14 August, 2017
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- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
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Reflexology & Acid Reflux
The theory behind reflexology is that certain conditions can be relieved when pressure is applied to specific points on your feet, hands, lower legs, face and ears. Some of these conditions include digestive disorders like acid reflux. However, the Association of Reflexologists advises that reflexology should never replace medical treatment.
This type of complementary therapy centers on the idea that your nerves extend throughout your body and encounter almost every internal organ before ending with your feet, hands, ears or face, according to the association. By pressing on these body parts' nerve endings, you can stimulate the organs they connect to and help ease certain conditions by promoting circulation and muscle relaxation.
This condition arises when stomach acid pushes up through your esophagus, causing a burning sensation in your throat and chest. It is caused by loss of function in your diaphragm or esophageal sphincter. This means the latter opens randomly or stays open for longer than it should when allowing food to pass from your esophagus into your stomach, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website.
Two points on your feet can help stimulate organs affected by acid reflux, according to the Dr. Foot website. The line across the soles, just below the balls of both feet, corresponds with your diaphragm; manipulating this section can help increase healing blood flow to this muscle. Just below this reflexology zone, on your left foot only, is an area related to your stomach. Your hand also contains zones that can help relieve acid reflux. By manipulating the base of your hand, where your wrist begins, you can promote abdominal health, according to the AltMD website.
A trained reflexologist can manipulate reflexology points to relieve acid reflux symptoms and can use reflexology to diagnose the condition, according to Dr. Foot. For maximum benefit from this type of therapy, see a professional, who also may advise you to do some manipulation at home. One such manipulation is called “creeping”; with your thumb's fleshy part, press down and slowly move forward across your foot or hand, reports "MailOnline." Another common technique requires you to press on the reflex point as hard as you can without causing pain.
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