The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone. The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones!

This is a verse from a children’s song called, “Dem Bones” Have you heard it?

It teaches children about the bones of the body and how they connect to each other.
In fact, it’s not just the bones that are connected. Every part of the body is related to, connected with, and affected by other parts.

There is a common circulation of energy, blood, oxygen, nutrients and other secretions that travels throughout the various parts of the body, sustains their functions and their interrelationships.

A general massage of the body brings an overall sense of wellbeing. But, there are also some specific reciprocal reflex areas that have a direct relationship with each other.

Applying pressure to a reflex area triggers the body’s healing mechanisms in its reciprocal area. This happens because the massage brings blood, nerve and energy circulation to those areas.

Here is a diagram that shows the reciprocal reflex areas of the limbs.

Diagram adapted from “Good Health for the Future” by Hedi Masafret.

For joint pain, swelling, a break, a tear, twist or sprain, you can you can safely massage the reciprocal reflex area on the same side of the body to bring relief and faster healing.

For example, the girl in the diagram is showing the reciprocal reflex areas on the right side of her body. If she had a problem with her right ankle, she would massage her right wrist.

I know it works because I experienced it myself…

Ankle—wrist connection

I broke my right ankle while I was on my very first ice skating lesson many years ago. I fractured my fibula— the thinner of the two bones that make up the lower leg.

I had to have surgery where a plate and seven screws were inserted into the fibula to hold the pieces of the bone together. Here’s a photo of what they look like.

I now know why they are called “hardware”—they look exactly like what you would find in a hardware store!

I was fitted with a leg cast and sent home to wait for the bone to heal.

I remember having an achy feeling on the outer side of my right wrist, which had become tender and swollen.

Being trained in reflexology I knew why—the right wrist was the reciprocal reflex area of the right ankle where the break in the fibula was.

And so, I started to massage the wrist as often as I could. It helped to reduce the pain in my ankle.

After 7 weeks, I went to the hospital to have the cast removed. The orthopedic doctor was surprised to see that my lower leg wasn’t emaciated, and that I was actually able to move my foot. That was very unusual for someone whose leg had been in a cast for several weeks.

He asked me almost accusingly, “Have you been moving your foot?” I laughed and answered, “How could I—with this cast on the whole time?”

Massage and frequency

Massaging the reciprocal reflex areas is useful when the injured or painful area is hard to access as it was in my case.

People with knee problems can massage the elbow. Massaging the shoulder joint after hip surgery can help relieve pain and aid mobility. You can also massage the hands when your feet are not accessible

But remember—
Never massage directly on an injured area.

You don’t want to cause more damage to the injured and painful area.

Working the reflexes requires no special equipment – your hands will do just fine.

For acute conditions, you can massage the reciprocal reflex areas several times daily at regular intervals.

For chronic conditions, you can massage two to four times a week for a period of several months or even a year. If you’d had a problem for many years, massaging for a year is not an unreasonable amount of time.

The perils of orthopedic hardware

My story didn’t end after the cast came off.

Right after the surgery, I started feeling pain and soreness in my shoulder, which I had never experienced before. This continued after the cast was removed.

Even months afterwards when the joint had healed and I had no problems walking, I noticed that the swelling in the ankle and the wrist didn’t fully subside.

My foot reflexology training* taught me that there are longitudinal zones of energy that run from the top of the head to the feet. The shoulder is in the same zone as the outer side of my ankle. What I was experiencing in the ankle was causing pain in the shoulder.

I knew that the culprit was the hardware—it was impeding the smooth flow of energy in my body. So, I went back into surgery to have the plate and screws removed. I was lucky I had that option as the fibula is not a weight bearing bone and it was no longer necessary to have the hardware in place.

What a relief! The pain in the shoulder disappeared a couple of days after the surgery.

I hope that my experience will alert you if you know someone who is living with joint pain and muscle soreness that could be the result of orthopedic hardware in the body.

The body is innately intelligent

Learning how to massage the reciprocal reflex areas is a simple yet useful skill to know.

You must have faith in the innate intelligence of the body to heal itself. All you are doing is facilitating the process.

It is truly empowering to take your wellbeing into your own hands and do something that actually works to heal the underlying cause of the problem. Painkillers only mask the pain; they don’t heal the condition itself.

Self-massage of the reciprocal reflex areas really works! Try it yourself and see.

I’d love to hear your experience with massaging the reciprocal reflex areas. Add a comment at the bottom of this post—it will help others too!*

For more information on my Foot Reflexology workshops or the foot reflexology tool, please contact me here. 

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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