Reflexologists stimulate your body and its functions through the application of pressure to specific points on your hands, feet and face. Traditional reflexology theory asserts that each finger contains a map of reflexes in the nerve endings. Each individual finger on either hand can affect a meridian or course of energetic flow that, in turn, impacts how certain parts of your body feel and perform. You can try these points yourself, with a partner or by visiting a certified reflexologist. If you suffer serious diseases, reflexology should be used as a complementary modality with traditional physician care.
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Practitioners use reflexology techniques on the thumb for matters pertaining to the energy meridian of the lungs. Disruptions of energy here are viewed as affecting the water of the lungs or respiration; diseases or imbalances related to this meridian may present symptoms in the tissue or respiratory functioning of lungs and chest area, according to Shen-Nong.com, an integrated Chinese medicine resource for practitioners and patients.
The energy meridians along the index fingers can be stimulated in order to enhance, improve or cure functioning of the abdomen, relieving symptoms such as cramping, pain, diarrhea and constipation. Using the meridian farther along your hand may enable you to improve the functioning of your nasal cavity. When you look at the back of your hand, this meridian runs along the interior of the index finger, closer to the thumb.
The meridian of the middle finger is called the heart constrictor and is located on the outer edge of the finger, on the pinky side. This energy meridian is used to help relieve thoracic symptoms such as ribcage pain or straining of the muscles in the upper- and mid-back, and for nerve damage in all parts of the body.
A study by Hiroshi Motoyama, Ph.D., at the California Institute for Human Science, showed that electrically stimulating this meridian works in conjunction with stimulation of the triple burner meridian, ruled by the ring finger. Reflexology uses human touch, but you can still apply pressure to the points of both meridians to try to support healing of issues related to either.
The ring finger contains points related to what reflexologists and Chinese medicine practitioners, like acupuncturists and acupressurists, call the triple burner or triple heater. It begins at the outer tip of the ring finger and runs along the back of the hand. Disharmony of the energy through this meridian may relate to abdominal distention, urinary problems and issues with the ear, nose and throat.
The triple burner doesn't have a Western equivalent. The upper burner is the area above the diaphragm and includes the heart and lungs. The middle burner is above the navel and includes the spleen and stomach. The lower burner is related to waste disposal and includes the liver, kidney and urinary tract.
The pinky rules the small intestine and heart meridian. When you look at the back of your hand, the small intestine is along the outside of finger, beginning at approximately the bed of the nail. The heart is along the inner edge. According to Shen-Nong.com, reflexology manipulation along this meridian may help you improve issues with anxiety and heart palpitations or dullness and a feeling of torpor after situational depression.