We all would love to start our day with more energy. Reflexology offers a simple but powerful practice that can get your energy flowing, strengthen the systems of the body, and even improve your outlook.
Known as anmo, reflexology has long been used by health-practitioners in China, as well as serious students of the martial arts. Based on the same principles as acupuncture, anmo uses simple pressure applied with either the tips of the fingers or the thumbs to help activate energy channels in the body. Practiced regularly, the benefits of anmo include:
- Increased vitality
- Improved function of all major systems of the body, including circulation, digestion & elimination
- Greater immune function
- Enhanced clarity & focus
The following routine is an excellent way to start each day & can easily be done in just a few minutes, although of course you can take longer if you like. It’s also an excellent way to let go of the work day before an evening at home, or to unwind before going to bed.
How To Do It…
- Start by closing your eyes & rubbing the palms together briskly, generating a sense of warmth & energy. As you do so, breathe deeply & allow the body to relax.
- Bring the palms to the closed eyes & then slowly move to the face & scalp, feeling free to massage the temples, jaw, back of the neck, or any other area that feels good.
- Next, bring the hands to the ears. Pay at least a little attention to the three regions — the area behind & around the ear, the outer portion & lobe, and finally the inner area.
- Now bring the hands to the collar bones & find the small indentation underneath each — known as the “Elegant Mansion” point, this is an excellent point for immune strength.
- From here, bring the right hand down the left arm to the muscle-belly on the outside of the elbow, just onto the forearm — known as “Crooked Pond,” this is a great point for assisting digestion & elimination.
- Then, travel down to the muscle between the thumb & palm — press firmly here for 10-20 seconds to assist the large intestines.
- Follow this by pressing with the thumb in the middle of the palm, just a tiny bit up toward the fingers — known as lao gong, this is a key point for both absorbing & sending energy. After some time here, repeat the last three points on the right arm.
- Now bring the hands to just above the small of the back, in the region of the kidneys — you might prefer to use the backs on the hands or sides of the fists. Rub firmly & briskly, generating some warmth — this is especially beneficial in the winter or when experiencing fear.
- From here, move to the left leg. About 3 inches below the knee, 1/2 to 1 inch outside the shin-bone is another vital point — you’ll know you’re on the right spot by lifting the toes & feeling the muscle move. Spend a little time here to again boost the immune system.
- Next, continue down to the left foot. On the top of the foot, between the first & second toes and about 1/2″ toward the ankle is tai shan, another great immune point.
- After tai shan, come to the bottom of the foot. Just like lao gong on the palm, you’ll notice a similar point on the sole, in the middle of the arch & just before the ball of the foot. This is known as “Bubbling Well,” or yong quan, and is another excellent point for over-all energy & for deepening your connection to the earth. After some time here, repeat the last three points on the right leg & foot.
- Finally, take a moment to close the ideas & observe how your practice felt.
Of course, once you’re comfortable with this basic routine, you might find your body naturally guides you to other points, in which case feel free to explore. We hope you’ll give it a try — perhaps you, too, will find it to be an invaluable way to start your day…