The human body is mysterious, although we like to think otherwise. Did you know that just by stimulating specific pressure points on your foot, you can alleviate pain, manage anxiety, improve sexual performance, and support general health and wellbeing? Yes, that’s true! Reflexology, or zone therapy, is a type of alternative medicine where pressure is applied to certain areas of the body, usually feet, to stimulate other tissues, organs, and systems in the body. In this post, we are going to focus on the foot pressure points diagram and show you how to achieve good health and wellbeing in a natural way.
Foot Reflexology Diagram
While getting pressure points stimulated by a professional is always a good idea, you can also do it on your own. That’s why the foot pressure point map comes handy. The most important thing you need to know is that the left foot stimulates the left side of the body. Conversely, the right food stimulates the right side of the body.
The second and third toes are connected to your eyes. Remaining toes relate to sinuses, teeth, and head. The bottom of your feet, from the tip to the heels, links to your spine. Since the heart is positioned just off the center of the chest to the left, the foot pressure point to the heart is on the sole of the left foot.
You will find foot pressure point to the heart under the balls of two toes next to the pinky toe, i.e., the middle toe and the ring toe.
The sole of the foot is a wide area where you can find pressure points for different parts of the body, including lungs, diaphragm, and solar plexus.
The arch of the foot corresponds to the waist. Pressure points for organs around your waist are located in the arch of the foot, as you can see in the foot pressure points diagram. For instance, you can activate the liver, spleen, and kidneys by massaging pressure points in the arch area of your feet.
As mentioned above, the heel area is reserved for pressure points that correspond to the lower back, sciatic nerve, and the knees.
Brief Background Of Reflexology
Reflexology is not a modern-day practice; it has been around for centuries. Since it’s an ancient practice, the origin and history of reflexology are challenging to track. Like many ancient practices, reflexology comes from China, most likely. It had a prominent role in India as well.
Reflexology has been passed around through an oral tradition mostly. Probably the first record of reflexology in history stems from a pictograph on the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor dating back to 2330 BC. The pictograph also presented other medical procedures. Symbols of reflexology are thought to be recorded on the feet of statues of Buddha in India.
Around 1000 BC, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine featured a chapter on “Examining Foot Method.” This marks the starting point for discussions about the connection between feet and other parts of the body.
Marco Polo is, highly likely, the one who introduced reflexology to Europe. The theory states that Marco Polo translated a Chinese massage back into Italian in the 1300s. Over the centuries, reflexology spread to other parts of the world, and it’s still a common practice today.
How Does Reflexology Work?
How many times have you wondered about foot reflexology pain meaning or how this practice works? How is it possible that stimulating certain points on your feet could help manage anxiety, reduce pain, and improve your health?
Various theories could explain how reflexology works and they are:
- Works with the central nervous system (CNS) – application of pressure on specific points on feet sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves to the CNS. This signals the body to adjust the tension level. Thanks to the overall relaxation the internal organs and their systems get into the state of optimum functioning
- Stress management and mood improvement – reflexology is thought to alleviate pain by promoting stress management and improving your mood. Why? Pain tends to be a subjective experience created by the brain. Factors that influence the brain, e.g., stress and mood, can also enhance pain.
- The flow of vital energy – when stress is left unmanaged, it leads to congestion of energy and causes bodily inefficiencies. Applying pressure on certain points on your feet promotes the flow of vital energy and thereby reduces stress to alleviate pain.
- Zone theory – in this theory, the body is divided into ten vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes. Massaging specific points, e.g., on your toes activates pathways that lead to specific parts of the body such as sinuses, eyes, and head where a sense of relaxation occurs and alleviates pain.
How To Do It Yourself?
Now that you have the foot pressure points diagram and understand how applying pressure on specific points help, you’re probably wondering how to perform self foot massage.
When it comes to Western reflexology, you can work pressure points in different ways, such as:
- Thumb-walking – suitable for most reflexes. The pressure is applied with the outer edge of the tip of the thumb. The first knuckle of the thumb is bent; then you proceed to move the thumb all around the pressure point as if you’re taking small steps.
- Finger-walking – the process is the same as with thumb-walking, you just use one or multiple fingers instead. This method works mainly on the top and sides of your feet.
- Pivoting – ideal for small reflex points. You use the thumb to rotate slowly on the pressure point.
- Sliding – helps break down deposits. Slide the thumb over the pressure point and apply gentle pressure
Methods to activate foot pressure points from Eastern reflexology include:
- Light strokes – suitable for ankles and top of your feet
- Circular friction – similar to thumb-walking. It’s used mainly on the lines on the inside and outside of the lower legs.
- Knuckles – puts deeper pressure on the bottom of the foot, similar to pivoting.
- Tools – various tools such as reflexology sticks help apply pressure on specific points and thereby take the stress off of your hands.
