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  • Debbie Graham talking to Dawn Cretney

2 Reflexology Points to Calm Exam Stress

Today I am grateful for the expertise of Debbie Graham, a Clinical Reflexologist (and a mum), who is sharing two techniques exam stressed pupils, teachers and parents can use.

Dawn: What is reflexology?

Debbie: Reflexology is a gentle non-invasive therapy that aims to bring balance to the body. It involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet, hands and ears which correspond to every organ and part of the body. There are so many benefits to this holistic therapy, including the ability to calm an anxious mind, relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.

Here’s a little interesting fact for you. There are over 200,000 nerve endings on the feet. Many of these are stimulated during a reflexology session. It is therefore no surprise that reflexology has such amazing results!

Dawn: How can pupils use reflexology?

Debbie: Pupils don’t have to visit a Reflexologist to reap the benefits, nor do they need to have the ability to wrap their leg around their body to reach their feet.

Working on your own hands is just as beneficial and can be done anywhere and at any time, regardless of whether you are flexible or not! Once you have learned some simple tools to add to your ‘stress relief’ toolkit, you can pull them out at any point and see how they begin to really help you calm your mind, reduce anxiety and empower yourself.

Dawn: What specifically should they do?

Debbie: There are two reflex points I would recommend pupils working on.

The solar plexus point

This is one of the most powerful points in Reflexology. It’s a network of nerves, our seat of emotions, and is often referred to as our ‘gut’ or abdominal brain. Within our body it’s found below our diaphragm and above our abdomen. It’s highly affected by stress. Working this reflex regularly on the hands can really help to calm and balance the nervous system. It can also help to alleviate insomnia and increase energy levels. So overall this little spot is really quite magical!

In order to locate this reflex, look at the palm of your hand and curl your fingers over so that you can see the natural crease where the ball of your hand ends. The solar plexus lies just below this line between the first and second finger. Use your thumb to unwind the reflex by slowly rotating in an anti-clockwise motion. Another useful technique is to place your thumb on the reflex, take a deep breath in whilst applying pressure. Then take a short pause at the end of your breath before exhaling and releasing the pressure. Do this several times on each hand to encourage relaxation.

Reflex point two I would suggest is:

The adrenal glands

This is another helpful reflex to work. Within our body the adrenal glands are situated above the kidneys and are responsible for preparing us for the fight or flight response. This can be triggered when we are faced with danger, threat or a stressful situation. They do this by producing and releasing adrenaline and cortisol. These are the hormones that raise our heartrate, dilate our pupils, cause palpitations and make us sweat. By working the adrenals we can encourage calm and relaxation, bringing our bodies back into a sense of balance.

The easiest way to find the adrenal glands on the hands is to draw a line downwards from the webbing between the thumb and index finger. They sit underneath the natural crease where the ball of the hand ends. Again, you can rotate your thumb onto the reflex in a clockwise motion, as if you are unwinding it. It is also effective to gently press and hold the reflex, as if you are sedating it.

Dawn: Do you have any other advice?

Debbie: If you are feeling particularly stressed, you may find that both of these points feel tight and quite sensitive. Ensure that you work them gently and gradually increase the pressure.

Now that you have a couple of simple and useful techniques in your toolkit, you can pull them out whenever you may need them. This could be when you are revising, to help you switch off and go to sleep, or even during an exam to help you to think more clearly instead of panicking.

I find these techniques to be little life-savers in times of stress and I hope you will too.

If you want to find out more, details of Debbie’s work can be found here:

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