Your office environment may not be all namaste all the time, but there are simple ways you can naturally combat fatigue, anxiety, and migraines to get into the zen-zone—without whipping out the incense and Tibetan singing bowls.
Reflexology is a type of massage therapy that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to help release muscles and alleviate pain. By rubbing certain pressure points, it’s believed that you can affect other areas within the body. Most reflexology charts focus on zones in the hands and feet, which makes it really simple and discrete to execute even if you’re sitting at your desk at work.
Focus, revive, and energize yourself from your midday slump with these seven reflexology points.
If you can’t focus on your assignment
Try applying pressure to the fleshy part of your lower leg, outside of the top of your shin, about four fingers below your kneecap. Press this point with your thumb for one minute to feel more energized and to increase your ability to concentrate.
If your neck is aching from staring at your screen
First, take a break from your computer for a while. Then find the area at the ridge of your shoulder, right between your shoulder and your neck. Massaging the shoulder well point will help your neck relax immediately, and this magic pressure point can help with back pain too.
If you feel a migraine coming on
Stop your migraine dead in its tracks, before it ruins the rest of your day...and everyone else’s day, cause let’s be real, when your head hurts you’re kind of a grouch. It’s best to apply pressure to a few points in the temple region to fight this super headache. Located one fingers width behind your ear from the top to the ear lobe, you can press along this region to help alleviate pounding temples, double vision, and light sensitivity.
If you’re nervous about a big presentation
Stomach in knots? Get rid of your tummy ache by pressing lightly on the ‘Inner Gate’ point–to find it, draw a straight line starting between your pointer and middle finger directly below the inside of your wrist. About three finger widths below your wrist crease, apply pressure with your opposite thumb. Activating this point will help you breathe more deeply and relieve nausea.
If your allergies are acting up because someone’s perfume is too strong
Move past the old-lady perfume smell with this simple reflexology move: press gently on the inner corner of your eyes, just below your eyebrows. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose for thirty seconds. Repeat three to five times or until the perfume wafts past you.
If your heels are killing you
Those Manolos are so stylish when they’re sitting in your closet, but around 11 a.m. when your feet feel like they’re about to fall off you remember exactly why you never wear them. Mitigate your foot pain with a little pressure point therapy. Kick off your shoes and find the indentation on the inside of your foot about three fingers behind your big toe. Use your thumbs or a tennis ball to work the area–as soon as you do, you’ll feel ankles and feet relax, and your anxiety levels drop too.
If you’re super stressed
Find the squishy upside down triangle between your thumb and your pointer finger. With your opposite hand, firmly squeeze this area while breathing deeply for about 30 seconds. Called the Union Valley, stimulating this pressure point releases muscle tension and stress.
Reflexology works best if you truly allow yourself to focus and decompress, so take the time to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and drink fluids as you work out your kinks. Keep this easy practice in your back pocket for the next time you're feeling a little blah, and take time to enjoy little moments of self-care and relaxation throughout the day–you deserve it!
Illustration by Karley Koenig