What is Hand Reflexology?

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  • Written By: Aniza Pourtauborde
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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Hand reflexology is an ancient therapeutic massage technique that applies pressure on parts of the hands in order to stimulate other sections of the body. This method is founded on the belief that every component of the hands reflects major organs, tissues, muscles, and glands all over the body. For example, the fingertips correspond to the brain, head, and sinus pathways, while the wrists mirror Fallopian tubes, lymph glands, and the groin.

Emphasizing reducing tension throughout the body, hand reflexology also may enhance relaxation, relieve pain, and improve blood circulation. There are also reported cases of the positive effects of hand reflexology on health problems relating to digestion, respiration, migraine, and sinus. This holistic massage technique is believed to promote overall good health, leaving a person feeling thoroughly rejuvenated.

Traditional hand reflexology does not require the use of oil or lotion, only special thumb, finger, and hand massage movements. One should be familiar with a hand chart, which is a graphic display of how each part of the body is represented in both hands. Using this chart as a guide, a reflexologist can focus the massage on specific problem areas. For instance, massaging the middle sections on the tops of both hands is said to decrease tension in the upper back. Likewise, putting slight pressure on the center of the right palm may relieve stomach pain.


Hand reflexology is a popular self-massage technique. A simple massage takes only about ten minutes. By following a series of simple steps, an easy hand reflexology self-treatment can be performed. These steps should be performed first on the right hand, followed by the left.

To perform an easy self-treatment, a person can begin by pinching each fingertip and thumb tip by applying slight pressure for a few seconds. Next he can tightly squeeze the sides of the fingertips and thumb tips for a few seconds. Third, from top to bottom, the person should rub fingers and thumbs vigorously. He should continue rubbing vigorously by going back and forth along every finger and thumb.

Step three should be repeated, rubbing the sides of the fingers and thumbs as well. Then the person should grasp and tug the fingers and thumbs from their base, releasing the grasp little by little while progressing to the tips. The loose web of skin between the thumb and forefinger of one hand should then be pinched and pulled, tugging at the skin until it slips automatically. This step should be repeated with the loose skin between all the other fingers.

Next, with the fingers spread out and palm against palm, the thumb of one hand should be used to gently massage the top of the other. The person should begin with the knuckles and their hollows before slowly proceeding down towards the wrist. Palm up, the thumb of one hand can then be used to massage the inner wrist of the other.

The palm of one hand should then be massaged, using the thumb of the other. The knuckles should be used to massage the mound of flesh below the thumbs. To mark the end of this simple hand reflexology self-treatment, the person should press the thumb of one hand into the center of the palm of the other hand. He should breathe deeply at the same time.


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