What is reflexology?
Reflexology is an empirical science which connects specific points from our feet and palms to all the organs of our human body, like an organic map. It is empirical because it is not the product of pure logic and traditional medicine, but the outcome of thousands of years of observation, practice and acknowledged experience.
What about reflexo-therapy?
Accordingly, reflexo-therapy is not just foot massage. It is much more than that.
It is the holistic therapy which helps our body feel better by pressing specific points from our foot sole or palm in order to unblock the corresponding organs and help our body function properly. In other words, reflexo-therapy helps our body heal itself through detoxification, relaxation and balance.
Reflexo-therapy for babies – benefits!
Babies are very receptive to reflexo-therapy.
First of all they like their mother’s touch and can constantly look for connection with her. Secondly, babies can benefit a lot from it if we apply this holistic therapy correctly. Reflexo-therapy can help babies:
- get calmer and relax their nervous system
- with digestion, gas and constipation
- to fall asleep easier
Important info about the technique
When using reflexo-therapy with babies, we need to consider applying this technique with a very soft, gentle touch on their feet or palms since many of their organs are not yet mature enough. Like many other activities with babies, I would recommend to use this method in a playful way, choosing the moment carefully and noticing if the baby is in the mood for that. It may be that because the baby is too tired and agitated or not feeling well that he/she might not be open for reflexology in a given moment. And that’s okay; we can try it later and see how it goes. The key is however, to be consistent and responsive to the baby’s needs.
At the same time, we should consider assigning a shorter amount of time for reflexology with babies. They do not need more than 5 minutes at each foot for the reflexology to work. The smaller the baby, the sooner reflexo-therapy works. But please do not apply it on premature babies until they reached the age appropriate weight and health condition!
Moreover, we need to look at this process holistically, being fully aware that when we touch those tiny beautiful feet, it can have an impact on their whole precious body.
Since we are in the realm of sleep, I will try to highlight some of the main points in a baby’s feet which could help him/ her sleep better. For that, we need to look at the following baby foot map.
Reflexo-therapy steps to smooth the process of sleep for babies
- We should start and end the process of reflexo-therapy with the urinary system which is our main detox area. Gentle touch this sole area of your baby downwards from kidneys towards the bladder.
- We should then play a bit with our hand on the baby’s toes, especially on the big toe which hosts the pineal gland, responsible for issuing the sleep hormone – melatonin as well as other feel good hormones like endorphins.
- We should go down to the spine and briefly touch a part of the digestive and endocrine system (ex. the pancreas) which helps the baby relax his/her nervous system as well as release gas from his gut.
- We go then to the solar plexus which is our core stress point and try to softly make round movements to help the baby release any forms of distress.
- As the circle of life, we end our reflexology session for our baby with the same touch of the kidneys’ area going down the urinary tract to help his/her body detox.
When is reflexo-therapy NOT recommended for babies?
- When baby is ill or has fever
- When baby is premature or has not gained proper weight
- When baby has a wound or a rash/eczema in his/her foot sole
- When baby strongly rejects it or does not feel like it
Where & when to apply reflexo-therapy for babies?
I would recommend applying this technique after bath and before bedtime, using natural, organic, cold-pressed oil (like sunflower, sesame or coconut oil) or a combination of them in order to build a positive association between this type of massage and sleep for baby.
It could be done on the diaper-change table or on the family bed, with a dim light and soft music in the background, making sure you have a cosy temperature in the room (around 22-23°C).
It also helps to have a diffuser in the room with some lavender essential oil in it to help the baby relax, relieve sinus congestion and for encouraging and promoting sleep.
It is extremely important also for mom to smile and have a positive attitude while doing reflexo-therapy to her baby since this is also an energy transfer which babies delicately take in.
Please remember that reflexo-therapy does not replace any medical treatment!
It is a supportive alternative therapy which could improve your baby’s mood and immune system.
I hope this helps your baby fall easier into the beautiful land of sleep. But if you need more support to establish healthy sleep habits and help your baby get longer stretches of sleep, I am happy to connect.