To perform at your best, your body and its systems must be in balance. Make reflexology part of your regular training and you’ll perform from a foundation of both strength and balance.
Reflexology is the art of applying pressure to “reflex points” on the hands, face, ears, and feet, which brings balance to all of your organs, glands, and every part of your body.
There are nearly 15,000 nerves in the feet alone, one reason why reflexology is so soothing and relaxing — and stimulating and energizing! During a reflexology session my clients report entering an altered, almost hypnotic state. They experience profound relaxation, which is key to enhancing the mind/body connection and to triggering your capacity to heal and achieve balance.
My clients and students include walkers and runners, golfers, tennis players, and workout enthusiasts. They tell me they play better, their concentration is enhanced, they suffer fewer injuries, and, when injured, they recover faster.
I recommend including reflexology along with their toning and stretching practices for overall conditioning, and for recovery from sore or injured muscles. Reflexology is also a great way to prepare for a workout or a game. It helps you to be loose and relaxed before hitting the machines or the links.
Here’s a 10-minute reflexology routine you can easily learn and use before a workout and following your post-event shower:
1. Relax the feet with simple relaxation techniques: pressing, squeezing, lightly slapping, gently kneading — whatever feels good.
2. On the bottom of each foot, “walk” your thumb up from the base of the heel to each toe using tiny movements (imagine your thumb as a caterpillar inching up your foot).
3. If your feet are sore, spend more time on relaxation techniques and then gently press the following points on the bottom of each foot with your thumb or index finger for five to ten seconds each (see chart):
- Pituitary gland: stimulates production of endorphins/balances hormone secretions of many other glands
- Shoulders/arms: enhances flexibility and performance
- Chest and lungs: opens airways for deeper breathing
- Solar plexus: reduces stress, relaxes breathing
- Adrenal glands: produce cortisone/cortisol to reduce inflammation, adrenaline to boost your energy
- Spine: balances nervous system (walk from heel to base of big toenail)
- Sciatic nerve: improves circulation to lower back and legs
4. Repeat relaxation techniques. Finish with another thumb press on the solar plexus point on both feet.
5. End with “breeze strokes”: lightly running fingertips down the tops, bottoms, and sides of each foot in a feathery motion, barely touching the skin. These are very soothing. Enjoy!