5 Reflexology Points for the Common Cold (The Original)

Get instructions and pictures for 5 reflexology points to get over a cold fast–brought to you by the original creator of this routine.

If you’ve got a cold, this quick 5-minute reflexology routine based on Traditional Chinese Medicine helps to boost your Lung qi (life force energy) so that you feel better faster. You can also use this routine to prevent a cold if you feel like you’re on the cusp of catching a cold.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I invented this routine about 10 years ago when my son was a toddler, and I had a really bad cold. I needed to get better fast so I used my knowledge of Chinese Reflexology and Traditional Chinese Medicine to choose the best Chinese Reflexology points for cold recovery.

I shared the original article How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast With Chinese Reflexology on my blog with the moms I knew. The reflexology routine worked so well that moms were sharing it with other moms, and so on, and so on. Since then, my cold reflexology routine has been shared tens of thousands of times, and my words and diagrams have been used without attribution too many times to count.

I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to learn Chinese Reflexology and Chinese Medicine so that I can continue creating original content to share with people, and it makes a difference in their lives.

Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to know to practice this reflexology routine safely so that you get over a cold faster, and learn how to avoid one in the first place.

5 Chinese Reflexology Points for Cold Recovery and Prevention:

To kick your cold to the curb, here are the five reflexology points to massage on your feet:

  1. Lung Reflexology Point: Boosts Lung qi (life force energy) to help your body defend against pathogens
  2. Sinus Reflexology Point: Sends healing qi to the sinus cavities to help clear phlegm
  3. Throat Reflexology Point: Helps clear what Chinese Medicine refers to as “fire” or “heat” which causes a sore throat
  4. Throat and Tonsil Reflexology Point: Sends extra qi to support the throat and the lymphatic system
  5. Lymphatic Drainage Reflexology Point: Sends qi to the lymphatic drainage area of your body to support the lymphatic system in clearing toxins

How to Locate and Massage the Chinese Reflexology Points for a Cold:

1) Chinese Reflexology Lung Point

In Chinese Medicine, the Lungs and their associated energy meridian are the body’s first defense against “evil pathogens” (aka viruses). Lung qi helps create a “force field” to defend the body.

The Chinese Reflexology Lung point is a rectangular-shaped area on the ball of your foot, directly below the three middle toes. To massage this area, press in deeply with your thumbs and massage using small circles, as you make your way across and down the point. Be sure to support the other side of your foot with your fingers as this will enable you to press deeply with more ease.

Massage this area for 60 seconds on your left foot first. Then massage the same area on your right foot for 60 seconds. If you notice any spot on your Lung reflexology area that feels extra-sensitive, give it an extra 3 to 5 seconds of massage where you’ll press in and massage in small circles with your thumb tips.

2) Chinese Reflexology Sinus Point

If you have sinus congestion or a lot of nasal mucus, this Chinese Reflexology point will send healing qi to your sinus cavities to help disperse the phlegm and any energy blocks that are causing a feeling of stuffiness.

You might even have a headache or a blocked-up feeling, so improving the flow of qi will help alleviate the root of these symptoms.

The sinus point is located on the tip of your big toe on the UNDERSIDE of the toe pad. Use your thumb pad to massage this point side-to-side, and use the index finger of the same hand to support the toe while you’re massaging.

Use the amount of pressure that you’d use to crush dried oregano. Massage for 30 seconds on your left foot, and then then do 30 seconds on your right foot. Alternately, you can count out 30 back and forth strokes instead of keeping track of the time.

throat reflexology point, acupressure for sore throat, Chinese Reflexology throat point

3) Chinese Reflexology Point for the Throat

Chinese Medicine attributes too much “heat” in the throat as the reason why your throat is sore. The heat causes the burning sensation. Massaging the throat reflexology point sends healing qi to the throat to help clear the excess heat.

This point is located at the tip of the webbing between your big toe and the second toe. Interestingly, there’s an acupuncture point in a similar location that’s used specifically for treating a sore throat.

To massage the throat reflexology point, use the knuckle of your index finger to press on the point and twist. The motion is like jiggling a doorknob. I recommend massaging this point for about 20 to 30 seconds on your left foot, and then do the same on your right foot. Alternately, you can count out 20 to 30 “twists” instead of tracking the time.

if you feel any friction while you massage, apply a lubricant such as massage oil or slippery moisturizer to reduce the friction. You want to avoid irritating the skin because over-massaging a point and causing irritation can result in energy imbalances in the corresponding area of the body. So don’t overdo it! More on that at the end of this article, because overdoing things is WHY you caught a cold in the first place!

