Reflexology is becoming more popular recently, with many people experiencing the benefits of the technique. Scientific studies have also started to look at how reflexology could be useful in various conditions and scenarios. The big toe meridian may be especially helpful for issues surrounding the liver.
A few months ago, I started to notice my skin was looking dull. This was coupled with frequent fatigue – I felt tired and unmotivated during my daily routine. It became a problem in my everyday life, to the point where I felt I could not concentrate on my work.
As the issue became more of an interference with my daily life, I decided to seek a doctor’s help. While this was my first choice, the doctor could not find any initial problems. I was placed on medication to help me, but these did not do much. This was when I turned toward a more natural approach after my friend recommended me a therapist who specialized in reflexology.
In this post, I want to share my experience with reflexology. In particular, my focus here is on the big toe meridian, which my therapist focused on.
What Is The Big Toe Meridian?
Reflexology, the art of using the feet to stimulate any area of the body, it is not a new technology of the modern world. It is an ancient method that has been passed down for generations. Many populations have used the technique throughout history, and remain a popular way for many people to deal with health-related problems.
If you have heard of reflexology before, you might already be familiar with the term “meridian.”
This is a term used to describe specific “paths” or “channels” that are found throughout your body. There are various meridians in your body, and each channel consists of many points called acupuncture points. Different meridians connect to different organs, and you can improve the organ’s functions by activating different acupuncture points with needles or acupressure. In your feet, you can find a total of five meridians.
The big toe meridian in reflexology does not actually specify a single meridian. There are multiple meridians found on the big toe – thus, this term refers to the collection of these paths. They are sometimes used in combination when applying reflexology techniques. In other cases, they may rather be focused on independently to provide specific purposes – such as to relieve problems with your liver, as in my case.
Two of the five meridians on your feet are located on the big toe. Let’s consider these two:
- On your big toe’s outer side, there is a meridian that is connected to your spleen (SP-1).
- The inner side of your big toe holds a meridian that connects to your liver (LV-1).
One thing you will notice here is the fact that the two connected meridians really do share a relationship. Both the liver and the spleen are capable of filtering the blood – which makes perfect since whey they are aligned on the same toe.
Can Reflexology On The Big Toe Meridian Help?
So, we’ve learned that the two sides of the big toe connect to the spleen and the liver – but what does this really mean? While this knowledge can be easily obtained, many people are unsure of whether reflexology on these meridians might actually work.
With this in mind, we need to consider how effective the big toe acupuncture points and the specific areas used in reflexology really are.
First, consider symptoms associated with issues that relate to the spleen and the liver.
When there is an obstruction in the spleen, symptoms that may appear include:
- Weakness throughout the body
- Trouble sleeping
- There may be swelling in the knees
- Constipation or diarrhea
- The tongue may experience pain sensations
- Stomach aches
When liver function becomes impaired, these symptoms may appear:
- Urination may be weaker than normal
- You may feel restless
- The face may look dull
- Hair may become oily
- There may be a tightness in your chest
- Your through may feel dry
- eye problems
In these scenarios, the use of the big toe meridian in reflexology might be a useful option. The primary purpose of the technique is to assist in enhancing blood circulation throughout the body.
When targeting these particular points, the technique might help to send more blood to the connected organ. For example, when the right side of the big toe (Liv-1 or Da Dun) is targeted through therapy, there may be enhanced blood circulation to the liver. This helps keep the liver cleaner and functional, which could reduce obstructions or a deficiency in its function.
The same applies to your spleen. During an obstruction, the filtration of blood and fluids in your body may be limited. This can lead to the mentioned symptoms. When the left side of your big toe (SP-1 or Yin Bai) is targeted, more blood might flow to the spleen. This helps to remove the obstructions and ensures the spleen regains its proper functioning.
Is There An Expert Opinion?
It is not always ideal to only consider the experience of someone who has tried reflexology for themselves. With this in mind, looking at expert opinions may be helpful. Fortunately, researchers have noticed the positive effects that people experience after multiple reflexology sessions, which led to numerous studies on the subject.
One study utilized a Geographic Information System to analyze the effects of reflexology on subjects. The researchers noted the stimulation of Propagated Sensations Along Channels, which has formed a basis for the study of reflexology for some time. This suggests that sensory channels may be involved in the technique. Furthermore, the study might also hold key evidence of how specific regions of the feet may provide benefits in other parts of the body – mainly through the stimulation of these key sensory channels.
In another research paper, experts on the topic explain that both physical and chemical transportation methods are involved in the process when reflexology is applied. These transports may contribute to the specific effects of a pressure point massaged during a session. A specific channel in the body was discussed in the paper, known as the Low Hydraulic Resistance Channel. This forms as the transportation channel for the chemicals noted.
Yet another paper provides key information on why reflexology is often considered an effective holistic treatment today. He explains that the “Chinese organ clock” is combined with yin meridians. The liver yin meridian, as well as the spleen meridian, have been noted in this post. The paper also refers to Dr. Reinhold Voll, a key player in the development of modern-day reflexology practices, created an electroacupuncture device that works on these particular points.
My Experience With Reflexology
After a few reflexology sessions, with a focus on my big toe meridian, I found that my skin looked less dull. I suddenly had the will to get through the day, and fatigue was no longer dragging me down. In my conclusion, the big toe does seem to play an essential role in reflexology, and might well hold a special connection to the liver.
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Photo by Cris Saur, Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash