Simply put, stress is the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive, and the digestive system is the most common site of expression of stress related illness. Reflexology can come to the aid by supporting the parasympathetic nervous system. One simple way to do this is to work with the vagus nerve reflexes, as mapped on the feet. The vagus nerve is one of the longest of all the cranial nerves, branching out to form a sort of electrical circuit linking our heart, lungs, and gut to the brain stem.
There are several reflexes on the feet that relate to digestion, but for simplicity purposes, I’ve shown the reflexes corresponding to the stomach/spleen meridians. While placing your thumb on the vagus nerve point found on the plantar aspect of the foot, (located directly in the center of the metatarsalphalangeal joint), choose 4 or 5 digestive reflexes and stimulate each of them, one at a time.
To do this, apply a small amount of lotion on the foot and with the pad of the thumb, rub one of the digestive reflexes in an upward movement several times. Continue to hold the vagus reflex point with the opposite hand, and then go to another digestion reflex area.
Next, stimulate the vagus nerve reflex areas along the plantar surface of the 1st metatarsal, and along the center of the arch of the foot, medially. Be sure and repeat this on both feet. As with any reflexology session, it’s always helpful to work the entire foot while emphasizing particular areas of concern. The effects of even one session can be immediate. I find reflexology to be particularly fast and effective in helping with digestion challenges.