Ocular reflexology is a relaxation treatment aimed at alleviating the eyes and the body as a whole. Developed by Corinne MARÉCHAL, it involves performing massage movements around the eye contour. Discover the benefits of this method and how to take care of your gaze through this practice.
Ocular reflexology as a treatment for the eyes.
- What principle does ocular reflexology rely on?
- What are the benefits of ocular reflexology?
- Ocular Reflexology: Can Self-Massages Be Performed?
What principle does ocular reflexology rely on?
Ocular reflexology is a holistic treatment designed to relax the eyes and the entire body. Invented by Corinne MARÉCHAL in 2008, the principle involves activating reflex zones to stimulate or soothe the various senses of the body. Indeed, similar to the principle of foot reflexology, ocular reflexology believes that it is possible to affect the whole person through touching specific zones located under the eyebrow arch, corresponding to different parts of the body. It is performed through precise and gentle massages around the eyes and face.
Please note : Individuals suffering from cervical vertebrae injuries, serious and degenerative visual diseases, or heart problems cannot benefit from an ocular reflexology session.
What are the benefits of ocular reflexology?
Ocular reflexology primarily aims to reduce eye disorders, such as tingling, redness, dry eyes, or light sensitivity, through muscle relaxation. These usually result from prolonged exposure of the eyes to screens. This activity tends to freeze our gaze, even though our eyes are not designed to focus on a fixed point for several hours. To take care of them, it is recommended to look into the distance from time to time, at least five minutes every hour, and to blink regularly, in order to rehydrate the cornea.
Ocular reflexology aims to help relax the gaze, while also affecting other levels of the body. It would also allow to release back muscles and improve posture. Ocular reflexology would also have a beneficial effect on headaches and a toning effect on the skin. Indeed, the massages performed would stimulate blood and lymphatic circulations, which would improve the drainage of various waste around the eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles and bags. Finally, when performed correctly, ocular reflexology is often a moment of relaxation, conducive to escape.
It is important to note that ocular reflexology is a recent practice about which we have little hindsight. The various benefits it promises have not all been scientifically demonstrated to date. Some researchers speak of a placebo effect of reflexology, thus explaining why the effectiveness of this method varies from one person to another.
Ocular Reflexology: Can Self-Massages Be Performed?
It is possible to enjoy the benefits of ocular reflexology while staying at home. Indeed, some massages of this technique can be self-administered. The first one involves gently pinching the bridge of the nose for 2 to 3 breaths before gently releasing. Then repeat this operation about 6 times. The bridge of the nose actually corresponds to the spine, and gently pinching it would bring benefits to posture.
Another massage that you can perform involves placing your thumbs in the hollow of the eye socket, that is, in the inner corner of the eyes. Then apply a gentle pressure for 2 to 3 seconds on this point. Repeat this action 5 to 8 times. This massage is attributed with a relaxing anti-migraine effect.
Finally, Corinne MARÉCHAL recommends the palming method, developed by Dr. BATES in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. The goal is to rest the retina and optic nerves by immersing oneself in the deepest possible darkness. It should be noted that there is no scientific data supporting palming. However, this method is widely used, not only in ocular reflexology, but also in yoga and by orthoptists.
To do this, position your hands in front of your closed eyes as follows: the palm of your right hand at the level of your right eye and the palm of your left hand at the level of your left eye. Your fingers are crossed at your forehead. Then lean forward to rest your elbows on a table, so that your neck is relaxed and aligned. Hold this position for a few minutes before gently moving your hands apart, while keeping your eyes closed. Your eyes then open in turn.
SAMUEL C. & al. Reflexology: Exploring the mechanism of action. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2022).