Most people have heard of reflexology but not everyone knows what it is and the benefits it can bring. Reflexology is a relaxing foot massage and works by stimulating the nerve endings on the foot which correspond to organs and zones of the body and treats the entire body and tones the system. In adults, specific conditions such as arthritis, migraines and insomnia are treated and reflexology is also useful for relaxation and stress.
Following 15 years of extensive research into the effects of regular Reflexology on Childhood Asthma, the results showed relaxation, improved sleep and child/parent bonding which encouraged Chartered Physiotherapist Jenny Lee to create Baby reflex in 2005.
Research has shown that Baby Reflexology is effective in easing discomforts such as:
- congested ears
- blocked nose
- poor appetite
Results for babies are often experienced immediately and can soothe a cranky baby or help to relieve tummy pains or constipation.
Infant Colic in particular can be very stressful to deal with. A study recently carried out by the Danish Reflexology Association overseen by Danish paediatricians and GPs, documented 30 colicky babies aged between 4 to 13 weeks who were given regular Reflexology treatments. Their responses to the reflexology treatments for the alleviation of their symptoms were recorded. All of the babies in the study were significantly helped by the treatments.
Children with Autism and children with special needs can also respond very positively after receiving Reflexology treatment. Reflexology is a fantastic natural option for calming babies, boosting their immune system and supporting the growing body.
A good time to try foot reflexology is before a nap or after the baby’s evening bath, before bedtime when they will be most relaxed and ready. You can use a small dab of baby oil to add some “cushion” between your fingers and the feet, or you can choose to use nothing at all.
Your baby may want to kick their legs during the routine; let them kick and be comfortable. As they become familiar with the reflexology and how it feels they will start to remain a little stiller.
Do this routine on both feet for just a minute or so. A few minutes of reflexology two to three times a day can be enough to be effective. Gentle pressure is all you need, similar to wiping your baby’s skin clean. A good sign that the baby has had enough is when they withdraw their feet. They intuitively know when they’ve had enough.
Find a hold or cuddle that suits you and your baby, relax and enjoy. Just a loving touch from mom or dad can bring about tremendous natural healing!
You can learn specific techniques to meet your baby’s needs from a qualified instructor. You can also refer to the foot chart to target specific areas. Here is a very basic routine to get you started:
- Hold both feet gently but steadily. Speak to your baby about what you are doing; this helps them to become familiar with the routine as they will learn to associate the word reflexology with the experience. It also later allows your baby to refuse if they do not want reflexology at that time.
- Rub the feet all over. Long sweeping strokes work well, but you will find your own preferred method.
- Glide your thumb or finger gently but firmly up the base of the foot from the heel to the base of each toe. These lines are the five zones of each foot.
- Massage the tops of the feet from the toes to the ankles by rotating your thumb in circles moving across the foot. With smaller babies you may prefer to use the pad of your finger rather than your thumb.
- Massage each toe in turn, circling the base of the toes and gliding down the front.
- Massage the base of each foot using thumb circles. Move from the heel up to the toes until the whole foot area has been massaged.
- Finish with a lovely rub all over the feet.
For more information on Babyreflex, contact us today.