A few years ago, one my daughters (I have five of them!) took a trip alone, to Costa Rica. She was eighteen years old at the time and my wife and I were more than a little anxiety-filled. After a couple of sleepless nights, my wife began talking about sleep medication and I went into yellow alert. “Let’s try reflexology.” I suggested. I received a somewhat skeptical response, but she accepted my proposal.
I gave my wife, and myself, reflexology before bed and we slept soundly. This became the nightly ritual for the bulk of the time our daughter was away. Our ability to experience quality sleep, in the midst of a very stressful situation and over a period of time, had been accomplished with the administering of reflexology. For the record, our daughter had a great time and returned home safely.
So, I firmly believe you can absolutely achieve a better night sleep with reflexology and I have the personal and empirical evidence to support this.
Sleep: One of The Four Pillars Of Good Health
Without enough, good quality sleep, we limit our ability to fully participate in our waking lives and thereby reduce our cognitive awareness of the opportunities that come into our lives. Additionally, we have less patience, we make questionable choices, our ability to focus is hindered, we smile less, we exhibit poor posture, and our performance – in virtually all areas of our life – is hindered.
So how does one go about achieving the seemingly elusive good night sleep?
This question has several answers:
1. It’s an obvious one, but drink fewer caffeinated beverages.
2. Reduce your sugar intake.
3. When and where possible, walk or take the stairs. Exercise inspires the metabolism provides a more effective functioning of your natural biological rhythms.
4. Create positive relationships, and…
5. Receive reflexology!
Reflexology works with and through the nervous system to communicate the message of balance to the entire body. When the body is balanced, it is stress-free; when the body is stress-free, it is relaxed; and when the body is relaxed, it can – and does – experience good sleep.
I have had clients arrive for a reflexology treatment completely stressed out – heart palpitating, hands shaking and on the verge of tears. For all intents and purposes, they are in fight-or-flight mode. Adrenaline is coursing through their system and they’re muscles are tensed!
The first thing I have them do is breathe deeply and not talk. I will begin doing hand reflexology while they are seated prior to their foot reflexology session and purposefully match the rhythm of their breathing to the techniques I’m applying to their hands. This is called entrainment and allows me to “share and dissipate” my client’s stress.
Setting The Stage For Sleep
Once the client is calmed down a bit, they lie down on the massage table and we commence with the foot reflexology session. I encourage them to continue breathing intentionally and deeply in order to more fully integrate the relaxation effect from the foot reflexology. I continue to entrain as needed and check in with them verbally every so often to see how they are feeling.
Inevitably, by the conclusion of the session, they have all but completely calmed down. Have become almost totally relaxed. Maybe even fallen asleep during the session. And have a whole new and more positive outlook. It is quite common to receive an email or text message the following day telling me all about the amazing night sleep they had!
I would like to remind anyone reading this, that you can give reflexology to yourself and/or a loved one. You are not limited to scheduling a professional reflexology session. Reflexology is extremely easy to give and to receive. Just remember “hands on feet, repeat as necessary – and as desired.”
Now, go give – and get – some reflexology! And get a good night sleep!