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Hand Reflexology

Chart of hand reflexology points
on the front and back of the hands.

Hand reflexology is as effective as any other type of reflexology, but the results will take a little longer than foot reflexology because foot reflexes are closer to the surface of the skin. Because of this, hand reflexology uses a completely different technique to foot reflexology. This is mainly because the hands are very flexible and the reflexes are much deeper under the skin which means you need to reach deeper and hold for longer to stimulate a hand reflexology point.

A good way way to position yourself and the person set to receive reflexology, is to sit across a table from them with a towel under their hands/ wrists for comfort. Begin every hand reflexology session on the right hand, do the whole hand, followed by the left.

It's best to start every reflexology treatment with a relaxation exercise. The relaxation exercise sets the tone of the treatment as relaxing and helps to soothe the muscles before you get into a therapeutic deeper massage of the reflexes.

Relaxation Exercises

Use a little massage or baby oil, and gently rub around the wrist of the right hand. Use wide gentle outward sweeping movements of the thumbs, moving slowly. Keeping the same motion move the thumbs into the palms of the hands, working from the middle/ inside of the palm slowly to the edges. Repeat slowly for about thirty seconds.

Turn the hand over, and very (very!) gently across the top of the hand, use your thumbs to push from between the knuckles/ bottom of the fingers, to the wrist. This is very relaxing but using too much pressure can be painful.

Holding one finger at a time, hold it as if to wring the finger off the hand and give it a very gentle slow side to side twist so that the knuckle bone joint is being rotated (there should be no cracking noises made on purpose, although some might happen). Slide your hand up so that it can now do the same to the second joint, repeat gentle rotating of the joint and again on the top joint of the finger.

Gently give the hand a last squeeze, pat off the oil with a towel, and do the same on the left hand.

How to stimulate the pressure points:

Using one finger or thumb apply firm pressure in each spot on the hand. Without lifting the thumb or finger rotate the finger of thumb so the pressure is being applied in a circular motion. First clockwise and then counter clockwise.The pressure should be applied for three to five seconds.

First Stimulate The Hand Meridians:

Using the Hand Reflexology Technique (described above) apply pressure in a circular motion for three to five seconds clockwise and then counter clockwise on each meridian point shown in the diagram below.

Meridian points on the hands are as follows:
  • Lung Meridian - Thumb
  • Colon/ Large Intestine Meridian - Index Finger
  • Heart Constrictor Meridian - Middle Finger
  • Triple Burner Meridian - Ring Finger
    This meridian is described by the ancient Chinese medical text the Nei Ching "the triple burner is not exactly an organ, but a relationship between a number of organs.." It relates to the three main cavities of the body and the organs within. So is an essential meridian point to stimulate to promote regular balance within the whole body.
  • Heart and Small Intestine - Pinky Finger

Secondly Stimulate The Fingers

The fingers represent everything from your neck up. They represent the glands, brain, skull, facial skin, ears, hearing and sight. Toes represent the same areas. The difference between doing reflexology on the toes and fingers is that the fingers offer a greater area to do reflexology on. The fingers are a bigger version of the toes, it's as if the toes have been "zoomed in" on.

Use the hand reflexology technique on the fingers in this manner:

Begin at the top of the thumb on the right hand, move downwards to the base of the thumb, begin again at the top of the thumb and move downwards again over a new area that hasn't received reflexology yet. Continue until the entire thumb has been stimulated using the Hand Reflexology Technique.

Repeat the process with the index finger, and then every other finger on the right hand. Remember to give attention to every single part of skin available, from the inside to the outside.

The palm of the hand represents your body torso.

Notice that your palm has different shades of colour, it generally is lighter in the middle and darker around the top and side edge; the top pink area is your chest, the light area in the middle includes stomach and liver area, while the bottom padding nearest the wrist (and up along the side of the hand towards the little finger) is the digestion system.

Just under the little finger (on both front and back of the hand) is your shoulder area, rub this area using the Hand Reflexology Technique to get relief from mild shoulder aches!!

Technique for the palm of the hand:

For this step have the right hand laying flat on a table or soft surface - palm facing upwards. Gently and firmly use the hand reflexology technique for each of the below steps. Begin on the soft padding under the fingers- moving downwards over the area, then upwards, then sideways.

Follow the same pattern as above for the centre of the palm Using the same technique and pattern do the outer edge of the hand (downwards from under the little finger to just above the hard bone on the wrist)

Using the same technique and pattern do reflexology from the base of the thumb across to the outer edge of the hand (all of the soft padding between the palm and wrist). This is a very important area and relates to many things, including your spine and digestive system

Lastly, very gently and softly rub the wrist from left to right once, then from right to left

Technique for the back of the hand:

Turn the hand over so that it is palm faced down. Here you will be using the same Hand Reflexology Technique but much gentler. This is a very sensitive area and very gentle pressure is required, frequently ask the person receiving reflexology if they are ok with the amount of pressure applied.

Work down in one direction - from the knuckles to the wrist until every part of the back of the hand has been done. Gently do reflexology around the wrist bone and along the wrist.

Do the Left hand next:

Now that the right hand is finished, repeat the above steps for the left hand, beginning with the Meridian points on the fingertips and continuing until the back of the left hand has been fully massaged.

Completing the treatment:

To complete the treatment, do a short relaxation exercise. Continuing with the left hand. While left hand is still facing palm down apply a small amount of massage oil/ cream to the skin, and gently rub from the knuckles to the wrist in soft slow motions for about thirty seconds. Rub around the wrists for ten to fifteen seconds.

Turn the hand palm face up, (apply a small amount of massage oil if needed) using thumbs do slow gentle sweeping movements across the palm (begin at wrists or centre of palms and move outwards). Gently wring out each finger.

Repeat above relaxation exercise on right hand.

Final note:

Get the person receiving hand reflexology a big glass of water. Tell them to rest for the rest of the day and keep up the water. Water is important because an increase in blood circulation means the body will get rid of waste quicker, but water is what the waste travels in, so make sure to have enough water to get rid of any excess body waste from the blood system to avoid 24 hours of flu like symptoms.

Reflexology charts tend to vary. Here's a slightly different chart:

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