4) Chinese Reflexology Point for the Tonsils and Throat

The tonsil and throat reflexology points are located on the top of your toe. Massaging these points send extra qi to support the throat. The tonsil and reflexology points consist of four circular areas to massage. There are two points on the top of both of your big toe. They’re located just below the toe knuckle on either side of the crest (highest point) of the bone.

To massage these points, make a fist with your hand. For the left foot, use your left hand, and use your right hand for the right foot. Place the knuckles of your index and middle finger on top of your big toe, just below the toe knuckle, on either side of the crest of the toe bone. Then press and twist as if you’re wiggling a loose doorknob.

Do this for 30 seconds on the left big toe, and then repeat on the right toe. Alternately, you can count 30 “twists.” If you notice any friction while you’re massaging, apply a lubricant. You don’t want to irritate the skin on the top of the toes as it’s much more delicate than the skin on your soles.

Chinese Reflexology lymphatic drainage point

5) Chinese Reflexology Point: Lymphatic Drainage Area

The lymphatic system plays an important role in supporting the immune system and clearing toxins from your body. The lymphatic drainage area corresponds to the lymph nodes and lymphatic drainage area in your body. This includes the nodes in the upper chest, armpits and breast region.

(On a side note, I wrote an article on Chinese Reflexology points that help support healthy breasts. One reader who had a history of breast lumps told me she practiced these reflexology points regularly, and had her first clear mammogram in years!)

This reflexology point is located in the webbing between the big and second toes on the top of the foot. The left foot corresponds to the area on the left side of your body, and the right foot is for the right side.

To massage this point, place the knuckle of your index finger at the base of the toes, then press and massage IN ONE DIRECTION ONLY, moving your knuckle from the base of the toes down toward the point of the V that’s formed where the two toe bones meet (from base of toes towards the ankle). Then lift up your knuckle, place it back at the base of the toes, and stroke down again.  Do 30 DOWNWARD strokes on your left foot and then do 30 on your right foot.

Summary of the Reflexology Routine for a Cold

As you read through this article, you practiced each point before moving on to the next one. Now, let’s put it all together. For the cold reflexology routine, instead of massaging one point at a time, you should massage all of the points on your left foot first, and then do all of the points on your right foot. This entire routine should take about 5 minutes.

It’s also best to massage your points at least an hour before or after you eat because the reflexology will be more effective when you do this.

Here are the recommended times to massage the points:

  • Lung Point: 60 seconds
  • Sinus Point: 30 seconds or 30 side-to-side strokes
  • Throat Point: 20 to 30 seconds, or 20 to 30 twists
  • Throat and Tonsil Point: 30 seconds, or 30 twists
  • Lymphatic Drainage Point: 30 strokes in a downward direction only (away from base of toes towards ankle)

Here’s the recommended massage frequency per day:

  • When you first wake up
  • Either 1 hour before or after lunch
  • At the end of the day (e.g., 5pm)
  • Before going to sleep

Practice the points for 2 to 4 days in a row, or until you have recovered, up to a maximum of 7 days in a row. As you start to feel better, you can reduce the number of times you rub your feet per day. Reduce to twice a day for a couple of days after you start feeling better. Then reduce to once a day for another couple of days.  It’s tempting to stop as soon as you start feeling well, but the risk of the cold returning is high, so it’s best to do at least a couple of extra days.

Don’t Over-Massage Your Reflexology Points

As I mentioned in this article, it’s important not to irritate the skin on your feet. If you feel friction as you massage, apply a lubricant to reduce the friction. If the skin feels sensitive or irritated even with the lubricant, stop massaging the points. It’s better to deal with your cold a little longer than to keep massaging until you hurt yourself.

The compulsion to overdo things is why you caught a cold. Before you caught the cold or were on the cusp of catching a cold, you pushed yourself too hard. The cold is your body’s way of telling you it needs to rest.

Did you stay up too late? Were there extra demands at work? Did you try to get one more thing (or two or three…) done at the end of the day when you should have gone to bed?

The habit of over-doing things is at the root of many of the energy imbalances in our bodies. Thus, the way to heal is to be kind to yourself.

Please be kind to yourself. Get well soon!

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