When I was getting my Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), you could choose between two different bodywork tracks - Tuina and Shiatsu. There was a minimum requirement to complete, but if you liked the bodywork aspect of Chinese Medicine, you could complete the full courseload towards attaining a separate and additional certification in Asian Bodywork, should you desire. I absolutely loved it. I completed the full Tuina course, did two (extra!) internships in the OCOM Massage Clinic and completed the Foot Reflexology addendum.
I have always included bodywork in all of my Acupuncture sessions from day one, therefore, and Foot Reflexology especially. I find that Foot Reflexology is a powerful tool that can be used to greatly enhance Acupuncture results and can be very fruitful alone. In fact, I’ve had excellent results treating Headache and Constipation especially using Foot Reflexology only for the needle shy.
Hence - the post you are reading right now! How does reflexology for headache work? What part of the foot do you focus on for headache specifically any why? Read on to learn more.
Reflexology for Headache
Headache is one of my favorite things to treat using Foot Reflexology. Why? Because headaches often have several components to them and can have many triggers - stress primary among them.
In Chinese Medicine headaches are often tied to disturbance of the Heart (energetically, not physically!) and Gall Bladder with underlying causes in the Kidney, Liver and Spleen. Don’t worry - if you suffer from cluster headaches, migraine headaches, tension headaches or any other there isn’t necessarily anything physically wrong with these organs, these are simply the energetic organs that tie to, or have direct energetic channel lines on, the face and head.
Through the feet, not only can we treat each of these organs and energies in the body by applying pressure to organ-specific reflex zones, we can also treat the head itself by massaging the “head” zone on the feet! Foot Reflexology can improve circulation, improve detoxification and support lymphatic flow. Plus, Foot Reflexology is VERY RELAXING so if there is a tension trigger to your headache, that headache better watch out, yo! A good reflex treatment in the feet can melt that tension right away.
Where is the “Headache” Reflex Zone on the Feet?
Your feet are a map of the entire body as if you were looking at the soles of your feet side by side with the big toes up. That means the Left side of the body is represented on the Left foot and the Right side of the body is represented on the Right foot. Everything that is midline to the body is in the middle where your feet are touching or side by side.
The Head? Why at the top of course - The Big Toes. If you’ve ever had anyone really massage your big toes you know there is something special about it. It sounds odd, but it feels great and everything head and neck related (forehead, nose, thyroid, top of head, temples, etc.) is represented on the big toe and the “neck” of your toe where the toe connects to the metatarsal area.
In addition to treating the organs listed above, therefore, depending on the underlying energetic reason for your headache (something an Acupuncturist can diagnose for you), special attention is always given to the big toes when treating headache in Foot Reflexology.
Is Foot Reflexology in China Different than in the US? How do you practice Foot Reflexology in Portland?
Yes. In China, Foot Reflexology has two specific differences, in my personal opinion:
I personally believe that the physiological stress response associated with pain has a negative effect on therapeutic benefit, so I always seek “comfortable tolerance” when it comes to depth and pressure for maximal results.
Headache be Gone with Foot Reflexology!
I really think the best combination for treating Headache is a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Foot Reflexology. With this trifecta, you can treat all kinds of headaches physically, energetically, internally and externally with amazing results.
If you have questions or want to know more please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can book online 24/7 using the “Book Now” button at the top of the page!
Until next time,
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.