Writing all of those thank-you notes and spending hours shopping for the perfect dress can leave your hands and feet tired and sore. According to the principles of reflexology, stretching and stimulating certain areas on the hands and feet can not only make them feel better but can also help to promote health and relaxation throughout the body, says Kevin Kunz, president of the Reflexology Research Project and co-author of Reflexology: Health at Your Fingertips (DK Publishing, 2003). Try these simple techniques.
Hold a golf ball firmly between the heels of the hands. Interlace the fingers, and roll the ball slowly between the palms for 15 to 30 seconds, covering the entire palm area.
Sit with right foot resting on left knee. Grasp right big toe between thumb and forefinger, and pull it back gently and slowly for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on all toes; switch feet.
Take one finger of the opposite hand; gently and slowly pull it outward, then twist it from side to side for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on all fingers; switch hands.
Position thumb and fingertip in webbing of opposite hand. Pinch the area gently for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch hands and repeat.
Sit in a chair, the heel of one foot on floor. Place fingertips on ball of foot, and pull slowly for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch feet; repeat.