The Benefits of Ear Reflexology
Mar 01, 2016 02:03PM
By Sam Belyea
Reflexology works by stimulating the sensitive nerve endings on the feet, hands, face and ears, but most people give a funny look when I mention the ear’s effectiveness in relation to chronic pain. How can such a small and overlooked part of the body produce results?
Nerve distraction. When the body is experiencing pain or discomfort, sending signals along the same nerve pathways will help to dull the perceived acuteness of that pain. By stimulating the sensitive nerves in the ear reflexes during a headache or migraine, we have a great opportunity to help the body rebalance and take inventory of its areas of tension without invading the area of sensitivity with deep tissue massage, shots or harmful medications.
Accessibility. The ears are out in the open, as opposed to feet which are in shoes, and the face which may be awkward to work on in a crowded or social setting. Ears provide an easy way to apply the alternating pressure techniques for which reflexology is famous without the need to disrobe or contort the body. This fact is also very helpful with self-care; reflexology using the ears can easily be taught to aid sinus congestion, an upset stomach or general stress. When we can give someone the power to apply a self-healing technique like reflexology, it increases their level of body awareness and begins a true sense of starting the recovery/reconnection process with the self.
Reading the ears. When the body decides to manifest physical symptoms, the ears are a quick and easy way to observe the current state of the body’s systems. Redness, irritation, hypervascularity, dryness and temperature changes can all be noticed in sections of the reflex areas on the ear that are currently under duress. As we understand how the physical, mental and emotional states interconnect with the ear reflexes, we can open a deeper conversation relating to how someone’s internal state may be playing into their physical experience of discomfort. As we understand that no symptom manifests within the body by chance, we unlock a key to the human experience through how we learn to communicate with our own body’s signs and signals.
Referencing the Ear Zones Diagram, we can see the five major horizontal zones and their meanings in reflexology. The next time that you have physical discomfort, find the related section on the ear and apply an alternating clamp-release pressure with your thumb and index finger on the front and back of both ears in that zone. Depth and hard pressure are not needed because we are addressing nerve endings which are naturally sensitive. This simple technique will create a new stimulus that will help the body find its sense of balance while relaxing you during a time of potential stress. Ear reflexology can be very useful around the home with friends and family as well. Professionals seeking to learn the basics of ear reflex work can train to be certified in reflexology or simply take a weekend class to understand the basics.
Sam Belyea is the owner and head trainer for The Foot Whisperer Reflexology Institute and is Tampa Bay’s only dual-nationally certified reflexologist. He has been practicing reflexology for more than seven years and teaches the institute’s 300-hour Reflexology Certification Program along with weekend workshops on reflexology across the U.S.
The Foot Whisperer Reflexology Institute is located at 4810 W. Gandy Blvd., Tampa. For more information, call 813-831-9420 and/or visit FootWhisperer.com. See ad page 12.