Thumb Walk the Esophageal Reflex
Now that you know the workings of the digestive system, it's time to begin the process for this next section. Working on the right foot, begin by holding the foot with your right hand, using your left hand to perform the first sequence. The right hand cradles the foot for support and leverage.
Working the Reflex
Bring the left thumb to the inner, lower edge of the great toe, just above the second joint. This is the mouth reflex. Position the thumb so it is facing down and rotate on the reflex. Rotate in a circular motion, press, and hold. Very slowly using a firm, gentle touch, thumb walk down the inner edge of the foot, from the great toe. Thumb walk over the medial edge of the metatarsal head moving down the foot. This area may feel like a bony ridge, or may have a little padding, depending on the shape of the foot. The thumb is walking on the exact medial edge; this is the reflex for the esophageal tube.
Continue thumb walking down this edge past the metatarsal head to just below the diaphragm line. Bring the thumb back up and walk down again. Feel how the reflex begins to relax under the thumb.
Try this move on yourself. Thumb walk along this reflex and see how your foot feels. Are there any tender spots; do you need to ease up the pressure? This is a great way to find out how your technique feels — always try any of the segments that are possible on your own feet.
Be Aware of Your Body
Let's try something. Hold the right foot with the left hand and use the right thumb to walk the reflex for the esophagus. Notice how awkward this is. There will be many times during a session when using the opposite hand or using the fingers instead of the thumb will make sense.
The rule of thumb is, do what feels good and you will be right. It is important to have your body feel relaxed while working, not awkward or painful. Giving reflexology feels as good as getting if the giver is using good body mechanics. Be aware of your arms, hands, and fingers, as well as the rest of your body.
The arms should generally be relaxed, slightly bent at the elbow, with your fingers moving easily and freely. If you can see your elbow out of the corner of your eye, it is too high, and you should lower the arm. If your fingers or thumbs become too tired too quickly, stop pressing so hard. Remember, move your body; let the pressure come from the movement, not the hand.