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The basics of reflexology foot massage
You've probably heard of foot reflexology and may even have seen the charts showing which parts of the feet are associated with which areas of the body.
Whether or not you believe, as many alternative therapists do, that it can alleviate symptoms such as headaches, constipation, sports injuries and even hormonal imbalances, having your feet massaged can still be an incredibly relaxing and pleasurable experience.
And it's something you can do at home very easily. All you need is a good carrier oil or blend and possibly a foot massage roller to help out should you wish.
Think of the sole of your foot as a miniature diagram of your entire body. The head and neck reflexes are found in your toes, while the chest area reflexes are located around the balls of the feet.
Moving downwards, all of the main organs around your waist area, including your intestines and your kidneys, are represented by the plantar surface of each foot, or the area covering the arch, while the heel is home to the pelvic area reflexes.
The spinal cord reflex, meanwhile, runs up the entire length of the inside of each foot.
You can massage these different areas depending on the ailment you're hoping to relieve. So for example, if you're suffering with digestive problems, concentrating on the middle of the foot would be beneficial.
Similarly, if you have back pain, try thumb walking your way up the soft inside parts of your feet, and if you're struggling to get rid of a headache work on the toes.
It's important to remember, however, that the left and right feet feature slightly different reflexes. Think of it this way - the stomach is mostly on the left side of your body, so is represented mainly in your left foot.
Even if you're not convinced, it's worth giving foot massage a go, if only to relax and ease tension at the end of a stressful day. You're probably already considering roping in your partner to help you unwind this evening...