If you’ve got seasonal allergies and are looking for a natural alternative to allergy pills, here are 6 Chinese reflexology points that can harmonize and strengthen your body’s Qi (life force energy), which can then in turn, bring on relief from your symptoms.
I used to suffer from seasonal allergies too, but it’s been over 15 years since I’ve been allergic to pollen and grass. I do remember that freshly mowed lawns were the worst! It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have allergies. However, I got a poignant reminder recently, and that’s why I’m inspired to share these reflexology points with you.
The other day, my son was invited over to his friend’s house for a playdate. R was so excited to have a friend over and rushed out of his house to greet us. However, after the initial excitement wore off, I noticed that R was rubbing his eyes a lot. His mom mentioned that he had allergies and she brought him a wet facecloth to soothe his eyes. As the little guy held the cool cloth over his face, I felt so bad for him because he was clearly not having a fun time with allergies.
I showed R’s mom some reflexology points related to allergies and she was very open to giving them a try. After rubbing her son’s reflexology eye point for about 30 seconds, she studied R carefully and remarked that his eye looked a bit better. When I saw how quickly her son had responded to the reflexology (children often respond very quickly to energy healing), I knew that I had to get off my butt and write this article. So, here it is.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Allergies
The Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective on allergies is that they’re a result of weak Qi (life force energy). In a simplistic nutshell (keep in mind that I’m summarizing thousands of years of practice into three lines here), here’s what’s going on:
- Weak Lung Qi – The Lung channel is considered the first defense against invasion of “external evil” (e.g. dust, pollen). When it’s weak, allergens can “invade” the body.
- Weak Spleen Qi – A weak Spleen channel is unable to carry out one of its basic functions, which is to transform fluid in the body (aka clear out mucous)
- Weak Kidney Qi – Kidney Qi is like the battery pack of your body so if Kidney Qi is weak, often the other types of Qi are also deficient. Interestingly, Kidney Qi is considered to be depleted by long-term use of medications and that would include allergy pills, antihistamines and cortisone shots. How ironic.
The good news is that you can strengthen your Qi with Chinese Reflexology. Keep reading to learn how.
Holistic View on Allergies
From a holistic point of view, allergies are a result of the body’s immune system going into overdrive. The reason it does this is because it’s overloaded and overreacting. Things that overload the immune system include stress and toxins.
Your body can be exposed to toxins through what you eat, what you breathe and what you touch. For example, chemicals and preservatives in food, medications, mold in the air, VOC’s in paint, chemicals in household cleaners, chemicals in health and beauty products, and even walking through a field of pesticide sprayed grass.
Emotional Causes of Allergies
Louise Hay, one of the pioneers in linking illness to emotion, shares in her book, You Can Heal Your Life, that allergies are related to the following:
- Denying your own power – Louise writes, “Who are you allergic to?”
- Emotional congestion. Fear of the calendar. A belief in persecution. Guilt.
Basically, the body’s sense of overwhelm is a manifestation of an emotional state of overwhelm and feeling unsafe.
Chinese Reflexology Points for Allergy Relief (Seasonal Allergies)
As you can see, there’s a lot going on when it comes to allergies—physically, emotionally and energetically. Allergies involve your whole body. It’s not just your nose, eyes or lungs. The symptoms are like flags flapping in the wind, to let you know that your body’s systems are not in balance.
To eliminate allergies completely, it takes time because allergies are the result of a systemic condition that has probably been ongoing for many years. While that sounds a bit intimidating, what you need to focus on is looking after your body as a whole and being open to the idea of a long-term solution, rather than a quick fix for symptoms.
You can strengthen your body by:
- Reducing the toxins in your body and your exposure to toxins
- Strengthening your Qi: when your energy is balanced and strong, the physical body follows
This article will focus on 6 Chinese Reflexology points for allergies. All of these points are geared towards alleviating the energy imbalances associated with allergy symptoms (e.g. itchy eyes, sniffly nose and scratchy throat). As well, two of these points help to balance and strengthen the body’s Qi for longer-term results. However, to really notice a difference, you’ll need to commit to practicing Chinese Reflexology regularly as part of your lifestyle.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Lung reflexology point (for symptoms and long-term Qi harmonizing)
- Main reflexology point for sinus (symptoms)
- Nose reflexology point (symptoms)
- Throat reflexology point (symptoms)
- Reflexology point for the eyes (symptoms)
- Lymphatic drainage reflexology point (symptoms and long-term Qi)
If you want to learn how to use Chinese Reflexology to correct the imbalance that is the root cause of your allergies, you’ll need to learn a few more points than what’s covered in this article. I taught these in a workshop this spring and have heard back already from someone who eliminated their symptoms completely. If you’re interested, a recording is available for sale. Just send me an email if you’d like to learn more.
First, here’s the usual disclaimer that I have to include. I copied this from a website and added stuff I remember seeing elsewhere :).
The information and materials contained here are intended for informational and educational purposes only, and are not in any way intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or care.
As well, if you are pregnant or have an acute heart condition, do not practice reflexology. If you are not sure whether it is appropriate for you to practice reflexology, consult your medical practitioner.
1) Chinese Reflexology Point for Lungs
As I mentioned above, in Chinese Medicine, the lung meridian is your first barrier of defense against “external evil”, basically the stuff outside your body that makes you feel sick when it gets inside your body. With respect to seasonal allergies, this would be pollen and other airborne allergens that trigger a reaction in your body.
