These are techniques used by reflexologists mostly when working with adults. While these techniques are also valuable tools for working with babies and young children, as a parent working with your baby it’s fine to invent your own techniques. The most important thing is to stimulate the appropriate reflex area and to alternate stimulating techniques with more relaxing ones. To improve the accessibility to specific reflex points you can use one hand to gently hold the toes back.
Use stroking and milking massage strokes on the feet at the beginning and the end of the session as well as in between the stimulating reflexology techniques. This helps to take the intensity out of the session.
You can also make up you own relaxation foot massage, the more natural it feels to you, the more relaxing it will feel to your baby.
This technique helps to consistently hit the reflex points every time and is used by reflexologists to cover larger reflex points. This is the best way to massage the intestinal reflex area.
You can practice the thumb walking technique as outlined below and or watch the instructional video that follows.
Step 1: Grasp your thumb at the second joint. Bend and unbend the first joint.
Step 2: Rest your hands on your leg. Now bend your thumb at the first joint. Unbend it. Proceed to bend and unbend your thumb, taking small steps forward with each bend and walking down your leg.
Step 3: Now rest your fingertips on the surface of the arm. The thumb rests of the under side of the arm. Holding your fingers in place, bend and unbend your thumb on your arm. As you unbend your thumb, take a small step forward. Practice “walking your thumb” in a forward direction.
Your fingers stay in place until your hand is stretched uncomfortably. Reposition the fingers and keep them in place as the thumb again “walks” forward.
Step 4: Maintaining the position of your fingers, lower your wrist slightly. Do you notice your thumb is now exerting more pressure? Now drop your wrist lower. Do you feel even more pressure?
The amount of pressure you apply is controlled by lowering or raising the wrist. Leverage is thus created by an interplay of fingertips, wrist and thumb tip.
Step 5: As you practice the thumb walking technique on your arm, try to exert a constant steady pressure. This is most easily achieved by effective use of leverage as described above.
The hook and back technique
This technique is used to hit a particular point.
Use the four fingers for leverage on the other side of the foot and apply pressure with the outside edge of the thumb on the specific point. Then pull the thumb slightly backwards without releasing the pressure. Do not let the thumb slide off the spot. Hold the position for a few seconds and release.
The reflexology foot map
This is a map used for adults but it is exactly the same for babies, just miniturised.
Reflexology as a maintenance tool for your baby’s health
Used in this way reflexology can help your baby’s body to heal itself by detoxifying, relaxing and balancing it.
This routine can be used on a daily basis and can help to detect and even treat imbalances before your baby experiences any symptoms.
- The reflex area for solar plexus is the foot’s number one point for relaxation.
- Gently press your thumb there while holding around the foot with the rest of your hand.
- Make small circular movements until you feel a subtle “let go” from your baby, almost like an exhalation.
- Do both feet simultaneously.
- Start by the arrow on the right foot and press a little bit with your thumb. Stay a moment and try to feel the area. Are there any small irregularities just under the skin?
- Massage the area gently, and move up slowly, feeling each and every little bit of the area until you reach the end of the pink color on the left foot. It can be repeated several times if your baby doesn’t protest; this will stimulate the colon and the bowel movements.
- The kidneys belong to the eliminating system of the body; they filter the blood.
- Massaging the kidney points can be a great stress-reliever.
- Start at the top on the right foot where the kidney area is located and massage gently for a while, then move down along the ureter and end up at the side of the foot where the bladder is situated. It is not visible on the picture, but the bladder area begins exactly where the green color ends.
- Massage lightly, one foot at a time.
- You might hear a little cough when you start massaging the lung area.
- Start from the bottom of the area and work your way up.
- Massage one foot at a time.
- End your massage with the sinuses. These areas should be caressed. Put all your love into the massage and softly press on each toe.
- If your child has a cold, this could help release mucus and clear the head.
If you feel like continuing, then massage other parts of the foot. This is the time when the two of you are sharing a deeply relaxing and loving experience. It doesn’t matter so much if you do it right; what matters is that you both enjoy it.