Reflexology is much more than just a relaxing foot massage, it has long been hailed for its therapeutic effects on satellite areas of body. Even given all the research, I admit to previously being skeptical of its ability to reduce pain and symptoms of specific ailments. I had experienced many reflexology sessions for general relaxation; however, I recently discovered firsthand the healing effects of reflexology when I was seeking relief from a migraine headache.
How Reflexology Can Relieve Migraine Pain
Reflexology is based on the theory that special pressure points on the feet and hands correlate to specific organs and physiological systems throughout the body. By massaging reflexology points, blockages along meridians that run from the feet and hands to parts of the body may be relieved. It is the release of these blockages along the head, neck and face meridians that is thought to relieve the pain associated with migraine headaches.
Reflexology for Migraine Pain-Relief
According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines can produce moderate pain on one or both sides of the head that can feel like it is pulsating or throbbing. Thumb crawling the reflexology points located around the outer and inner edge of the big toe works the meridian associated with the head. Relieving blockages associated with this reflexology point may help to reduce feeling of pain and pressure that can come with a migraine headache.
As the reflexology points on my foot were worked I could literally feel the throbbing in my head start to lessen. I still had a significant amount of facial pain, but I was amazed at how quickly I started to feel relief from some of the other uncomfortable side effects of the migraine.
Reflexology for Facial Migraine Pain-Relief
With my migraines, the worst pain usually centers around one side of my face and radiates out to other facial areas. When the reflexology points along the front of the big toe are worked, it is thought to correlate to the face. Using the index finger to crawl down the front of the big toe may help to relieve facial pain. A few minutes into having this reflexology point worked I felt as if the mask of pain I had been wearing with my migraine had been lifted off.
Reflexology for Relief from Tension Associated with Migraines
Along with the facial pain experienced from a migraine, headaches can be stressful ailments. I find that I carry a lot of tension when I feel a migraine headache coming on. Having the massage therapist apply pressure to the reflexology point located under the ball of the foot, below toes two and three, works the solar plexus point. Reflexology work relating to the solar plexus is thought to reduce general feelings of tension, anxiety and stress.
Check to Make Sure Reflexology is the Right Treatment for Your Migraine Symptoms
While I experienced migraine pain-relief from my reflexology session, it is important to note that individual results from reflexology may vary. If you have certain medical conditions or are pregnant, reflexology may not be recommended, so make sure to check with your doctor before having a reflexology massage. Additionally, you should only allow a licensed massage therapist specifically trained in reflexology to administer a reflexology treatment.
If you experience a headache that feels different, changes in intensity or if you experience more pain than normal, seek medical attention immediately to rule out a more serious medical condition.
(*The information provided in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat any health issues. The information in this article should not replace the professional consultation and care of your licensed health care provider. Always consult your licensed health care provider prior to receiving any reflexology treatment.)
Mayo Clinic. “Migraine.” www.mayoclinic.com
LiveStrong. “5 Ways to Use Reflexology for Migraines.” www.livestrong.com.
Stuart, Catherine. The Illustrated Guide to Massage and Aromatherapy. Anness Publishing Ltd. London. 2005.