Reflexology + Digestive Issues

Do you suffer from digestive issues? Keep reading to discover how reflexology can help you...

1 in 5 Irish people experience ongoing gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, and many others suffer in silence due to the embarrassment.

Experts constantly discuss the negative issues that our busy stressful lifestyles have on our digestive systems, reminding us of the importance of gut health. So many of us become normalised to bowel discomfort, ignoring digestive issues, leaving our bodies further stressed and worn out. It's also worth noting that when one of our body's systems is out of balance our entire body suffers.

Some of the most common digestive issues include; constipation, bowel blockages, diarrhoea, Chron's Disease, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroenteritis, stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids and more sinisterly, Cancer.

But fear not, as I'm here to tell you how Reflexology can help you to get on top of some those issues!


Constipation is failure of bowel movement, or the passage of hard stools. When a bowel motion occurs it generally does so with discomfort, strain or pain. The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fiber. Other causes include the use of certain medications, depression, trauma and stress.

Constipation occurs because the colon absorbs too much water from waste, which then dries out the poo making it hard in consistency and difficult to remove from the body. This is why it is very important to increase your fluids and reduce caffeine intake when you are constipated.

Reflexology can aid constipation by working on the reflexes of the small intestine, large intestine, adrenal glands, liver, pancreas, solar plexus and digestive system. Constipation can be improved by using the thumb walking technique through the small and large intestines, clearing any blockages in the process and ‘waking up’ the body’s digestion. When these reflex points are stimulated the blood circulation of the areas increases, bringing more oxygen to the each specific area. This reenergises the the digestive organs, enabling them to work at a higher level of efficiency.

Reflexology also encourages the entire body to relax for the duration of the treatment which encourages all of the body's systems to work together in harmony. This creates homeostasis which enables the necessary healing and recuperation of the body to take place.


Digestive dysfunction often manifests in constipation or diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is a stress response that involves the food being rushed through the system too rapidly. The Reflexologist can help by pressing gently on the middle of the small intestinal area of the feet. This can be highly effective in calming the body down and letting it know that it can relax, thus reducing the urgency of elimination.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a common, long term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. Unfortunately the exact cause of IBS is unknown. It may be related to stress, increased sensitivity of the gut and problems digesting foods.

Reflexology can help IBS symptoms by working on the digestive system, stomach, pancreas, liver, large and small intestine, nervous system, solar plexus, diaphragm and the adrenal glands. If the practitioner feels any toughness or blockages/crystals in any of these points, they can work on them until this disappears returning the area to a balanced state.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's Disease is a chronic inflammation of the end section of the small intestine (ileum). Unfortunately, the cause of this disease is unknown. Some of the symptoms of Crohn's Disease include; cramps, abdominal pain, (particularly after eating) diarrhoea, and a general feeling of being unwell. This may all lead to weight loss or malnutrition.

Reflexology can aid some of the symptoms of Chron's disease by stimulating the reflexes of the feet that match to the small and large intestine, adrenal glands + lymphatic system and the overall digestive system. When these points are worked on by the practitioner, the blood circulation of these areas is increased and improved. This aids the digestive system to absorb proteins, nutrients and fats, and to excrete toxins and waste products. Reflexology also encourages all of the systems of the body to work together in harmony creating homeostasis enabling necessary healing and recuperation to take place.


Cancer of the large intestine involves the growth of abnormal cells that multiply and form either an ulcerous area that bleeds easily, or a blockage that hinders the passage of faces. The main symptom of Cancer in the digestive system is a change in the type of bowel movement. This is why it is very important to become familiar with your bowel movement habits and stools.

Other symptoms may include increased constipation or diarrhoea. Blood may also appear in the stool, and there may be pain along with sensitivity in the lower part of the abdomen. This condition needs urgent medical treatment.

To aid with the symptoms of a cancer of this type, the reflexologist will work on the large intestine, small intestine, spleen, thymus gland and lymphatic system. It is important for Cancer patients to attend an experienced Reflexologist as they will know how to treat Cancer patients, i.e., to not overstimulate reflex points, using gentle movements to encourage relaxation and homeostasis.

I hope you found this blog post helpful!

Stay tuned to find out how Reflexology can help other ailments 😊

Aoife P. R.

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