Self-massage doesn’t require too much time. You only need about 15 minutes to dedicate, but benefits are truly meaningful. Foot massage oil can come handy, but it’s not mandatory. Make sure to prepare a chair and towel, if necessary.
Before the massage, you should take a look at the foot pressure points diagram. Locate the area of the body where you experience pain and other difficulties. The foot pressure points diagram allows you to identify where to apply the pressure.
Sit on a chair with one leg crossed over the other. That way, you can get undisturbed access to the bottom of the foot you are about to massage. Press the thumb or finger into the part of the foot, which is connected with your head, sinuses, or other parts of the body. Massage firmly in circular motions, but not too strong to experience pain. Once you activate one pressure point, you can move on to another.
TIP: if you don’t find it comfortable to sit on a chair, you can sit on the ground and use a towel to rest your foot.
Pressure Points For Headaches And Migraines
Headaches and migraines affect millions of people around the world. They have a major impact on a person’s quality of life. If you’ve ever wanted to try and alleviate headache or migraine pain in a natural way, then reflexology could help you out. Some of the best points to activate are listed below.
Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other names: Liver 3/ Tai Chong/Supreme Rush)
Liv-3 happens to be one of the most significant acupoints on your feet. It lies on the liver acupuncture channel, but you will be amazed by the effects its activation has. The acupoint is located on the dorsum surface of the foot, in the angle between the first and second metatarsal bones.
You can locate Liv-3 by pressing on the tendon between the big and second toe. Make sure to press on the gap where the tendons meet. Doing so can help you alleviate headaches and migraines.
Activating this pressure point has other effects too. These include stress management, lower back pain relief, high blood pressure management, alleviating menstrual cramps, reducing limb pain, managing anxiety, and insomnia.
If you decide to get acupuncture, then you’ll feel stimulus up to the ankle and down to the toes when this pressure point is activated.
Acupoint: Bl-60 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-60/Kun Lun/Kunlun Mountains)
Yet another pressure point to activate when you’re doing foot rub to relieve a headache is BL-60. You can find this acupressure point in a depression midway between the tip of the lateral malleolus and the outer edge of the Achilles tendon. The lateral malleolus is the external ankle bone.
When massaging this acupressure point, you have the opportunity to alleviate a headache. But BL-60 has other indications such as managing chronic low back problems, lumbar pain, and heel pain. You can also relive stiff neck and support management of epilepsy.
Acupoint: GB-41 (Other Names: Gallbladder-41/Zu Lin Qi/Foot Governor of Tears)
Since it’s along the gallbladder meridian, this acupressure point is called GB-41 (GB stands for gallbladder). This acupoint is located on the top of the foot between the pinky toe and the second last toe.
To locate and identify this acupressure point, you need to feel along the top of the foot for the bones of the pinky toe and second last. They form the “V” shape where they intersect, so try to feel that. Once you feel the intersection, you should try to look for a slight depression right above when you locate the point, press, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Bear in mind that you might feel pain when applying pressure on this acupoint. Hence the name “foot overlooking tears.”
Activating this pressure point has many benefits, including migraine relief. It helps with vertigo, irregular menstruation, breast pain, foot and leg pain, emotional imbalances, excessive tearing of the eyes, gynecological conditions such as PCOS. Experts recommend using this acupoint and ub64 acupuncture point together to relieve pain in the leg if your job requires long standing hours.
Pressure Points For Anxiety
Anxiety is indicated by intense feelings of fear, discomfort, nervousness, and other negative emotions in response to certain stimuli. There are different types of anxiety, but what they have in common is the extreme discomfort that people experience. The condition can affect a person’s quality of life and even relationships. Certain pressure points can decrease symptoms of anxiety.
One of the most powerful pressure points for anxiety is Liv-3, which we discussed above. But there also some other points you’d want to activate to manage your symptoms and lower their intensity.
Let’s address them below.
Acupoint: KI-1 (Other names: Kidney-1/Yong Quan/Gushing Spring)
Bearing in mind that Yong Quan is found at the beginning of the kidney channel, its official name is KI-1. You can find this acupressure point on the sole of the foot, at the indentation near the front part of your foot. In other words, you will find this acupoint by feeling the sole and looking for the hollow under the joint of the big toe. Move the thumb to the spot between the big toe and second toe.
Applying pressure on K1 decreases symptoms of anxiety, but it can do so much more than that. Other applications include reduced palpitations, memory improvement, decreased night sweats, and hot flashes. Massaging this pressure point can also decrease pain on top of your head, address blurry vision, manage throat numbness. In other words, K1 activation calms your mind and clears your brain.
It’s also useful to mention that applying pressure on KI-1 can help address some of the most extreme feelings, including agitation, propensity to fear, madness, and others.
Acupoint: Bl-62 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-62/Shen Mai/Extending Vessel
If you have ankle pain, whether chronic, mild or acute, you can treat it with Shen Mai acupoint Bl (Urinary Bladder) 62. It is located at the base of the fibula, on your ankle bone’s outer projection, which is right below the lateral malleolus. It can help you with the moderate or mild ankle sprains in the acute stages, traditionally the first 72 hours.
