The Organs and Reflexology Points
A useful website provides information about physiology, reflexology, iridology, and minerals and vitamins. www.marysherbs.com/anat-pin.htm (See Michael Reed Gach. Acupressure’s Potent Points. Bantam, 1990. Denise Brown. Hand Reflexology. Eagle Editions, UK, 2000. Iona Teeguarden. Acupressure Way of Health: Jin Shin Do. Japan Publications, 1978)
Brain: It’s composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum and the medulla oblongata. The latter is the oldest in terms of evolution and closest to the spinal cord. It controls automatic functions (heartbeat, breathing). The cerebellum coordinates muscle movement and balance. The hypothalamus governs basic drives such as hunger, sex, pleasure and anger and regulates homeostasis. The thalamus replays incoming messages from the nerves. The cerebrum’s two hemispheres controls intellect, speech, and sensation. The right side controls the left side of the body, and the left controls the right side. (See Susan Greenfield. Brain Power. UK, Element, 1999.) Reflexology point: tip of the thumbs and big toes. Press the point and breathe into it and repeat, especially if it’s sore. This indicates the organ needs some clearing.
Gall Bladder: Shaped like a four-inch-long pear, it’s behind the right side of the liver. It stores bile from the liver and releases it into the small intestine to aid in digestion. Reflexology point: On the right palm, about one-third of the way between the base of the fingers and the wrist, down from the crease between the little finger and ring finger.
Heart: Our strongest muscle, about the size of a fist, it pumps oxygen- rich blood from the lungs to the arteries and blood from the veins to the lungs. Each day it processes over 1,800 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. About two-thirds of the heart is on the left, and one-third on the right, between the lungs. The right atrium receives oxygen-depleted blood from the veins, sends it to the right ventricle, which pumps it to the lungs, back in the left atrium, below to the left ventricle, and into the arteries. Reflexology point: on the left palm, just below the palm pads of the ring finger and little finger.
Intestine: The tube is about 28 feet long. The small intestine is 23 feet, bordered on the sides and top by the five-foot large intestine. Food moves out of the stomach into the small intestine with digestive juices from the pancreas and bile from the gallbladder. Undigested material moves through the ileocaecal valve into the large intestine (colon), up the right side of the abdomen, where it turns left at the liver, across to the left side and down into the rectum. Reflexology point: the lower third of the palms.
Kidneys: About the size of a fist, shaped like beans, behind the stomach and liver behind the lower ribs. They regulate fluids and purify the blood by filtering it through more than one million enthrones. They regulate blood pressure by controlling the water/salt balances in the cells. Reflexology point: On the palms of both hands, down from the index finger, inside the tendon to the thumb. Lungs: Air comes in through the trachea into the two bronchial tubes, which divide into thousands of branches, which divide into millions of bronchioles with tiny air sacs at their ends. They exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen about 18 times a minute when resting. The lungs weigh about one pound each; the right lung is a little larger and has three lobes, while the left lung has two lobes. Reflexology point: On the pads of the middle finger and ring finger.
Spleen: A purplish organ about five inches long, it weighs about seven ounces. It’s located on the left side, between the back of the stomach and diaphragm. With two parts, it cleans red blood cells and filters and stores blood. Reflexology point: on the left palm, about halfway between the base of the fingers and the wrists, under the little finger.
Stomach: A bean-shaped sack, it’s mostly on the left side, under the diaphragm. It breaks down food to get it ready for the intestines. It can hold about two quarts. Reflexology point: Just below the pads under the ring, middle, and index fingers.
Lymphatic System: Lymph is a clear or yellowish liquid, made from blood plasma, which feeds the body tissues oxygen and other nutrients while removing carbon dioxide and toxins. The 600 to 700 lymph nodes filter waste products and are found in the armpits, neck and groin. Reflexology point: the back of the hands where they meet the wrists.
The Glands Adrenals: Small yellow triangles (with a brown interior) over the tops of the kidneys. Their hormones regulate water and mineral balances, including sodium and potassium, which influence blood pressure, and assist in the metabolism of foods. In a stressful situation, they release epinephrine, which triggers the release of glucose. Reflexology points: above the tendon of the thumb, about one-third of the way up from the wrist, under the index finger.
Liver: The largest gland, reddish brown, it weighs about three and one-half pounds and is found under the right side of the rib cage. It’s in charge of over 500 biochemical actions. It filters toxic waste, stores vitamins and minerals, manufactures several antibodies, disposes of bacteria, and produces one pint of bile a day. Reflexology point: Just below the pads of ring finger and the little finger, about one-third of the distance between the base of the fingers and the wrist.
Ovaries, Testicles: develop the female/male hormones, and eggs/sperm. Reflexology point: on the wrist, below the thumb and the little finger. Pancreas: Considered both a gland and an organ, it’s about six inches long and yellow. It sits horizontally behind the stomach, about three inches above the navel. It controls the balance of blood sugar and aids in the conversion of food. Its juices break down foods in the small intestines. It releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the blood to control blood sugar. Reflexology point: about two-thirds of the way between the base of the fingers and the wrist, below the crease between the middle and index fingers to the edge of the hand below the index finger.
Pineal: The size of a pea, reddish gray, in the center of the head, it’s attached to the upper part of the thalamus. In fish it receives light rays directly, while it receives light through the eyes in humans. It may also receive information about electromagnetic fields, as do migrating birds. It produces melatonin, mainly at night, to regulate sleep patterns. This hormone also stimulates the immune system and protects against damage to the genes. It’s believed to be a “magneto receptor, capable of monitoring magnetic fields.
Pituitary: Located in a small bony cavity in the center of the skull beneath the hypothalamus, it has two lobes. It weighs one-fortieth of an ounce, about the size of a large garbanzo bean. The master gland, it releases over eight hormones, including the growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and corticotropin, which stimulates the adrenal glands. It also stimulates production of male and female hormones. Reflexology point: The center of the thumb pads. Hypothalamus: In the middle of the base of the brain, it’s the power behind the throne. It maintains homeostasis by regulating heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, water balance, and the anterior part of the pituitary. It controls body weight and appetite.
Thyroid: A yellowish red butterfly-shaped gland with two lobes, one on each side of the windpipe, it weights about one ounce. It secretes hormones such as thyroxin. It regulates the metabolic rate, monitors pulse rates, and controls the amounts of oxygen in the body. The four parathyroids are brownish red, about one fourth of an inch in diameter, two near the top of lobes and two near the bottom. They produce hormones that control calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Reflexology point: On the inner edge of the base of the thumbs.