I've had a lot of requests on how reflexology (and other things) can help insomnia and other irregular sleep patterns. I've put together a foot and ear reflexology map for you to explore.
First let's explore the foot map. This map is pretty general as it covers a lot of different points. Before going to bed each night sit upright with your foot in your lap (if you can do this). With your thumb, deeply press in and walk your thumb on the large plantar pad of your big toe. Work deeply for at least 1 - 3 minutes on each of the big toes. Also work on the 2nd toe for a minute. The toe points will work your head, brain, pituitary, and pineal gland reflexes... all important to balance for a good night's sleep.
If you can't reach the bottom of your toe, have someone else help you. If that isn't an option, find a firm, (not to sharp) solid corner of a wooden coffee table and press the plantar pad of your large toe on it for a few minutes.
Next walk your thumb along the inner (medial) edge of each foot (one at a time). This is your spinal reflexes, which will help balance your body systems.
Now you can either continue to walk your thumb in the rest of the purple areas marked in the picture (along the ball and arch of each foot), or you can now take a high-bounce rubber ball and stand up and very slowly step on the ball. Once the ball is deep in the muscle of the sole of your foot, slowly roll your foot backward and forward to deeply work these points. Five minutes on each foot will be great. This works your heart, adrenals, solar plexus, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, stomach, intestines, and all your abdominal organs. It also relaxes the muscles on your plantar foot, which in turn, radiate up the back of your legs, lower and upper back, and neck. Relaxing these muscles also helps aid sleep, especially when muscle tension is part of the culprit.
The main points to work are the non-blue areas. If you want extra support, then do the secondary blue points.
How to work the Ear Points: Either before or while you lie down to bed each night, hold these points either between your fingers or pressing on them with your finger tip for a minute or so on each point. Personally, I like to end with the Zero Point for at least 5 minutes. Keep in mind to keep your body, arms and hands as relaxed as you can while holding these points. If you are lying down, make sure your elbows are supported properly with any pillows or support they may need. If you want to work on these points prior to lying down, sit at a table and prop your elbows on the table while resting your head in the palm of your hands while your finger tips reach your ears to press on the points.
Other things that may be able to improve your sleep are:
- Be active during the day. Get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day.
- Eliminate caffeine. If you absolutely won't give it up, at least give it up after 12 noon. This includes tea and chocolate.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do yoga before bed. Do some calm, slow yoga with special breathing techniques, in a very dim lit room prior to bed. This relaxes your body AND your mind.
- Keep your environment stimulant free at least an hour before bed. This means lower the lights, turn off the computers, tv's, cell phones, and other electronic gadgets.
- Eat a diet that is mostly plant-based, especially eating a lot of dark greens like kale, broccoli, and spinach.
- Create a regular bedtime and wake up time.
- Do the Hook Up. Donna Eden in her book "Energy Medicine" gives us this great exercise. While in bed, press down your belly button with the middle finger of one hand and with the middle finger of the other hand press and hold above the bridge of your nose between your eyebrows. Breath in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth for at least 20 seconds. (I like to do this for a few minutes). This creates a connection between your central meridian (which sends energy up the front of your body) and the governing meridian (which sends energy up your spine).
- Keep your body temperature comfortable. Being either too hot or too cold will make going and staying asleep hard to accomplish. If your feet or too cold or too hot, the same thing happens.
- These are some great books to help calm the mind and create a heart-based peace.
The Genie Within by Harry Carpenter
and The Heart Math Solution by Doc Lew Childre
I hope this has been helpful! Wishing you a great night's sleep!!!