From Counting Sheep to Sound Sleep
The Top 6 Reflexology Points to Facilitate a Restful Sleep
Most adults have experienced a sleepless night, while at least one-third of those have had an extended period of wakefulness lasting from days to weeks. The primary cause of this transient insomnia is stress or tension and will typically improve over time. A smaller population of adults, approximately 12 percent, suffer from chronic insomnia. This poor pattern of sleeplessness is a more serious and longer-lasting form of insomnia, which untreated can lead to shorter life expectancy, higher frequency of illness, shifts in mood or personality and poor decision making.
Reflexology, an ancient therapy practiced for more than 5000 years, uses reflex points to accelerate the calming of the nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress reduction, some of the primary causes of sleeplessness. A target on the base of the foot known as the “Solar Plexus Reflexology Point” can be triggered through pressure or massage to activate as a calmative and stimulate sleep during foot reflexology sessions. Reflexology soothes the entire body using several key reflex points important to healthy sleep patterns. The following are a few of our favorites.
6 Reflex Points to Consider
- Head/brain (top of each toe) promotes clarity and positive thinking
- Pituitary or “master gland” (center of big toe) stimulates/balances hormone secretions of all other glands
- Pineal gland (outer side of big toe) secretes melatonin, which controls our circadian rhythm/sleep cycle
- Neck/shoulders (ridge of toes) releases tension
- Chest/lungs (ball of foot) calms breathing
- Solar plexus/diaphragm (under ball of foot in the center) encourages profound relaxation and peacefulness
In summary, each of us has stressors that may activate our fight-or-flight response, causing our entire system to be put on high alert. This is meant to be a temporary state to help us navigate out of dangerous or threatening situations. In the US, many of us live our lives in a constant state of tension, whether from business, family, or social pressures, resulting in exhaustion of body and mind. This is the number one cause of insomnia.
Reflexology works through the neural pathways via the thousands of nerve endings on the feet, hands, and ears offering corresponding points to every organ, gland, muscle, bone, and encompassing all parts of our bodies. By stimulating these specific reflexology points, it may help to calm the body and mind and allow you to enter a deep state of healing and relaxation. As you begin to feel a reduction or moderation in stress, your body can begin to relax and unwind, releasing toxins that have built up, increasing circulation, and restoring proper body function. The sleep that results is not magic, it’s not drug induced, its simply providing your body what it needs to decompress and enter that state of Zen.
Andrea Montgomery is a nationally certified licensed massage therapist and foot reflexologist in MA and NH. Andrea graduated from the Palmer Institute of Massage and Bodywork in 2001 and holds over 1500+ hours of continuing training. She combines intuition with a unique holistic approach that blends many types of massage and energetic modalities to help clients achieve personal wellness.
Visit Andrea’s Website: soletranquility.com
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