one getting stronger and deeper in my pelvic area. I pressed my lips shut to keep from yelping, and at that exact moment, I climaxed. My blood pounded in beat with each contraction, and my body melted into a deep release. I was mortified.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

After about 20 seconds, the man moved on to another pressure point on my foot and my climax finally stopped. He looked completely unfazed, showing no signs of knowing what had just taken place. But I was still recovering from WTF had just happened: I had just had a completely nonsexual, uncontrollable, surprise orgasm on my way back from a coffee run.

I found myself giggling in utter disbelief into the table, my head cradled in my arms, as he gave my feet one final squeeze, then rose with a bow of his head. Frazzled and confused, I paid and said goodbye to him and his wife.

Back at the yoga compound, I sat on a lounger by the pool with the other yoga-teacher trainees, regaling them with the details of my experience. Their jaws dropped and their eyebrows rose. I asked if any of them had ever experienced anything similar. Finally, one girl broke the silence: “No, but I want to. How many massages can I get for 20 bucks?”

Four years and countless questions to massage therapists and reflexologists later, I’ve learned there are at least two spots on the foot that, when pressed, can trigger uterine contractions: the Kunlun point between the ankle and Achilles tendon and the Zhiyin point on the outside edge of the pinkie toe. I’m still unsure if my experience was because of the man’s particular reflexology pattern or because my body was having an unusually sensitive response to touch. But here’s what I do know: I haven’t had an orgasm from a foot massage since then. and I gotta admit, I’m kicking myself about it.

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

How to Give a Reflexology Massage

This guide to hand reflexology features ten basic steps for a relaxing self treatment. The hand reflexology treatment guide is also available as a downloadable PDF.

Pinching Tips

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Begin your relaxing ten-minute hand reflexology treatment by pinching the tips of each finger and thumb of your right hand. Reverse and repeat this process on your left hand. The pressure applied to your fingers should be firm, but not painful. A few seconds for each fingertip will do.

Pinching Sides of Finger Tips

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After pinching the tops and bottoms of your finger and thumb tips go back to each tip and pinch them again, this time squeezing from side to side. Again, apply pressure, a little discomfort is okay. But, it is important not to inflict pain on yourself.

Vigorous Finger Rubbing

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Combine steps 3 and 4 rubbing the tops and bottoms (above photo) and also rubbing the sides (step 4 photo) of each finger and thumb. Vigorously rub back and forth from the base to the tip.

More Vigorous Finger Rubbing

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Combine steps 3 and 4 rubbing the tops and bottoms (step 3 photo) and also rubbing the sides (above photo) of each finger and thumb. Vigorously rub back and forth from the base to the tip.

Finger Tugging

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Grasp each finger (and thumb) at its base and tug firmly. Allow your grip to loosen slightly, graduating it from the base to the fingertip until your finger slips out of your grasp completely.

Pinch and Pull Webbed Area Between Fingers

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Using your thumb and forefinger firmly grasp the webbed area between your thumb and forefinger of your other hand. Keeping a firm hold, tug at the skin gently until the fleshy web snaps away from your grasp. Repeat this process for the webbed-tween areas on all your fingers.

Massage Top of Hand with Thumb

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Rest the palm of your hand inside the palm of your free hand. Use your thumb to massage the back of your hand. Leisurely manipulate the knuckles and in between knuckle area first. Continue thumb massaging each area on the back of the hand.

Massage Inner Wrists

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Gently cradle your wrist inside your free hand. Use your thumb to massage your inner wrist. This is an especially soothing massage for anyone who routinely uses their wrists in repetitive movements (i.e. computer mousing).

Massage Palm of Hand

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Massage the palm of your hand with your thumb. Alternately you can use your knuckle to massage the fleshier mound areas more deeply.

Palm Centering

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At the end of your session press your thumb deeply in the center of your palm. Take a few cleansing breaths and center your being. This is an opportune moment to relax, clear your mind, and focus on your healing intentions.

The reflexology manipulations in this step-by-step pictorial have been adapted from the techniques taught in David Vennells’ book entitled Healing Hands: Simple and Practical Reflexology Techniques for Developing Good Health and Inner Peace.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.