The best acupressure method for UB-62 is massaging the CF (calcaneofibular) ligament, which shortens and tightens up to build more healthy fiber. It is because the Bl (Urinary Bladder) meridian pathway at the spinal nerve level, joins the spine through the urinary bladder. That’s why it is regarded as one of the pressure points on feet for lower back pain when it is stimulated.
Massaging these acupressure points also has many other benefits as well, such as relieving stress, anxiety, eye pain, emotional imbalances, etcetera. One of the unique benefits of activating UB-62 is that it helps you with urinary bladder disorder.
It is advised that you consult with the primary health care expert or professional acupuncturist if you are having back pain or ankle pain.
Acupoint: GB-40 (Other names: Gallbladder-40/Qiu Xu/Mound of Ruins)
The acupressure point GB (Gallbladder) is one of the most important acupoints, especially treating many types of lower joints and extremities pains. If the liver Qi (Chi) stagnation is not timely resolved, the liver heat accumulates, and the damp-heat in the lower parts of your body can even drain down.
The GB-40 is located at the inferior to external malleolus and the ankle anterior of the Extensor Digitorum Longus on the tendon’s lateral side. You can apply the acupressure stick to the GB-40 acupressure point in order to activate the point’s healing potential.
Apply pressure to the opposing ankle to relieve pain, which is one of the best self foot massage pressure points. The acupressure point GB-40 is also used to help people with arthritis and people with stiffness and pain in the joints. You can use the herbal mender formula or reduction method, which is the anti-clockwise motion technique to deal with joint achiness and arthritis. Other than these health issues, the GB-40 acupressure point can also help with flu, cold, sore throat, migraines, etcetera.
Pressure Points For Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common and increasing health issues that most of the working people report. Multiple factors can lead to back pain, such as overworking, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, etcetera. We have already discussed that the acupressure, along with the conventional therapies, can provide you with substantial relief with fatigue, stress, and spasms to treat your back pain ailment.
Some of the most important acupressure points for back pain are as followed:
Foot Pressure Point
- Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other Names: Liver-3/Tai Chong/Supreme Rush): With the width of two fingers
Pressure Points For Digestive Health
Undoubtedly, the latest eating trends and modern eating habits, such as the increasing dependence on fast food, have led to many healthcare issues. It not only includes the unhealthy digestive system, but it has also affected our immune system and overall health. That’s why it is imperative to change your eating habits and patterns, and meanwhile, reflexology and acupressure can be very impactful to help you to improve and enhance your digestive health. You can activate the following acupressure points for that:
- Acupoint: ST-36 (Other names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles): This acupressure point is located about the four-finger width down from your knee cap. Move your foot up and down, and the muscle that pops out is ST-36. Use your fingers firmly to put downward pressure to activate this point.
Best Products To Massage Foot Acupressure Points
There are many products available in the market that you can use to massage all of the acupressure points mentioned in the foot pressure points diagram. Some of the are listed below:
Our feet are one of the most used body parts because they bear the weight of the whole body. They are also one of those body parts which are least taken care of or pampered. RENPHO Foot Massager Machine is one of the best options available in the market for a daily foot massage, and it comes with the following features:
- Equipped with a rolling stick, a rotation ball
- Three adjustable kneading levels
- Independent heat controlling function
- Digital touch panel that can be used with the foot
- Washable and removable foot chamber cloth
- Fits to all the standard feet sizes (up to 12)
- A perfect gift idea to your loved ones
There is a little drawback of the RENPHO Foot Massager Machine that it doesn’t come with remote control.
Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager is one of the best products that improve your blood flow and relieves your tired feet. It is the people’s choice when it comes to the value of your money. It is very helpful to alleviate neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, chronic pain, diabetes, muscle tension, etcetera. You get the following features with your purchase:
- Two independent foot chamber
- Five different air pressure settings
- Two wireless remotes
- One full year of warranty
You can use it while working, watching TV, reading books, etcetera.
Etekcity is a US-based well-known company for its high-quality and reliable products. The airbag installed in this machine gently build pressure around ankles and the top of your feet, while you are having a massage with this machine. You get the following features with this product:
- Three different adjustable air pressure levels
- Three-speed levels of the massage rollers
- You get the free app VeSync with the product
- Built-in heating feature
- Smart control and touch panel with LCD
- Fits to all the standard feet sizes (up to 12)
- Timer option that automatically turns the massager off
You can use it while doing anything, and the only thing that you will have to do is to sit while getting a massage.
These are the most effective pressure points along with the chart for foot reflexology points that can help you to revive your natural and active body. Traditional Chinese medicine foot reflexology has been used since ancient times. Not only does it help you to feel energetic and lively throughout the day, but it also activates the natural ability of your body to heal itself.
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