Foot and Hand Reflexology for Sciatica

Would you like to know how foot and hand reflexology for sciatica works? We have either foot or hand reflexology chart readily available for you to see which part of your extremities you need to target depending on your needs. This article specifically shows you how reflexology can help alleviate that annoying sciatic nerve pain and relax your legs in the process.

hand reflexology for sciatica

You should realize by now that foot and hand reflexology can do wonders for your body’s relaxation and overall comfort. This ancient traditional alternative medicine is a complementary therapy in itself –  it adds holistic relief and relaxation to the body.

Foot and hand reflexology addressed many health conditions and issues, including problems of the head, heart, lungs, spine, liver, pancreas, or even as specific as the sciatic nerve. Speaking of which, many therapists offer sciatica pain relief using different alternative medicine procedures like massage and acupressure.

But would you like to know how foot and hand reflexology for sciatica works? We have either foot or hand reflexology chart readily available for you to see which part of your extremities you need to target depending on your needs. This article specifically shows you how reflexology can help alleviate that annoying sciatic nerve pain and relax your legs in the process.



Foot and Hand Reflexology: A Brief Overview

Reflexology is one of the ancient alternative medicine procedures that originated in China. The principle behind this technique revolves the same way as to how acupressure and massage would work – reflex points all over the body target specific areas that you cannot palpate. The amount of pressure you exert on a particular area can either stimulate or relax an organ or part of the body connected to it through nerves.

Chinese beliefs center on the thought that these reflex points balance a person’s qi or energy, allowing your body to perform its usual tasks, paying no mind to certain pain or discomfort.


Foot and Hand Reflexology: The Difference

While many would confuse reflexology with acupressure and massage, it definitely is different, especially with the way it works. Acupressure and massage both locate pressure points all over the body. With foot and hand reflexology, the reflex points are all within the palms and soles of the feet.

The type and way you present pressure on a specific point also differ.

  • Massage uses the whole hand and elbows when kneading the body part to be manipulated.
  • Acupressure uses the fingertips to apply manual pressure.
  • Acupuncture utilizes specialized needles to pinpoint the meridians of the body.
  • With reflexology, only the thumbs and index fingers perform the ‘walking’ or caterpillar-like movements to introduce pressure to the hands and feet (sometimes ears).


Hand Reflexology for Sciatica: The Misconceptions

It has been known that reflexology targets pressure points located on the hands and feet, and sometimes the ears. Many would mention that the points you would want to target using the hands can also be located on the feet. While this thought is not completely false, circumstances can say otherwise. Like targeting sciatica pain relief.

There are some reflexology websites and therapy clinics that would attest to doing hand reflexology for sciatica. However, even the Chinese therapists who inherited this technique from their ancestors would claim that the real way to target sciatica pain relief is through the feet.


Sciatica: What You Need to Know

The sciatic nerve is a long cable fiber that extends from the buttock area all the way to your legs and feet. This nerve fiber provides an essential role in linking the spinal cord to the integumentary and muscular regions of the lower extremities, particularly the thighs, legs, and feet.

reflexology for sciaticaIf you have a lower back problem, and it compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, it causes shooting pain in the leg that radiates downward to the feet. This is called sciatica. Conditions like disk herniation, foraminal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or development of tumors or cysts in the lower spine or pelvic region may trigger compression and inflammation of the sciatic nerve, prompting sciatica.

This nerve issue may make you feel tingling, shooting, or numbing sensations along your lower extremities. Specific movements may trigger the sensation. Many people would claim that their discomfort is irritatingly annoying because a simple step may lead to shooting pain from the waist down. Sciatica pain relief is then badly needed in cases like this.


How does Foot and Hand Reflexology Work for Sciatica?

As mentioned earlier, hand reflexology may somewhat help relieve some symptoms of sciatica. A therapist’s website claims that doing the finger-walking technique along the areas of the thumb, wrist, and sides of the thumb may help alleviate the tension and nerve compression near the spine. If this eases out, the sciatic nerve also relaxes.

What we need to delve deeper into is the foot reflexology technique that directly addresses sciatica pain relief.  Here are the steps that you need to take in order to target the energy lines that are parallel to the sciatic nerve, alleviating the pain and discomfort.


Locate the Pressure Points Correctly

To pinpoint your sciatic nerve, the therapist will turn his attention to your lower leg area, along the insides, heel, and ankle regions of each foot.


Start Applying Pressure using Finger Walking

The therapist starts on the outer, lateral aspect of your foot. The sciatic nerve reflex comes down from the leg to just below the knee, passes through the heel, and courses upward into the inner foot, climbing back up into the pelvic region. This warrants patients’ major symptom as a shooting pain going down the outer or inner leg.

hand and foot reflexology for sciaticaYour reflexologist uses thumb walking as the initial manipulation. He starts at the lateral side of the foot, a little above the ankle, pressing little by little into the pathway of your sciatic nerve. The movement resembles that of a crawling caterpillar, slowly working its way down your heel. Once the thumb wraps around the heel, he can replace the thumb with his index finger, following the same movement.

Once done with the outer to the inner side of the foot (or vice versa), your reflexologist duplicates his technique to the other foot.


Concentrate on Areas that Elicit Pain

You may experience occasional pain during the finger walking technique. Your reflexologist can also detect if the pressure he is using causes discomfort, signalling sciatic nerve pain. The therapist’s approach is to lighten the touch on the palpated tension, sometimes stopping there while still holding the contact.


Include other Regions for Reflexology

Some foot and hand reflexology therapists include other areas of the feet during their sciatica pain relief session. Other practitioners opt to incorporate the lymphatic nerve reflex technique located at the foot’s dorsal surface along the ankle area.

Many therapists also go back to the inner aspect of the foot where the lower back reflex is located. Ankle traction also helps in releasing the tension on the lower extremities. And lastly, many reflexologists end their session with a solar plexus hold Just below each foot’s ball, he presses his thumbs slowly along the middle part of the sole as he leans forward to apply light pressure.


Now that you know how foot and hand reflexology for sciatica works, you can also try and do it yourself at home. However, be advised that using reflexology is more effective and accurate if done by a trained professional. Some techniques and movements may aggravate, rather than alleviate, the pain and discomfort. Moreover, as reflexology is a complementary therapy, asking your doctor’s guidance in seeking a reflexologist’s expertise is essential.