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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ray

Hands Up for Reflexology

When I was training to be a reflexologist, we learnt about hand reflexology as well as foot reflexology. Practicing the techniques on fellow students I was amazed at how deeply relaxed I was by having my hands worked and I had difficulty keeping my eyes open!

So, what’s it all about?

As with the feet, the hands represent a mini map of our body with organs, systems and structures being placed on the hand in areas we refer to as reflexes. Applying pressure to these points or reflexes on the hands can bring about deep relaxation, release tension and alleviate stress and hand reflexology can be just as effective as foot reflexology in supporting your health and wellbeing.

Hand reflexology is ideal as a treatment in many situations;

· For people who don’t like their feet being touched

· For people who have a phobia or dislike of feet

· If you are very ticklish on your feet

· If you have an infection or injury on your foot or feet

· If you have a foot or feet missing

Hand reflexology can be done anywhere with little space needed and I often give some simple hand reflexology techniques to clients to use in between their foot reflexology treatments as part of self-care and to prolong the benefits.

Our hands do so much for us and are in constant use. There are over 17,000 mechanoreceptors in each hand, which are the receptors responding to the sensation of touch and about a quarter of the part of our brain that controls all movement in our bodies (the motor cortex), is devoted to the hands alone. We use our hands to touch, to sense, to communicate and it can be a deeply pleasurable experience to have a treatment devoted just to the hands.

According to Aristotle, the hand is ‘the tool of tools’

What happens in a hand reflexology treatment?

It’s important for you to be comfortable so you are seated in my treatment chair usually in a relaxed upright position, although the chair can be reclined if you prefer.

After cleansing your hands and lower arms with warm towels, I start the treatment with some deep breathing to encourage you to relax.

Applying a balm or cream to the lower arm and hand, the treatment starts with a massage to relax and mobilise the joints. I particularly like the lower arm massage as this is an area that doesn’t often get much attention. I perform a treatment routine on both hands moving from one side to the other and finish with a gentle closing massage of both hands together.


“I have been interested in trying reflexology for a while but was reluctant to have my feet touched so when I found out Rachel did hand reflexology I was very keen to try it out. Rachel really puts me at my ease and makes sure I feel comfortable before she starts and is happy to answer any questions I might have. She has a very friendly and calm nature and her treatment room is a lovely calm environment. I love having hand reflexology. I find it an incredibly relaxing experience and afterwards leave feeling pampered and calm, a feeling that stays with me for some time. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I appreciate the positive benefits of hand reflexology for my general wellbeing. It’s a really lovely way to be investing on my overall health. Rachel has also given me some helpful techniques to use when I’m experiencing heightened anxiety, which help me to ground myself at these times” EE

So How Did You Do? Answers to the Hand Trivia Quiz . . .

1. Both Hannibal Lector and Anne Boleyn had a 6th finger on one of their hands.

The name for this is ‘Polydactylism’

2. The name of the hand in The Adams Family is ‘Thing’

3. The sport that gives us the expression ‘to win hands down’ is horse racing. It means to win easily i.e. not having to urge the horse, with reins held in lowered hands

4. The animal that is measured in hands is a horse and a hand is 4 inches

5. The name of Blackbeard’s second in command was ‘Israel Hands’

6. The escapologist known as The Handcuff King was Harry Houdini

7. Complete the phrase ‘The hand that rocks the cradle . . . . Rules the world’

8. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

9. The Beatle (singer) whose production company is named ‘Handmade Films’ is George Harrison. (It was started primarily to finance Monty Pythons Life of Brian)

10. There are 27 bones in the hand

11. It was believed in ancient times that the fourth finger of the left hand had a vein running directly to the heart – the vein of love or the Vena Amoris and as a result the wedding band is worn on typically worn on this finger.

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