Rubbing your feet can help make a headache disappear. Massage can be an effective way to ease stress and discomfort but a masseuse will usually manipulate the muscle or area in question, A reflexologist, on the other hand, will use your feet to ease a pain located anywhere on your body. Learning a few simple foot techniques and the appropriate locations can ease pain and induce relaxation. You should not substitute reflexology for any medical treatment you already are receiving.
History of Reflexology
Archaeologists have found evidence that a primitive form of reflexology of the feet was used in ancient Egypt, China and Japan as a medical modality. More recently, it grew in popularity and moved into the Western hemisphere. In the 19th century it was picked up by the Russian neurologist Vladmir Bekterev and a U.S. physician, William Fitzgerald. It is currently being practiced around the globe using a variety of techniques that all work on the same principal: Using finger pressure and manipulation on external areas to corresponding body parts and functions to elicit a particular response.
How it Works
Your hands and feet are believed to contain a road map of the functions and internal organs of your body. Research in 1890 showed that there is a neuralgic relationship between internal organs and skin. It reveals that when pressure is applied to the hand or foot, it directly affects the peripheral nerves. Reflexogists believe that the body can heal itself and that this manipulation can free blockages and will reduce healing time and reduce pain.
Headaches at the Temples
The point on your foot that represents the temple area is located just inside the big toe. Simply applying pressure and releasing several times can ease the pain of a temple-centered headache. The left foot is used for the left side of the head, right foot for the right side.
The second joint down on each toe, front and back, represents your face and sinuses. To help relieve a sinus headache, firmly massage this small area of the foot to ease pressure. A squeeze and release technique is generally used. For this type of headache, it is best to work both feet.
Headaches in the Center, Front or Back of the Head
The outside base of each big toe is associated with the brain, while the top of each toe, front and back, is the point of contact for a generalized headache. For the brain area, rubbing the area firmly is suggested. The head area is manipulated by pinching each of the toes on both feet.
- Reflexology Research Project: What is Reflexology
- University of Minnesota: How Does Reflexology Work?
- "Body Reflexology"; Mildred Carter and Tammy Weber; 1983
Catherine Smith has been writing professionally since 2000. She runs a client-based wellness office in Bastrop, Texas. She specializes in pain and stress management using herbs and alternative medicine She received her doctorate in natural health with a concentration in herbal studies from Clayton College of Natural Health.