Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient health practice which dates back to about 2300 B.C. and reflexology, one of its techniques, has recently become increasingly popular due to its potential to treat various health issues.
It is the art of applying pressure on the hands, feet, and ears, which are believed to be linked to different body parts, in order to stimulate elimination, boost circulation and strengthen the immune system.
It is believed to restore the body’s equilibrium of yin and yang, and strengthen and heal the body. Its principles are non-invasive and completely natural, so they are excellent when you need to calm down your baby, and relieve stress, discomfort, and anxiety. Babies are more responsive to reflexology than adults, as they are more sensitive to touch.
Babies cry as a way to respond to physical pain as they cannot convey what is troubling them, so this method determines the issue the baby experiences and offers a remedy.
The feet of the baby have undeveloped arches, and the skin and bones are usually fairly soft, so reflexology is a fast modality for babies. The application of gentle pressure to congested areas in the feet quickly releases blockages and restore the flow of energy to the whole body. Therefore, babies almost immediately feel relief.
You can start using the benefits of reflexology for babies at birth, and this method is a valuable tool for parents to dissipate their children’s stress in a nurturing way.
As the baby grows and starts walking, parents or caregivers can combine reflexology with checking the development of the feet, in order to avoid problems caused by ill-fitting shoes like flat feet, corns, toe deformities, and for infectious conditions like athlete’s foot.
In Chinese foot reflexology, you should apply very gentle pressure to certain points on the feet of the baby to treat various health issues, as follows:
Head & Teeth
Rub the tips of the toes of the baby to treat ear infections, teething discomfort, or any other pain in the area of the head.
Press the centers of the tips of their toes to soothe sinusitis issues, such as a runny nose, colon colds, or other respiratory problems.
Press the top of the foot, right over the top of the arch to alleviate congestion, chronic coughs and colds, and phlegm buildup.
This is a complex collection of nerves located between the stomach and the lungs, so the pain in this area can be soothed by gently pressing near the upper area of the foot’s arch (i.e., the ‘orange dot’ area).
Upper & Lower Abdomen
The entire arch of the foot is linked to the abdominal area in the baby. The upper abdomen correlates with the upper half of the arch. Therefore, press it gently to treat digestive issues like heartburn and bowel obstruction. The lower abdomen correlates with the lower half of the arch, so apply the pressure there to treat post-digestive issues like constipation and bloating.
Apply pressure on the heels of a baby’s foot to treat issues in the pelvic area, like muscle tightness and postural problems.
However, remember that reflexology will only soothe the pain due to certain conditions, so it is meant as a way to increase the comfort of the baby, and cannot be used as a “cure-all” for certain diseases.
Make sure you follow these tips for a relaxed reflexology session with your baby:
- Always apply gentle pressure while massaging the feet of your baby
- If it pulls its foot away from you as you are massaging it, it might be a sign that the technique is not enjoyable, so you should stop or try some other approach
- The reflex points on the feet might be quite sensitive if the baby is sick
- Your treatments should last no longer than 5-10 minutes