Foot reflexology has nurturing, therapeutic effects for everyone!
But because baby’s feet are still not fully developed, they tend to respond better to reflexology.
The great thing about foot massage is that you can do it anywhere and even on top of socks. It is non-intrusive and can be very soothing for baby, particularly if they are feeling under the weather.
Massaging the feet can bring many benefits as they have reflex points that correspond to specific organs, muscles, bones and body systems. By gently applying pressure to these areas, you can help relieve discomfort from congestion and blockages.
Head & teeth
The tips of the toes correspond to baby’s head and teeth. This is shown in pink in the diagram above. Gently rubbing the tips of the toes can be particularly helpful when baby is teething.
The centre of the toes corresponds to the sinuses. This is shown in orange in the diagram above. When baby has a cold, or is full of congestion, applying pressure to the pads of the toes can provide some relief.
My son had his first cold at 5 weeks old. I was dubious about this at first, but squeezing his big toe always seemed to result in a sneeze which helped him to clear his sinuses!
The ball of the foot corresponds to the lungs. This is shown in green in the diagram above. Babies often get congestion in their chest from colds which can make breathing, eating and sleeping difficult. Gently rubbing the balls of their feet, the area just below the base of the toes, can help to clear this congestion.
The area just below the ball of the foot corresponds to the solar plexus. This is shown in light purple in the diagram above. The solar plexus is a complex network of nerves located in the upper abdomen and behind the stomach. It plays an important role in the functioning of the tummy, kidneys, liver and adrenal glands.
Tightness in the solar plexus can result in emotional and physical distress, difficulty in breathing, and pain or other gastric symptoms like upset stomachs. Applying pressure to this area of the foot can help to relieve discomfort.
Upper and Lower Abdominal Areas
The area below the ball of the foot corresponds to the upper and lower abdominal areas. These are shown in dark purple and blue in the diagram above.
Babies often experience discomfort with gas and constipation. Rubbing the upper area of the sole of the foot can help to get the bowels moving. By rubbing the lower area of the sole of the foot, it can help stimulate the large intestine and relieve discomfort from constipation and gas.
The heel of the baby’s foot corresponds to the pelvic region. This is shown in green in the diagram above. If baby is having trouble with their hips, try applying pressure to the heel.
Here’s a little foot massage routine for the whole foot. But before you start, remember to ensure you apply a firm but gentle pressure when massaging baby. If your strokes are too light, particularly on areas like the sole of the foot, it may be tickly for baby and provide discomfort and overstimulation.
Massage routine for baby’s feet:
- Stroke over top of foot from ankle to toes using your thumb
- Thumb slide from heel to under each toe in turn
- Draw clockwise circles around the foot arch with thumb
- Press and release over all of the sole of the foot with thumb
- Gently lengthen, squeeze and roll each toe individually with thumb and index finger
- Draw small circles around the ankle
- Repeat on the other foot
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