There isn’t anything quite as heartbreaking as a parent than hearing your baby cry and not knowing what’s wrong.
Some parents are quick to medicate their infant to get some relief from the incessant crying, but that certainly isn’t the best course of action.
Others spend hours burping, bouncing, and singing to their babies to soothe them with little to no effect. Because babies can’t communicate what’s hurting them, it can be a truly frustrating experience when your child experiences a pain that can’t be seen or easily fixed.
It’s no surprise that parents have been moving more and more towards natural non-invasive treatments to heal their children, some have even looked towards eastern healing methods, like acupressure.
Children are quite sensitive to physical touch so they tend to respond even better to reflexology than adults. Just like they respond well to having their back rubbed and being held, babies feel comforted through touch.
The Basics of Reflexology
Reflexology, like acupressure, believes that applying pressure to specific points on the hands, ears, and feet can improve overall health (1).
This is because Chinese Traditional Medicine believes that all the systems and organs in the human body are connected by energy meridians. When energy flows through these meridians, the body is in perfect harmony and balance.
Acupressure points on the left foot, hand, and ear correspond to the left side of your body; organs, bones and all. Likewise, reflexology charts of the right foot correspond to the right side of the body.
The scientific community at large doesn’t always agree with the benefits of acupressure and reflexology, but they do agree that it can have a therapeutic effect on blood flow, lymph flow, and stress levels.
How to Use Reflexology
If you have an idea about what might be bothering your child, you can target the specific areas in their feet that correspond to the body parts troubling them. If you’re not quite sure what’s up, lightly massage their feet, hands, and ears to clear up as much as you can.
If your infant is teething or experiencing a headache, you can massage the tips of their toes to speed along the healing process. It can also serve as a complimentary tool for healing ear infections.
Since the sinuses are located in the center of your face, their corresponding points are located at the center of each toe, on the underside of each foot. Applying slight pressure to these spots can help relieve sinus pain, runny nose, and other symptoms of a cold, allergies, and other respiratory problems
The pads of your feet, just under the toes and above your arch corresponds to your chest. Applying pressure to this point can help relieve chest congestion, excess phlegm, and persistent cough. As always, reflexology should only be used as a complimentary therapy, not a solution in itself
4. Solar Plexus
The solar plexus isn’t just a chakra, it’s also a collection of nerves hidden between your stomach and lungs. This area can be the root of strange pains that aren’t improved by feeding, burping, and lightly massaging your baby’s abdomen. This collection of nerves is connected to a point in the center of the foot, just below the pads of the feet.
5. Upper & Lower Abdomen
The arch corresponds to the upper and lower abdomen, with the space between the middle of your foot and the pads of your feet being linked to your upper abdomen while the portion between the middle of your foot and the heel corresponds to the lower abdomen. Applying pressure to the upper abdomen can benefit heartburn and indigestion while the lower abdomen spots can heal constipation and bloating.
Lastly, your child’s heel is connected to their pelvic area, which can be afflicted by tight muscles and posture problems. It can also benefit spinal issues as well as pain in the tailbone.
While reflexology can benefit anxiety, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, headaches, PMS, and kidney function, it isn’t a cure-all. It’s important to know when to visit you general practitioner for extra help to keep your child’s health in check.