Tag: anxiety

Reflexology for Anxiety

Reflexology for Anxiety

Reflexology can be very useful for those who suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is usually a generalized sense of dread or foreboding that can actually occur at almost any time. Normally anxiety will occur when a person faces something unknown or with a possible detrimental outcome. Other people can experience anxiety for no particular reason at all and at times it can even be debilitating. There are quite a few techniques to relieve anxiety and here we will focus on the technique of reflexology. The nice thing about using reflexology as a tool to combat anxiety is that you can do it yourself and you can practice almost anywhere. Of course reflexology probably won’t cure you if you have panic attacks or social phobias but it can at least help you to relax and focus on something other than the anxiety. By relaxing and focusing on something else you can then break the snowball effect that anxiety can have.

The best way to utilize reflexology is to couple it with breathing exercises and acupressure techniques. Most everyone knows that deep breathing can help you relax. And, while reflexology tends to focus upon the hands, feet and ears, acupressure can be applied to some other tension reducing points on the body as well.

One reflex point is on the foot. It is about two thirds of the way up your foot from the heel toward the toes. It is in the middle of the foot just before you get to the ball of your foot. Use your thumb the place pressure on the point utilizing small circular motions until you feel a very slight pain or discomfort. Do this for about 1-2 minutes for each foot.

Ear reflexology can also be used for anxiety. The basic technique is to start at the bottom of the ear lobe and pull gently outward. Then move up the edge of the ear slightly and do the same. Continue on up and around the top of the ear. You can also use a finger tip to apply pressure to the inside points of the ear while moving the finger tip in a circular motion.

One acupressure point that is used is just below the wrist. If you make a tight fist you’ll notice two tendons on the wrist just below the crease at your forearm and palm. Measure two thumb widths down from that crease and exert pressure in between the two tendons. Again use a small circular motion for 1-2 minutes on each wrist.

There are two reasons why these techniques might be effective. The first is, of course, that reflexology and acupressure theory is correct and you can help regulate the flow of energy through the body. The second is that if you can anchor a feeling of calm and relaxation to the technique then each time you do it your body will react by relaxing. Doing these exercises can take the focus off of your anxiety and focus it on the technique instead. Now, you might not believe reflexology works at all and is just bunk but if you can get yourself to relax and reduce or eliminate anxiety by utilizing the technique then it’s probably worth doing. It’s the end result and not necessarily the underlying theory that matters in this case.

So, the next time you feel anxious give it a try. Do it a few times and try to anchor the feeling of relaxation to the process. In essence you’re training your mind and body to relax when you do these techniques. If you can successfully do that then your well on your way to defeating anxiety.

Reflexology For Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias

Reflexology For Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias

Many people suffer from some form of anxiety from mild to severe and debilitating. Most people also recognize that massage in general can act as a stress or anxiety reducer. Is it possible that Reflexology could be an effective treatment for stress and anxiety even including panic attacks or phobias? Well, there have been some studies that show this might be the case.

In one case study a patient that was having panic attacks frequently and was taking Xanax daily to reduce the severity of the attacks. The patient was sent to a reflexologist and underwent foot reflexology treatments once a week for 6 weeks. By the third week the patient experienced a reduction in stress levels and panic attacks. By the end of the sixth week of treatment the patient had a stress level of 1.5 on a scale of 1-10 and felt very good. They experienced no panic attacks during the last two weeks of the study. Now, the patient was also taking medications so it is impossible to determine just how effective the reflexology was without the interaction of the medications but both the reflexologist and patient concluded that the relfexology was helpful and certainly couldn’t hurt.

Another study was conducted at the School of Nursing, Eastern Carolina University. It examined the effects of foot reflexology on patients with breast and lung cancer. The study covered 23 patients and utilized 30 minute foot reflexology sessions to determine if there was any affect on the patients levels of pain and anxiety. They concluded that out of three measures of pain that reflexology had a positive impact on one of those measures and reduced pain in those suffering from breast cancer. They also concluded that the majority of patients experienced a significant reduction in anxiety levels. The researchers recommended that reflexology could be useful as a self-care therapy to reduce anxiety.

A similar study done in the same hospital looked at 86 patients suffering from varying forms of cancer. The researchers had the patients partners undergo a brief training session with a certified reflexologist and then the partners applied a 30 minute foot reflexology session to the patients. This study also found a significant reduction in pain intensity and anxiety. The control group partners read to the patients for 30 minutes and applied no relfexology. This group experienced no real reduction in pain or anxiety.

So, the evidence seems to lean toward reflexology being effective at treating some levels of pain and anxiety. Massage in general seems to be a relaxing practice so it is still uncertain whether specific reflexology points are important or just massage in general. Nonetheless, reflexology is non-invasive, is easily applied, and seems to be effective so why not try it?

So, the evidence seems to lean toward reflexology being effective at treating some levels of pain and anxiety. Massage in general seems to be a relaxing practice so it is still uncertain whether specific reflexology points are important or just massage in general. Nonetheless, reflexology is non-invasive, is easily applied, and seems to be effective so why not try it?

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