The dictionary definition of ‘insomnia’ is ‘the inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness’. Insomnia can cause difficulty with making decisions as well as short and long-term memory loss.
In the fast paced world we now live in, sleep problems and ongoing insomnia are certainly becoming more commonplace. As at 2011, 30% of people in the UK had severe sleep issues and it would not be a surprise if that figure in 2017 is now much higher.
When your body and mind are denied the rest that they need to function at their best, insomnia becomes a debilitating condition. Persistent insomnia can lead to a weakened immune system, is believed to be a contributing factor in many vehicle accidents and is associated with a higher risk of developing chronic diseases; such as, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
Reflexology for insomnia
Although there are different causes of insomnia, stress and hormonal imbalance seem to be major factors. Reflexology can help to break the cycle of sleeplessness and end the vicious circle that leaves you tossing and turning all night and ruminating over your problems.
By stimulating the adrenal and pineal reflexes that work with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands as part of the endocrine system, sleep patterns can be brought back into balance. Hormones can be balanced and deep relaxation promoted to help switch off the stress hormone response that will have gone into overdrive.
I use a combination of vertical reflexology (VRT) techniques, essential oils, hot stones, crystals, reiki, advanced reflexology stroking and deep massage moves. I focus on the solar plexus points on both feet. This can work wonders to enhance a good night’s sleep.
Many clients fall asleep (or drift off) during a reflexology treatment and most report having an excellent night’s sleep following a treatment.
I provide my insomnia and sleep disorder clients with a handout containing some self-help reflexology moves for use at home and information provided by the UK Sleep Council.
Research into reflexology for insomnia
Gao, W Wang Z, and Liu H. Preliminary Exploration of Treatment for Insomnia, China Reflexology Symposium Report, Beijing, China Reflexology Association (1996)
70 patients with insomnia were given foot reflexology.
Group A was given 10 sessions, twice a day and Group B was given 10 sessions, once a day.
Group A showed 88.7% improvement after five days and 100% after ten days.
Group B showed 22.86% improvement after five days and 91.43% after ten days.
Foot reflexology was found to be effective in the treatment of insomnia.