While most people are familiar with the term reflexology, not everyone knows what it is exactly and which its benefits are.
Reflexology is a foot massage which works by stimulating the nerve endings in the feet. Given that each of those nerve endings corresponds to zones and organs of the body, reflexology basically treats the entire body.
But, have you ever heard of reflexology for babies? Although it resembles baby massage, it is quite different. Instead of finding the time for a massage session, baby reflexology takes only a couple of minutes and it can be done anywhere, whether it is in the car or on a picnic.
“If you have ever been standing in the supermarket queue with a screaming toddler or have had sleepless nights when your little one just will not settle, then this is the answer,” according to Nourish.
Reflexology is fitting for newborns and babies to two years old. The arches of children`s feet are not fully developed, and the feet are oval in form. Small feet are much easier to treat! To perform reflexology on your baby, cover the foot with forward movements of the thumb and work up from the base of the heel to the area where the toes join the foot.
Prior starting the massage, it is recommended to relax the baby and encourage blood flow to the foot with a bath or a soothing foot rub. Apply gentle pressure as the nerve endings might be sensitive, particularly if the baby is sick.
Here are the 7 most important points:
1. Head and teeth
When infants are teething, massaging the tips of the toes can be extremely beneficial. You can do this while they are asleep, so that they are less likely to wake up from the pain.
The center of the baby`s toes is the point which corresponds to the sinuses. Therefore, stimulating these points can help treat sinus pain as well as symptoms of cold, allergy, and other problems related to the respiratory system.
The area which corresponds to the chest is the pad of the foot, just underneath the toes and above the arch. So, applying pressure to this point in a circular motion helps relieve congestion in the chest, cough, and discomfort. However, note that reflexology is complimentary therapy, meaning that any underlying condition seeks medical attention.
4. Solar plexus
The solar plexus is a combination of nerves located between the stomach and the lungs, and it is related to a point in the center of the foot. Any discomfort related to spasms, tightness, trouble breathing, and upset tummy can be treated with a light massage of this area.
5. Upper abdomen
Massing the space between the middle of the foot and the pads of their feet helps relieve heartburn, indigestion, and constipation.
6. Lower abdomen
The area that corresponds to the lower abdomen is the one between the middle of the foot and the heel. This point is good to massage in babies who experience bloating and gas in the lower intestine, which are the two major causes of discomfort.
Ultimately, the heel of the foot corresponds to the pelvis, the hips, and the tummy. As explained by David Wolf, tightness in the hips and posture issues are very common in babies as they grow rapidly. The good news is that massaging the feet can help treat constipation and sore tummies.