People most often think of the feet when they think reflexology, but there are so many conditions of the hands themselves that can be helped with hand reflexology. And that’s in addition to the overall health benefits to the rest of the body.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the injury that probably springs to mind first. CTS is a narrowing of the tunnel on the palmar surface of the wrist through which the nerves and vascular tubes run. Entrapment results in pain, loss of strength and motor function for approximately 250 million Americans. Although CTS can stem from a variety of conditions, a common source is repetitive activity that puts the wrist in extension and adduction (like massage, typing, cutting hair, carrying large restaurant trays).
In an earlier blog post this year I spoke about the latest repetitive strain injury to earn its own acronym: Text Messaging Injury. More than five billion texts are sent daily, and 40% of texters complain of repetitive strain injuries to the tendons and muscles of their thumbs. Not good.
Another time where people benefit from detailed specific work on the hands is when in recovery from breaks, strains or surgery. I recall a client years ago who came to me, with his doctor’s encouragement, once the cast had been removed from his broken hand and arm. He was a classical pianist and orchestra conductor who needed a quick recovery, so as to be able to resume his busy touring schedule. I love working with people who are motivated and committed like this man was. Weekly hand reflexology sessions and simple daily home assignments got him back to work in just one month.
Arthritis affects 40 million adults in America, to the degree that simple activities of daily living – like brushing the teeth or picking up items with confidence – become a painful, frustrating and sometimes-risky action. Soothing hand reflexology and some simple home self-care practices can do a lot to bring function and relief back.
And lastly, deQuervain’s syndrome, a debilitating condition of the common tendon sheath of the hand that can bring a person’s career to a screeching halt and bring devastation to one’s personal life, has also been shown to respond favorably to hand reflexology.