DIY Foot Reflexology: 7 Pressure Points To Relieve Seasonal Allergies
Do new seasons leave you sniffling, sneezing, and congested with itchy eyes and a runny nose? Over the years, you may have noticed that if you're experiencing a lot of stress when allergy season arrives, the symptoms can feel worse. Anything that relieves stress can also help reduce allergy symptoms. Luckily, there are plenty of holistic tools that can help you ease stress—including foot reflexology.
What is foot reflexology, and how does it work?
Reflexology can calm the nervous system and lead to a state of deep rest and relaxation by stimulating reflex points on your feet, hands, face, and ears. There are thousands of nerves in these areas—including 15,000 in your feet alone—which is why a reflexology session can feel so soothing and nurturing.
Each reflex point is thought to relate to a particular organ, gland, etc., and applying pressure in that area is thought to also help the corresponding body part.
A foot reflexology routine to help ease sinuses and allergies.
Seasonal allergies occur when your immune system overreacts1 to environmental irritants such as pollen. Based on the chart above, we can see that the following reflex points on the feet can, when stimulated, help you breathe a little easier. Use your thumb or index finger to press and hold each one for five seconds and see if it brings any relief:
- The sinuses (balls of the toes) open up clogged sinus cavities.
- The pituitary or "master gland" (center of big toe) stimulates and balances hormone secretions of all other glands.
- The thymus gland (upper inner edge of ball of foot) strengthens your immune system.
- Your chest, lungs, and bronchials (center of ball of foot) release congestion.
- The solar plexus/diaphragm (under ball of foot at center) reduces stress and relaxes breathing.
- Your adrenal glands (just above center of foot near inner edge) produce cortisone/cortisol to reduce inflammation. Adrenalin boosts your energy level, often depleted by allergy symptoms.
- The ileocecal valve (lower outer edge of foot) regulates mucus production.
As you work your way across the foot, repeat a positive affirmation such as, "The Universe is providing me with ease, grace, and an abundance of breath." Since allergies are our body’s response to our environment, you could also use, "I am at peace and in harmony with my surroundings."
Laura Norman, M.S., LMT is a holistic reflexologist and author of Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology. She facilitates private reflexology sessions and holistic reflexology training programs in South Florida, The Berkshires, and New York City.