Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Feet Have Feelings Too...

I’ve been talking about feet all week and why we should respect them and give them the care they deserve. We use them to walk, run, climb, jump, reach, kick, push, pick up things, scratch, and for many other tasks not mentioned. And as I mentioned, they get ignored, until the warm weather arrives and we want to paint our toes, or simply put on sandals.

Besides the fact that they’re essential for getting us around, our feet are also connected to the rest of the body through pressure points in such a way that movement, pressure, or massage of a specific area on the feet will help to treat the corresponding area.

This is the science of reflexology. It is defined as “the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands utilizing specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil, cream or lotion based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change in the body.”

Reflexology can relieve pain, stress, and it can enhance other healthcare modalities. It can also help with depression.

Here is a cool interactive reflexology foot chart that lets you mouse over to the areas of the foot and gives you the corresponding regions of the body. For example, are you feeling anxiety that is showing up in your stomach? There are regions unique to the bottoms of the left and right feet that when worked on, can help to relieve the feeling in the pit of your stomach. Similarly, the bottom back half of the feet and the regions surrounding the ankles on the tops of the feet point to the lower back. There are even regions on the tops of the toes that correspond to the teeth!

The nice thing about reflexology is that it can be easily learned so that it can be self-administered or it can be performed by a professional. It’s completely non-invasive and doesn’t require medications. One simple foot technique is to place a foot roller under your desk while you work and simply roll your feet. If you have a couple of golf balls, they may work as well! Scroll to the bottom of this site for some reflexology books that can be purchased on Amazon. I'm reading The Family Guide to Reflexology, by Ann Gillanders, and in it are foot techniques that actually improve the overall well-being of babies.

I’ve taken on a new-found appreciation for my feet this week…

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