The hand has always been a focal point in the advancement of civilizations. We can state without a reasonable doubt, that without this anatomical member of the human body and its intricate functions, we would not be who we are today.
The function of the human hand with its opposable thumb is in essence, one of the most versatile and delicate tools in nature. It can perform a great number of tasks and functions with amazing ease. Just like the feet, the hands reflected all the body’s anatomical configuration. It should not be a surprise, that earlier human inhabitants on this planet has placed so much emphasize on the hand, the same way that we do! Like foot reflexology, a form of hand reflexology has been around for millenniums.
Variations from Foot Reflexology
This holistic therapy is quite useful in healing the body! Like foot reflexology, hand reflexology also uses the thumb and fingers but, in a different form and with different pressures, due to the following:
- The hands are exposed all the time so they are less sensitive then the feet.
- Anatomically they are different.
- The reflexes on the hands are closer and more compressed than on the feet.
- The working method or techniques are done differently.
Hand reflexology has proven to be a very effective form of therapy in conjunction with foot reflexology. When the hands are treated, the client is very relaxed, paving the way for increased benefits from the foot reflexology session.
Self Treatments with Hand Reflexology
Hand reflexology may be used on its own with the same effect of foot reflexology. Except that more sessions will be needed to achieve the same results. Hands are easy, very accessible and can be worked on anywhere and anytime. Usually, a reflexologist gives their clients “homework”, which are self help techniques to work on themselves. This is especially useful when a client is unable to receive treatment as often as is necessary for lasting results. Anyone can practice hand reflexology on themselves. It’s quite easy and simple and the results are beneficial to the health!
Just think how many times you have waited in a long line, sat in a dentist or doctor’s office or you were just watching television! All this time can be channeled into profit; a profit for your own well being! Hand reflexology is also very helpful as a first aid measure for that toothache, headache, backache, stress and many others ailments.
Treating the Foot with the Hand
In the case of an injured foot or if a foot is missing, working the hands becomes a necessity. The benefits of hand reflexology are the same, as far as achieving a state of wellness, balance and homeostasis. Injuries to the feet can be helped by working the reflexes in the hand. Pain, discomfort and swelling due to an injury or trauma on the foot, can be relived through hand reflexology. Isn’t that amazing!
The simplicity of using hand reflexology mesmerizes even the masters of medicine, it is totally natural. Basically all of natures ways are simple to use once we gain their understanding.
With hand reflexology, just pressing, sliding and pinching the hand can be quite beneficial. Each part of the body has a corresponding reflex, mapped out on the hand and fingers. The reflexology maps of the hands describe all of the anatomical location of all the glands, organs and other parts of the body.
Hand Reflexology Zones
Like the foot, each hand is represented and divided into 5 longitudinal zones. The hands are interconnected through the concept of zone therapy to all the parts of the body. Like the foot, the left hand represents the left side of the body and the right hand represents the right side of the body.
The hand is very similar to the foot and the spine since it has a similar number of bones. The foot has 26 bones, the spine has 26 bones, and the hand has 27 bones. It is quite interesting, that this anatomical part of the body has one more bone than the foot and the spine, when the foot and spine must bear the full weight of the body.
The hand is similar to the foot but is more delicate with long mobile fingers. It has 4 fingers and one thumb and the thumb is made up of two bones called flanges and each finger also has 3 phalanges. For someone to really learn hand reflexology one must study and comprehend the anatomy of the hand.
Anatomy of the Hand
Bones of the Hand
ULNA AND RADIUS - are the 2 bones of the forearm which articulate with the carpal bones at the wrist joint and with each other at the superior and inferior radio-ulnar joints.
CARPALS - (or wrist bones) - consist of 8 bones - Proximal row: scaphoid, lunate, triquetral, pisiform. Distal row: trapezium, trapizoid, capitate, hapitate. The bones of the proximal row are associated with the wrist joint and those of the distal row form joints with the metacarpal bones. These bones are closely fitted together and held in position by ligaments which allow a certain amount of movement between them.
METACARPALS - (bones of the hand) - consists of 5 bones that form the hand. They are numbered from the thumb side inwards. The proximal ends articulate with the carpal bones and the distal ends with the phalanges.
PHALANGES - (finger bones) - consist of 14 bones, 3 in each finger and 2 in the thumb. They articulate with the metacarpal bones and with each other.
Muscles of the Hand
SMALL MUSCLES - (Intrinsic muscles) - of the hand are used for fine co-ordination.
LARGE MUSCLES - (Extrinsic muscles) of the forearm give us flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and rotation.
THE THUMB - has its own flexor, extensor, abductor and adductor muscles.
Tendons of the Hand
EXTENSOR TENDONS - enable us to straighten the fingers.
FLEXOR TENDONS - enable us to bend the fingers.
Important Structures of the Hand
CARPAL TUNNEL - is a narrow, rigid passage formed by the carpal bones of the wrist and is a tough, inelastic transverse carpal ligament (Flexor Retinaculum).
Nine (9) flexor tendons and the median nerve pass through the carpal tunnel.
The median nerve branches into one motor nerve, which goes to the thumb muscles, and a sensory branch, which provides half of the hand sensation.
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME - The symptoms are: paresthesia (tingling), night pain, daytime pain and thumb muscle weakness.
It is caused by compression of the median nerve against the transverse ligament which can be caused by swelling of the synovial flexor tendon sheaths.
The Seven Hand Reflex Sections
For locating the reflexes on the hands in addition to the zones, the hand can be divided into seven reflex sections as follows:
- The head and neck area. (located in the thumbs and fingers)
- The thoracic and open area of the abdomen. (located at the waistline of the hand usually found at the base of the metacarpal)
- The lower areas of the abdomen and pelvis. (located over the carpel bones)
- The reproductive organs including uterus, prostate, ovaries and testes reflexes. (located in parts of the wrist)
- Spinal column. (located on the outside edge of the thumb extending down where it meets the wrist)
- The arm reflexes. (located on the little finger of each hand)
- The breasts, lungs and lymphatics. (located on the back of the hand and top of the wrist)
Hand reflexology is strikingly efficient in relieving the body of conditions related to the head. Due to the proximity of the reflexes that are located on the hands in connection with the head. A proper implementation of hand reflexology will also allow the body to achieve total balance, or homeostasis.