Therapeutic Reflexology Helps 94 Year Old Sleep Better

Therapeutic reflexology helped a 94 year old woman reduce pain; enjoy deep, restful sleep; and renew zest for living.

Only two years prior, Mrs. Stoker suffered a long bout of shingles. She lost 20 pounds and became frail and debilitated. Sleep was poor, interrupted by aches and pains. Health declined. Interest in life dulled.

The niece visited regularly to attend medical needs, groceries, and companionship. Having discovered the benefits of reflexology, the niece offered her Aunt a foot reflexology session as a gift of love.

Mrs. Stoker had never experienced therapeutic reflexology, massage, or any type of bodywork, but was willing to try it.

Mrs. Stoker enjoyed her “foot rub” prior to bedtime. After the session, she stood up and announced, “I feel great! Can we do this again tomorrow?”

Mrs. Stoker slept through the night. Rising at 5:00 am for a restroom trip, she returned to bed and slept until 8:00 am. Deep, restful, and uninterrupted sleep was very unusual, and much appreciated. Mrs. Stoke enjoyed good humor and energy throughout the day.

Technique, Technique, Technique

How did the niece provide comfort for a loved one? A 45-minute therapeutic reflexology session changed Mrs. Stoker’s life.

Below are simple techniques and protocol using light pressure, slow speed, and gentle movements. Photos and descriptions provide a summary in Therapeutic Reflexology, chapter 7.

  1. Gentle strokes to warm and greet the feet and lower legs (ch. 7).
  2. Begin on right foot. (Direction of flow of lymph.)
  3. Slowly and gently flex the foot back-and-forth (ankle and posterior leg stretch, ch. 17)
  4. Slowly and gently encourage the foot to move side-to-side (metatarsal loosener, ch. 16).
  5. Thumb walk the spinal reflex (ch. 16).
  6. Work the toes (ch. 7 and 12).
  7. Walk each zone (ch. 12).
  8. Repeat flexing the foot (step 2).
  9. Work the left foot repeating steps 3 to 8.

More Good News

According to the niece, regular reflexology sessions have helped Mrs. Stoker enjoy restful sleep, improved balance in standing and walking, and improved her mental alertness. A huge improvement.

Therapeutic Reflexology for Working with Seniors

  1. Love your work and your client. Love opens the heart to healing.
  2. Place all your thoughts, words, and actions into Divine Spirit.
  3. The healer is the instrument. Reflexology encourages the body’s innate healing processes (the body heals itself).
  4. A warm (not hot) foot bath just prior to the session soothes the feet and softens the tissue. Add Epsom salts and essential oils to enhance the healing experience.
  5. Apply gentle pressure. Perform all movements are slow and gentle to see how the body responds.
  6. Keep sessions short, light, and bright.
  7. Feel gratitude for the privilege of serving others and life.

Send me your stories.

Learn more:

Therapeutic Reflexology, chapter 7, “Session Fundamentals and Charting.”

Take our CE course, “Session Fundamentals and Charting.”

Image courtesy of Google Images.

This article first appeared at

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Paula S. Stone


Paula founded The Stone Institute LLC and its programs to empower individuals to make the best choices for their health and well being.

Paula Stone AA-Ed is an accredited reflexology instructor by the American Commission for Accreditation of Reflexology Education and Training.

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