Journey to wellness: Foot reflexology
How areas of the foot reflect the rest of the body
By Josiah Groth
To finish up our discussion on reflections within the body, we will examine foot reflexology. Foot reflexology is basically a specialized foot massage that was developed in the U.S. during the 1930s. What separates it from regular massage is the intention of whole body therapy through the reflections we have been talking about and that massage often includes more repetitions and deeper pressure points over the entire foot.
The “map” that shows what parts of the foot reflect to different parts of the body retains the actual layout of the organs as they rest near and on top of one another. Foot reflexology is a great example to showcase how spatial relationships are often retained in the reflected body part.
There is an easy way to see this. Sit on a chair, and have a friend stand 10 feet in front of you. Lift your foot so that your toes line up with your friend’s head and your heel lines up with his or her hips. The head reflects to the toes, the chest reflects to the ball of the foot, the abdomen is reflected in the arch, and the hips reflect in the heel.
So when massaging the foot, redness, tightness, numbness, or pain with the application of pressure indicates dysfunction from the body being reflected onto the feet. When there is pain in the ball of the foot, it can indicate that lung, rib, or heart issues are present. Pelvic issues can reflect to pain near the heel and ankle.
The system of foot reflexology uses massage of the foot to stimulate the reflected area and help the body heal. This idea of using the reflections to send healing signals into the body instead of just analyzing the reflections is consistent with the tenants of holism.
The last point I want to make is that intuition is a part of most reflective analysis. We started our series by talking about needing shortcuts to summarize vast amounts of information. Intuition is in essence the unconscious processing of vast amounts of information.
Allowing intuition to bypass the need to think through all the information one gets from reflections shortens the path to the conclusions that one may not be able to reach with only the conscious mind. Thus, finding someone who has experience, deep knowledge of the system, and strong intuition can make reflexology — or any reflective analysis — startlingly accurate and powerful. Without intuition it may be just a nice foot massage.
Remember: You are whole. All parts of you are interconnected. What happens to one part of you happens to all of you.
Josiah Groth is the owner of Back to Bliss Wellness. More information on his practice is available at backtoblisswellness.com.