Hand Reflexology Map – Your Handy Guide to Quick Pain Relief

History of Hand Reflexology

Hand reflexology is thought to have been first recorded as a pictograph on the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor in 2330 BC, which depicted pressure being applied to the hands and feet, together with some other medical procedures. Later on, hand reflexology references were said to have been found on statues of Buddhas in India and China.

Hand reflexology has been used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) since the early Zhou Dynasty of China, or it could even be earlier as the oldest medical writings were found in Classic of Changes (Yi Jing) and Classic of Poetry (Shi Jing), which dated back to more than 3,000 years ago. Various ancient Chinese writings also referenced to a pressure technique that involved fingers and thumbs, plus twisting and rubbing the hands together in order to bring healing and wellness to the body.

What Is Hand Reflexology?

Hand reflexology is a massage therapy that is closely linked to the theories of acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or Oriental medicine, that is based on the concept that the entire body is linked through the nerves in the hands, as well as the feet and ears.

A simple treatment that can help to quickly alleviate various ailments in your body, this technique targets specific areas of your body by applying pressure to points on the hands. Hand reflexology believes that our body contains energy channels, which, when blocked, will result in illnesses. By applying pressure to certain parts of the hands, these blockages in the channels can be eliminated, and hence restore balance and wellness to the body. 

The Benefits of Reflexology on the Hands

Hand reflexology massage therapy has many benefits. It connects the mind and body, reducing stress and promoting deep relaxation. It can also help to alleviate many physical discomforts such as headaches, pain in muscles, cerebral pains, back and shoulder pain, among others.

Hand reflexology has also been shown to correct physical imbalances, reduce anxiety and fatigue, regulate blood flow and relieve sinuses. The benefits of reflexology are generally the same, whether it is hand or foot reflexology. The difference is, you do have to apply more pressure on the reflex points when you are doing hand reflexology than foot reflexology to achieve the same effects. Let’s take a look at how to read a hand reflexology map below.

How to Read a Hand Reflexology Map 

Reflexologists believe that the human body can be represented on the hands through a system of reflex points. By applying pressure to these points, it is believed that nerve impulses can be sent to specific areas of the body, resulting in relaxation and increased circulation. While the scientific evidence supporting reflexology is limited, some individuals claim to have experienced relief from its techniques. Before attempting reflexology, it is important to familiarize oneself with the different techniques and corresponding zones on the hands.

Different hand reflexology charts often show different reflex points and this can cause confusion for masseurs and reflexologists who have learned specific reflex point locations, but later find those points in different locations on other charts. This is mainly due to various practices and techniques being taught and used. Also, some reflexologists felt that some reflex points are not correct, and they have hence created new charts with reflex points that they think are correct.

Some people may also have reflex points in areas that are different from the typical charts, such as those people with organs in reverse positions. In cases when the points are different, you can just stimulate the general reflex points to benefit the body as a whole. This is also true for foot reflexology in general so you should also take note when you are using a foot reflexology chart, which can also differ between different TCM physicians. 

(1) Refer to a Hand Reflexology Map 

Firstly, you should refer to a hand reflexology map for a visual aid while learning about the points on the hands that reflexologists associate with various parts of the body. This will help you better understand and locate these points. This section will also provide a description of some of these points, but a chart can be helpful for further clarification.

(2) Head, Brain and Sinuses – Tops of Fingers and Thumb

Refer to the hand reflexology map. You can see that the tip of each finger, including your thumb represents the head, brain and sinuses. The thumb represents the pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus glands located in the centre of the brain, which is good for insomnia and sleep problems. 

(3) Neck – First and Second Knuckles 

The sections between the top and bottom of your fingers correspond to your neck, while the area at the base of your thumb correspond to your throat. 

(4) Eyes and Ears – Between the Second and Third Knuckles of Each Finger

According to the hand reflexology map, the areas between the second and third knuckles of each finger represent your eyes and ears, depending on which finger – the index and middle fingers represent the eyes, while the ring finger and smallest finger represent the ears. 

(5) Upper Chest, Lung and Upper Back – Upper Part of Your Palm

The areas just below the knuckles of the four fingers on the palm sides of both hands represent the upper chest, lung and upper back areas.

(6) Solar Plexus, Adrenal Glands, Kidneys and Intestines – Below the Upper Part of Your Palm

Just below the previous areas above are four body systems – the solar plexus, adrenal glands, kidneys and intestines. 

(7) Thyroid Gland, Pancreas, Bladder, Uterus/Prostrate – Outside of Your Palm

The areas starting at the base of your thumb and extending down to the bottom of your palm on the side closest to your thumb represent the thyroid gland, pancreas, bladder and uterus/prostrate. 

(8) Arm and Shoulder, Hip and Thigh, Heart and Spleen, Liver and Gall Bladder – Inside Areas of Your Palms 

Visualise a straight line from your pinkies to the end of your hand i.e. your wrists. The zones here correspond the your arm and shoulder, hip and thigh, heart and spleen, liver and gall bladder, on the respective sides of the hands. 

(9) Testes/Ovaries and Sciatic Nerve – Wrist Area 

Beneath your palm, on your wrist are the areas representing your testes/ovaries and sciatic nerve. 

How to Do Reflexology on Your Hands at Home

Hand reflexology is a massage technique that you can perform on yourself at home. If you suddenly have a pain on your body, or if you have chronic issues such as carpal tunnel, arthritis or osteoarthritis, this is a quick and easy method to alleviate your pain and boost blood circulation in your body.

Here’s how you can do the pressure point massage at home. Remember, use gentle pressure and do not press too hard on your hands while doing the massage as you could hurt your hands. You can also use some baby lotion or hand cream during the process to make it less painful. 

(1) Flex out and relax both your hands. Then locate the correct areas for the massage by referring to the hand reflexology map. For example, if you are suffering from constipation, you should apply the techniques to the zones corresponding to your intestines. 

(2) Place your thumb on the area you want to massage, and slowly slide the thumb back while flexing the first thumb knuckle upward. Do this several times, up and down the reflexology points.

(3) Place your thumb on the area you want to massage and rotate it around in circular motions with firm pressure, increasing your constant pressure slightly as you carry on. Hold your thumb there for up to one minute before moving onto the next area you want to massage. 

(4) Use the same finger techniques on the other hand with the same application of pressure, but for areas that are only represented on one hand, such as the heart or liver, this does not apply. 

(5) Lastly, drink a huge glass of water to increase blood circulation and expel waste in your body, especially the lactic acid that is released during the massage session. You should experience more frequent urination and regular bowel movements, sweating and also changes to your sleep patterns. To hydrate more, consider also drinking a sports or energy drink with electrolytes. 

Is Hand Reflexology Effective?

Hand reflexology, like other forms of reflexology such as foot reflexology, has always been an alternative medicine therapy. Some western doctors do not think that it will help to heal physical ailments, but there are many people that have experienced healing by using reflexology, whether it is hand reflexology or foot reflexology, regularly. 

Though there are no concrete scientific evidence on the benefits of reflexology on hands, in one study, it was shown to react positively on anxiety levels of patients that underwent coronary angiography. As one of the most popular form of alternative therapies, there are also many other research that shows the body health benefits of reflexology massage therapy or reflexology techniques in general, but you can certainly use hand reflexology or foot reflexology to improve your immunity and other body conditions with amazing effects. Just remember to consult a qualified reflexologist who will be able to assist you further if you are unsure of how to execute the techniques properly. 

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