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Pain in The Neck!

In my practice as a reflexologist one of the most frequently sensitive reflexes I encounter is the one for the neck.  Even when the client has not listed a stiff or sore neck among the issues to be addressed in that session, when I find soreness in the reflex they inevitably confirm, yes, their neck is not doing so well.  

A stiff neck inevitably affects our quality of life whether for a day or for long term. Should the pain you are experiencing be severe or long-lasting, it would be wise to consult a physician. Reflexology is never a substitute for proper medical care.

As with many of the aches and pains of daily life, prevention is the first line of defense. This could be as simple as stretching your muscles a little bit every day, leaving a little earlier for work so the traffic doesn’t stress you, paying attention to proper posture and taking rest breaks. Since so many people hold stress in their necks, it’s often helpful to take a look at your lifestyle and the issues that stress you to see if any of these can be changed or addressed.  This can include noticing when you’re stressed and putting your attention somewhere else for just a few minutes, working to change your attitude towards some things you cannot change, or actively adjusting your environment by getting a better chair or different job and so forth.

Reflexology is also beneficial as a preventative measure. This means your neck doesn’t have to be hurting in order for reflexology to be effective.  

Reflexes for the entire body can be found in the ears, hands, and feet. This means you have three areas you can work when you’re seeking relief for neck issues. Neck reflexes in your ears are found above the ear lobes at the base of the hard cartilage in an area called the inner ridge. Neck reflexes in your hands are found in the lower half of your thumbs and fingers above where they meet your palm. Finally neck reflexes in your feet are generally located in the lower half of your toes, similarly to your fingers.  I also frequently find sensitive neck flexes on the inside edge of the great toe between the great toe and the second toe.

To properly work these areas, use your thumb in a gentle creeping motion across the reflex area. To some people this motion looks like an inchworm moving across the area. As much as possible do the same on the ears, but sometimes it is adequate to simply hold the ear reflexes with a gentle pressure. It all cases the pressure should not be painful. If there is a “good hurt” in the area, continue to hold it or work it as this often indicates that the body needs more attention there.  

It’s always helpful to work a bit beyond the actual reflex area because these nearby areas support the target reflex as well. In the hands and feet, this can include the top of the palm or sole of the foot which is the shoulder reflex area. In the ears, this can be up the ridge toward the outer edge of the ear which is the reflex area for the spine.

While it feels wonderful to have someone else performing reflexology for you, remember it’s always possible to do it on yourself, especially on your hands or ears, so you always have first aid at your fingertips.

Grateful acknowledgement to Bill Flocco, American Academy of Reflexology, for material excerpted from various of his publications.