Hand Reflexology Massage: Self-Treatment Tips

Humans have been gaining the benefits of hand reflexology for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations like Egypt, India, Native America, and China understood the importance of balancing energies by applying pressure to specific points of the hand and feet.

Reflexologists believe there’s an invisible map of the human organs on the palms and soles of the feet. And when you apply appropriate pressure on specific reflex points, it can release blocked energies and flush away toxins and lactic acid.

A trained practitioner usually performs hand reflexology by applying relaxing strokes and pressure applications on targeted areas. But you can easily massage these spots yourself and still reap the same benefits as paying somebody else to do it for you.

Close-Up Shot of a Person Doing a Massage

What is hand reflexology massage?

Hand reflexology is a touch therapy technique by applying pressure on various reflex points around your hand. The theory is that the points on the hands are an exact mirror image of the body’s vital organs. And massaging these hand points can relieve any symptoms in other body parts.

There’s not enough concrete evidence about the connection between the organs and human extremities. Many of these studies are inconsistent, but it doesn’t show that hand reflexology is harmful. If you feel reflexology isn’t for you, you may opt for medical devices that offer non-invasive application.

Due to its non-invasive nature, reflexology is widely accepted. Many people claim to experience deep relaxation after therapy. 

You can have a reflexology couple’s massage with your spouse or find a certified massage therapist to ensure your safety.

Quick Facts:

  • Reflexology is the holistic therapy of choice in Scandinavia.
  • It doesn’t cost a lot to become a massage therapist.
  • Egyptologists found hieroglyphs depicting physicians performing hand and foot massages on their patients.
  • The “Mother of reflexology” is Eunice Ingham. She traveled the world attending health seminars to speak about her knowledge about the treatment.

Steps in applying hand reflexology massage to yourself

It’s essential to develop a regular reflexology practice at home if you want to enhance the benefits of hand massage techniques.

Try these eight basic hand reflexology techniques on yourself.

1. Pinch your fingers

Before starting the hand massage, apply some lotion or scented oils to help smoothen or ease the strokes. To begin your hand reflexology self-treatment, pinch the tips of each finger and thumb for a few seconds on either of your hands. Then, repeat the process on the other hand. Be sure to apply the right amount of pressure. It should be firm but not painful.

2. Pinch the sides of your fingertips

After pinching the tips of your fingers and thumbs, squeeze the sides of your fingertips using your index finger and thumbs. If you experience any discomfort, modify your compression.

3. Rub your fingers vigorously

Like steps 1 and 2, cup your finger with your thumb and pointer finger, and rub the sides back and forth for a few seconds. Then, do the same on the left hand. After the side rubbing method, repeat the process but do it on the tops and bottoms of your fingers.

4. Tug your fingers

With finger tugging, it’s the same procedure. Grasp each finger and thumb from the base with your thumb, index, and middle finger. Don’t grip it too hard. Allow your clutch to be firm, loosening it slightly as you pull your finger. Let your grip slip out completely. Match the same method on the other side.

5. Pinch and pull the webbed area between your fingers

With your thumb and forefinger, grasp the syndactyly in the middle of your thumb and first finger. The syndactyly is the area between your fingers. While holding firmly, tug the skin gently and repeat the process until you have completed the rest of the webbed-tween regions.

6. Massage the top of your hands

Place your hand with the palms facing down and use your other hand to knead. Hold your hand with your thumb on top of the hand you’re massaging. Manipulate both the knuckles and in between the knuckle areas. Continue thumb massaging all the parts of your hand, then switch palms.

7. Massage your inner wrists

To massage your wrists, turn your hand with the back facing down, and gently cradle your wrist with your other hand. Next, knead your inner wrist with your thumb. You will feel a soothing sensation when working on a computer for long hours.

8. Massage the palms of your hands

When massaging your palms, you can alternately use your thumb or index knuckle. Gently stroke the fleshier mound areas, like the lower thumb section, the base of the fingers, and the zone above the wrists. You’d want to do the same on the left hand as well.

Hand reflexology massage for anxiety

A study in 2017 showed that hand reflexology reduced the anxiety of patients about to undergo a minimally invasive procedure to diagnose heart conditions. After the hand massage, people reported that they experienced less concern about the operation.

To relieve anxiety with hand reflexology, apply pressure on the area below the crease of your wrist. You should feel a soft fleshy dent here. Manipulate this area on both hands for about a minute.

Hand reflexology massage for constipation

Hand and foot reflexology may relieve symptoms of constipation. A study conducted in the UK found that 94% of the people reported that reflexology helped with their constipation problem.

Another study in 2018 showed that reflexology could help relieve constipation in the elderly. The participants felt significant relief after only 25 days of massage therapy.

You may find your Large intestine pressure point between your thumb and index finger. Apply pressure to the fleshy area with your other hand and repeat on the other side.

Hand reflexology massage for headaches

Hand reflexology may help treat debilitating headaches caused by stress or anxiety. An observation from 2015 revealed that participants felt the positive effects of reflexology on their headaches after receiving treatment for six months. Over half of them noticed reduced symptoms, while nearly 10% stopped taking headache medications.

Try finding the Pericardium point located a few inches below your wrist between the two tendons. Knead the area gently for a minute before switching sides.

Our sense of touch can do remarkable things. It can receive vital information about the world within and around us. Our hands have a range of sensory pathways that correlate to the body’s organs.

If you think you have healing hands, this course can give you detailed insights into various techniques and treatments in Thai hand reflexology. Here you’ll learn different massage sequences for multiple areas of the body to stimulate the movement of energy.

By the end of this course, you will know how to manipulate the body’s energy lines and reflex points that can boost your client’s wellbeing.


Hand reflexology has been around for millennia. It is a valuable tool that can help with physical and psychological conditions such as high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disorders.

There are a few cautions to beware of before having a session.

It’s essential to understand that reflexology doesn’t have much scientific backing and isn’t advisable during pregnancy. Be sure to consult with your OB-GYN before making an appointment.

If hand reflexology isn’t for you, other options may suit your needs more like deep tissue massage, back massage, and Swedish massage, to name a few.

Interested in learning how to improve your wellbeing? Try these wellness courses, where you’ll discover an assortment of online classes in various personal development fields.

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