One of the most overlooked body parts for receiving massage therapy is our hands.
Yet it’s one of the main areas where a little bit can go a long way.
That’s because “hand reflexology” is a massage technique that focuses attention on bundles of nerve endings to stimulate nerves in other parts of the body, leading to positive outcomes for a range of health issues.
How does it work?
There are several different nerve ending zones in each hand that correspond to relief in different areas of the body.
Therapists trained in reflexology take advantage of these nerve endings to tune the body like an instrument. It’s painless and incredibly relaxing.
Although there is limited scientific research on the benefits of hand reflexology, a few studies point to its positive effects while a lot of anecdotal evidence praises its effectiveness for relaxation.
How does it help?
Aside from relaxation, clinical stiudies have shown that reflexology can be useful in pain management and in stress reduction:
Anxiety: A 2017 study showed that hand reflexology reduced anxiety in people who were about to undergo a minimally invasive heart procedure that diagnoses heart problems. People who had hand reflexology or a simple hand massage experienced less anxiety about the procedure.
Headaches: A University of Portsmouth study reported reflexology had a positive effect on migraines. After receiving treatment for six months, more than half of the participants noticed reduced symptoms. Almost 25 percent of them stopped having headaches completely, and about 10 percent were able to stop taking medication for headaches.
Low back pain: A study in 2008 showed promising results when reflexology was used as a complementary therapy for low back pain.
Constipation: A small-sample trial in 2010 found some benefit for patients experiencing constipation, with 94 percents reporting fewer symptoms after six weeks of hand reflexology. But just as promising, many reported reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, suggesting the therapy may be useful for stress-related constipation.
Try some self administered hand reflexology techniques first. Just follow along this helpful tutorial on how to perform a basic hand reflexelogy session on yourself.
After experimenting with a few simple techniques, you’ll probably notice feeling more relaxed afterward. Now imagine having a massage therapist doing all the work while you enjoy the benefits!