We all know that reflexology works on the basis that your feet represent a map of your body. There are pressure points located on your feet and these pressure points correspond to organs and tissues across your body. We asked reflexology expert Keah Lan if labour pain can really be relieved by tending to reflexology points, and most importantly, where these points are located and the technique required.
How we prepare for labour and deal with labour pain can have a profound effect on the mother and her child. Reflexology can be used to help mothers remain in a state of calm. Here are some points which both dads or doulas can learn to help mothers during labour.
- Press the solar plexus area which is found by drawing an imaginary line from the third toe down to just below the ball of the foot. This area corresponds to where the rib cage meets the stomach and affects breathing, it is also forms a clustered network of nerves that sit behind the stomach area. Ask mum to breathe in as you press down firmly on the spot and the release the breath as you release the pressure, then use your thumb to do circular movements in that area to soothe the diaphragm, 10-15 x on each foot. This will help to regulate breathing thereby decreasing the body’s stress response. When one breathes correctly your heart beats slower and your muscles relax.
- The pituitary gland, also know as the “master gland” is considered the most important in the body, this reflex point is located in the middle of the big toe and will energise or relax the body completely depending on what the body needs. It can also help one sleep very soundly as it controls all the functions of the endocrine gland. Press firmly on this area with each contraction using the knuckle of your finger. Again, mums should breathe in as you press and breathe out as you release the pressure, using long deep slow breathes. Hold the pressure for about 5 seconds massaging in circular motions on the spot as you apply firm pressure.
- The adrenal glands will want to work over time in labour to help you cope with any stresses the body feels, they are located just above the half way mark of the foot in line with the big toe. Your adrenals release stress hormones called adrenaline which trigger the “fight or flight” response. Working the adrenals and solar plexus points create a calming effect on the overall stress the body feels, letting it know it does not need to secret adrenaline and that everything is okay. Press gently on this point using the thumb do gentle circular movements and then hold for 5 seconds.
NB: Always consult your practitioner before having a session.
I am offering a 5% discount to My Baba readers for prenatal reflexology booked during this autumn/winter, please contact me using the details below.
Keah Lan, Reflexologist