Hand Reflexology

Do you want to know more about hand reflexology and when it is used?

Hand reflexology is generally used when, for one reason or another, the feet cannot be accessed. It is believed that to work on the feet delivers a more powerful reflexology treatment but I have had some pretty profound moments working on the hands too.

Personal Preference

Some people just decide that they would rather have a hand reflexology treatment and this is always an option. It can be very therapeutic for someone who uses their hands a lot in their working day.

Feet – not an option?

The feet may be inaccessible for many reasons, maybe the person is self-conscious of their feet or extremely ticklish. Perhaps the client has a form of infection, fungus or injury on the feet which prevents them from receiving a treatment. Perhaps the client is an amputee or there is restricted access to the feet where the legs cannot be raised e.g. if the client is in a wheelchair (Vertical Reflex Therapy can also apply in this situation). Or maybe it is a simple case of location and wanting to be discrete while delivering a treatment. The hands are easier to access in general as no covering needs to be removed and some people find it to be less invasive. The hands are also ideal for self-treatment and first aid situations e.g. to comfort someone who is in shock or to work on someone on a plane or boat where there is limited space.

Amplifying a treatment by incorporating hand reflexology

Another good reason for working the hands as opposed to the feet is that the fingers are so much larger than the toes! The toes and fingers, you see, represent the head area in the body, this includes (but is not limited to) the sinuses, teeth, cranium and cervical spine. As a compromise, the abdominal reflexes on the hands are considerably smaller than those of the feet. The benefit of having better access to the ‘head’ area when using the hands is that you can offer a more in-depth treatment to somebody who may suffer with problems in this area e.g. neck problems, jaw problems, eye and ear issues and headaches, sinus and migraine.

As reflexology is a holistic therapy, however, it is important to mention that in the treatment of any illness or imbalance the entire body is taken into account and treated, but being able to focus more on certain areas can be very beneficial to the client.

Each of the 12 phalanges of the fingers (and toes) represent a cranial nerve.
A tender sensation in any of these areas can help you to figure out what, if any, energy imbalances exist in your system.


  • Cervical Spine
  • Neck
  • Sinuses
  • TMJ
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Pineal Gland
  • Hypothalamus
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Mastoid
  • Occipital and Temple regions
  • Face, nose and the incisors

Index Finger

  • Olfactory Nerve: Relates to our sense of smell
  • Optic Nerve: Relates to our sense of sight
  • Oculomotor Nerve: Relates to eye movement

Also the index finger contains ‘reflexes’ for the canines, sinuses and the eyes

Middle Finger

  • Trochlear Nerve: Relates to eye movement
  • Trigeminal Nerve: Relates to our jaws and temples
  • Abducens Nerve: Relates to eye movement

Also the middle finger contains ‘reflexes’ for the premolars, sinuses and the eyes

Ring Finger

  • Facial Nerve: Relates to facial movement
  • Acoustic Nerve: Relates to our sense of hearing and balance
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve: Relates to swallowing

Also the ring finger contains ‘reflexes’ for the molars, sinuses, eustachian tube and the ears

Baby Finger

  • Vagus Nerve: Relates to our parasympathetic nervous system
  • Accessory Nerve: Relates to our spine, neck and shoulders
  • Hypoglossal Nerve: Relates to our sense of taste and salivary glands.

Also the baby finger contains ‘reflexes’ for the wisdom teeth, sinuses and the ears

As a reflexologist working on the hands one can sit directly opposite the client with a pillow to support the hands and arms. My preference, however, is to seat my client in a reclining chair where they can completely relax and I work to the side supporting the arm and hand on a pillow.