Hopefully your feet don’t look as horrific as these! If you’re training hard though, they’re probably feeling a little the worse for wear. Guest blogger, reflexologist Andrea Morrison, has written a brief how-to guide to DIY reflexology to help you give your amazing feet a little bit of TLC. It includes some handy photos to show you exactly where your pressure points are.
At the end of a long run there is nothing better than a relaxing treatment that will help you rest, restore and revive your body. If you don’t have a reflexologist to hand (who does?), here are some DIY reflexology tips to get your weary feet – and your tired body – back in tip top shape.
Thinks to bear in mind:
– Treat your feet gently
– Don’t press on them too hard
– Avoid blisters or broken skin
– If your feet are too sore, some of the treatment can be done on your hands instead (often the reflexes on your feet are reflected in your hands).
Reflexology is a holistic therapy which works on the principle that the body’s organs, glands and other key areas are mapped out in zones or reflexes on the feet (and hands) and that stimulating these reflexes can assist in the body’s well being. The aim of this DIY massage is to stimulate the reflexes that correspond to areas of your body that are put under strain by life in general and by running in particular.
You can stimulate them either by applying pressure with your finger making small circles or by walking your thumb over them – often referred to as a caterpillar walk. You may find that when you do this the area may feel grainy or crunchy or it may be sore initially, but this should ease.
Start your treatment with a soothing massage, use a good quality oil or wax (www.songbirdnaturals.co.uk do a particularly nice one). Using long strokes, massage from your toe up to your knee, all over your foot and leg. Massage in an upward motion to help support your lymphatic system. You might like to incorporate some small circles around your ankle and if you’re particularly flexible you can massage the sole of your foot with your finger knuckles.
It’s useful to runners to support the lymphatic system to help eliminate any build up of lactic acid. The reflexes that are said to correspond to the upper lymphatic system are found on the webbing of the toes on the top of the foot (see image below). The reflex that corresponds to the main thoracic duct is between the big toe and the second toe. Walk your finger down the webbing between these toes on the top of the foot as far as you can go, you should feel a small dip and it is here, just before the two toes meet. The reflexes are found in the same places on the hands too.
The lower lymphatic reflexes are on the top of your foot towards your leg. Find the dip where your foot meets your ankle and imagine a line running from one ankle to the other. Using your thumb walk against the bone of your foot.
The leg and arm reflex is found on the outside of the foot (and hand) and runs from the bottom of the little toe to the edge of the heel, (on the hand it is the edge of the little finger to the wrist). The knee reflex is on the bony bit about half way down that sticks out. It’s a good idea to try and use your thumb on this bit.
The shoulder reflex is on the sole of your foot in the padded area just under your little toe (or little finger) and runs around the front of the little toe (or finger). Use your thumb to walk this area and clear any crunchiness.
Once you’ve stimulated the reflexes, be sure to finish with a soothing massage.
Andrea Morrison owns Eden House Holistic in York. She is a member of Professional Reflexology & the Association of Reflexologists. Visit edenhouseholistic.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings or more information on reflexology and other treatments.
She’s offering Veggie Runners readers £10 off their first consultation – simply quote VEGGIE when you book.