The Chinese reflexology point for the lungs isn’t a point, but actually a large area on the soles of your feet. The reflexology lung point is located on the ball of your foot, under the three middle toes. You’ve got one on both your left foot and your right foot.
To massage this area, press deeply with your thumbs and when you feel a point that is tender to touch, press more deeply and massage using small circles. Move slowly across the lung point and be sure to massage the entire area. You should aim to massage this area for about 60 seconds per foot.
2) Main Reflexology Point for the Sinus
This point is pretty amazing at helping to clear stuffiness in your nose. While everybody is different and they react differently, I’ve found that massaging the sinus point can be quite effective at clearing congestion in the nose.
There are actually five reflexology points for the sinus on each of your feet, but we’ll focus on the main reflexology point for the sinus because this is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
This point is located on the tip of your big toe on the pad of the toe (bottom of your toe). To massage this point, imagine that you’re crushing dried oregano between your thumb and fingers to sprinkle on a yummy Greek salad. Hold your toe with your forefinger and rub with your thumb (right hand for right foot and vice versa for the left side). Do this for about 60 seconds for each foot.
3) Chinese Reflexology Point for the Nose
The Nose reflexology point is located on the edge of the big toe, right where the sole (pink) meets the skin (white). It’s beside your toenail, just above the toe knuckle.
You’ve got a nose point on both of your big toes. The left toe corresponds to the right side of your nose and the right toe corresponds to the left side of your nose.
Yup, that’s confusing, but that’s how your body’s energy meridians work. They cross over at the neck.
This point will help harmonize the energy in your nose region, that’s affected by sneezing and mucous. Primarily, the benefit of this point is for symptom relief as your nose is merely the vessel for the mucous to pass through and not the root cause of the mucous. But, if your nose is bugging the hell out of you, this point is worth massaging, especially in tandem with the reflexology point for sinuses.
To massage this point, you’re going to go back to the crushing oregano metaphor, but you’ll switch hands. Use your right hand for your left toe and left hand for your right toe. Grasp and support the toe with your index finger and rub side to side with your thumb. It’ll be like you’re rubbing from the toenail to the toe pad back and forth, back and forth. Do this for 30 seconds for each foot.
4) Chinese Reflexology Point for the Throat
The throat reflexology point is very easy to find. It’s located at the tip of the webbing between your big toe and second toe. You’ve got a throat point on both of your feet.
To massage this point, use the knuckle of your index finger to press into this point with a digging and twisting motion. You’ll press and rotate at your wrist as if you’re twisting a door knob back and forth or turning a key in a lock.
It’s important to find the right amount of pressure without pressing too hard. The tops of your feet are much more sensitive than the soles of your feet. You definitely don’t want to press so hard that you cause bruising as this is counterproductive and can negatively affect your body’s Qi in the throat area. Twist in both directions for about 20 to 30 seconds depending on your symptoms (more time if your throat is very scratchy, less time if it’s not as scratchy). Repeat for the throat point on your other foot.
5) Chinese Reflexology Point for Eyes
Your eye reflexology points are located on the undersides of your second and third toes. It’s like a U-shaped area below your toe pads.
Because the energy meridians in your body cross over each other at the neck, the reflexology point for your LEFT eye is on your RIGHT foot. And conversely, the point for your right eye is on your left foot.
To massage these points, use your thumbs to press and rub the U-shaped area in an up and down motion. Depending on how itchy your eyes feel (the itchier, the more the Qi needs balancing and strengthening), rub the eye reflexology points from anywhere between 30 to 60 seconds on both feet.
6) Lymph Drainage Reflexology Point
The lymphatic system plays an important role in the proper functioning of your immune system. Here’s a great description from the RWJ University Hospital Hamilton:
“The lymphatic system is a defense system for the body. It filters out organisms that cause disease, produces white blood cells, and generates disease-fighting antibodies. It also distributes fluids and nutrients in the body and drains excess fluids and protein so that tissues do not swell.”
There are several reflexology points related to the lymphatic system, but today, we’ll focus on the point that’s associated with lymphatic drainage in the breast/armpit region.
This reflexology point is located in the webbing between the bones of your big toe and second toe. Most people find this point is very sensitive, probably because the only way to move lymph fluid in the body is through movement and exercise. Sitting at a desk simply doesn’t cut it, so many people have sluggish lymphatic systems.
To massage this point, use the knuckle of your index finger to press and stroke downwards from the base of your toes towards the bottom of the V that’s formed where the bones meet. When you reach the bottom of the V, lift up your knuckle and place it back at the base of your toes and stroke downwards again. Repeat for 30 strokes. Because this point is on the tops of your feet which are more sensitive than your soles, be careful not to press so hard that you irritate the skin.
Putting It All Together
Now that we’ve covered most of the main points for harmonizing the energy (Qi) related to allergy symptoms, here’s a quick summary of what to massage and how often.
|Lung Points||60 seconds|
|Sinus Points||60 seconds|
|Nose Points||30 seconds|
|Throat Points||20 to 30 seconds|
|Eye Points||30 to 60 seconds|
|Lymph Drainage Points||30 strokes|
I would recommend massaging these points on a daily basis. While some people may experience immediate relief with some of these points, it’s likely that it may take up to two weeks before you notice a difference. Everybody’s body is different and responds differently.
Chinese Reflexology is not about popping a pill to mask symptoms. It’s about helping your body return to a state of balance so that it’s not so overwhelmed and can thus, better manage allergy symptoms. For those of you committed to practicing daily, I applaud you and would love to hear from you.
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