Reflexology Association of Hawaii

Cancer Care and Reflexology, Part 2: The Practice

Reflexology: A Beacon of Light

-by Theresa Klepper

When the darkness hits, we each need a light, even it be just one. One light, flickering and holding within its flame the hope for life renewed. Those suffering from chronic pain or cancer know the darkness only too well, and the need for a flame. They may be searching for a lighthouse in the midst of thick fog. Reflexology has and still does serve as one flame of hope for cancer patients. Many studies have shown that the overall quality of life (physically and emotionally) is improved when cancer patients receive Reflexology. More than 24 studies have been conducted in 10 different countries. All conclude that Reflexology helps with every stage of the cancer experience: after chemotherapy treatment, post operation, managing symptoms, and during hospice care.

More specifically, cancer patients who received Reflexology had reduced nausea and vomiting; lessened pain, anxiety, stress and depression; and lowered fatigue, all leading to improved quality of life. Self-care is possible for those with cancer.  There are certain techniques such as warm-ups, thumb walking, and finger walking that can be very helpful. The key reflexes to hit are all the glands, the lymphatic system, and any case specific organs (stomach, lungs, colon…). Keep in mind that the feet may be extremely sensitive after treatments and sometimes just holding them is an amazing comfort. Helpful relaxation techniques are the lung press and the metatarsal roll.

Lung Press Reflexology technique

Lung Press

The lung press is done by making a fist with one hand and pressing it into the padding of the bottom of the foot right below the toes in a slow, rolling motion. Use the opposite hand to cup around the top of the foot for support while slowly pressing into the padding.

Metatarsal Roll Reflexology technique

Metatarsal Roll

The metatarsal roll is performed by rolling the metatarsals together. First start on one side of the foot. One hand will hold the metatarsal that is being moved and the other will hold the metatarsal next in line. Slowly roll the bone in a circular motion to loosen up the chest/lung/breast reflexes.

Pituitary Press and Hook

Pituitary Press and Hook

Thumb Walking is a helpful way to reach the glands.

  • Walk all the way around the base of the big toe to hit the Thyroid gland.
  • Walk up the big toe to reach the Pituitary. Press down and hook in to activate the point.Walk the inner side of the foot to hit the Thymus.
  • Walk down the zone in line with the big toe, about one inch below the padding of the foot, to hit the Adrenal gland.


Adrenal Gland Reflex

JuneArticleLymphSystemAnkle JuneArticleLymphSystemThe Lymphatic system is reached by Thumb Walking around the top and sides of the ankle as well as in between each toe on the top of the foot.

Not one of these points will fully heal the condition. However, pieced together with several other components, Reflexology can help to live a pain free, stress free life.Consult a professional Reflexologist with any questions.