This can be a very stressful time for people of all ages. You might find you seem to be running around and forgetting to take care of yourself so how can we help you to cope with this busy time of year?
Reflexology can help you with this, but if you feel you are too ‘busy’ and time may seem tight to go for a treatment, then here are a few self–help exercises for you to try.
These few points on your hands enable you to take back a little control of how you feel. You can use them to help cope with the stresses Christmas and this busy time of year may throw at you. These self-care strategies can be a quick ‘pick me up’ and have the calming effect that may be enough for you need to make it through! They are a great to use throughout the year too.
“By regulating the breath we can help reduce stress”
What to do
These points are calming and centring. You can pick a point that you are drawn to and work on that point or you can use all points together as a routine. Try to build this up to 10 minutes a day.
They way to treat the reflexes, unless stated otherwise, is to hold the area with your thumb of the opposite hand and to add gentle pressure. You can add gentle circular movements if you feel you need to. If the area feels sore then just hold with the same pressure. If the soreness eases you can add more pressure and go in deeper. If the soreness grows then ease off the pressure slightly. Ideally work each reflex for about 30 seconds each.
It is important to treat each hand the same. So if you treat the solar plexus on the left hand then try to treat the right hand too.
“…regulate any imbalances within the body”
The Solar Plexus
On your body it is situated at the diaphragm level in the centre.
On the hands they are on the palm in line with the third finger just below the joint.
The solar plexus is greatly affected by stress. Have you ever had that ‘funny’ feeling in the pit of your stomach? That’s probably your solar plexus under stress. It is part of the sympathetic nervous system.
It is group of nerves that when stimulated can almost immediately trigger relaxation by relaxing the nervous system.
On your body it is situated just above the kidneys.
On your hands it is situated on the palm, half way between the wrist and the tip of the thumb, in the fleshy part.
The adrenals role is to release stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones trigger our ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Our stressful lifestyles can cause our adrenals to become exhausted.
By stimulating this area you can induce relaxation and energy balancing.
“…we can find our heads ‘filling up’”
On your body it is located at the base of your brain.
On your hands the pituitary reflex point is located in the middle of your thumb. Find it in the area where your fingerprint swirl ends!
The pituitary is often referred to as the ‘master’ gland. This is because it regulates the function of the other glands in our endocrine system.
By stimulating this area you are stimulating this gland, which will enable it to regulate any imbalances within the body. It will either relax or energise the body depending on what your body needs.
The chest and lung
On your hand the chest and lung area is situated in the fleshy area below your fingers.
Obviously the chest and lungs are important in providing your body with oxygen. When we are stressed we find that our breathing changes. By regulating the breath we can help reduce stress.
Practice this hold while practicing ‘Conscious Breathing’ to add extra benefit.
If stress is due to worry then incorporate the brain and head reflexes.
Head and Brain
The head and brain reflexes are located on the thumb or fingertips and pads.
When we are busy we can start to feel overwhelmed. Our minds can start to go into overdrive and we can find our heads ‘filling up’
By stimulating the reflexes of you head and brain will allow your mind to quieten and become still.
The routine below is an excellent way to treat all of the above and then some…
- Gently rub your hands together in a wringing motion
- Move the wrist in a circular motion
- Using your thumb walk the 5 zones from wrist to tips of fingers, palms and the back of your hand
- Focus and hold Solar Plexus for 30 seconds
- Apply gentle rotating pressure to the fleshy area between the thumb and forefinger
- Massage each finger individually from base to tip
- Pinch each fingertip for 5 seconds
- Gently squeeze hands together to finish
- Repeat on the other hand
Find out more about Reflexology