Feet take abuse every day. Pounded on hot side walks, cramped into shoes, they never stop working. One of the ways to get your feet rejuvenated is through reflexology, a science that came out of Egypt and has been more recently used as an adjunct to modern medicine.
There are 7,200 nerve endings in the foot that interconnect with the spinal cord and brain. The premise of reflexology is that areas in the feet and hands correspond to all of the glands, organs and other parts of the body. According to reflexology, by manipulating these pressure points, you automatically improve blood circulation, which improves energy flow in the body, puts the body in a more balanced state, reduces stress and relieves physical discomfort.
The foot is a map of your body. Just imagine the head at the toes and the base of the spine at the heels. Here are some steps to follow for healthier feet and improved body function:
- Soaking. Prepare a footbath with 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 gallon of warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes.
- Fanning. Rotate your foot from the ankle in four circles clockwise and four circles counterclockwise. As you circle, separate your toes (fan them out) so you get a nice stretch.
- Extensions. Flex your foot, bringing the toes up toward the ankle, and then stretch through the ball of your foot, ending up in a pointed toe. Repeat 8 times.
Now you are ready to work the zones with your thumb and forefinger. Be sure to bend the thumb at the first joint so it is more flexible. Let it creep forward.
- THE WALKUP – to relax the entire foot. Starting at the base of the heel, inch your way up the sole of the foot with the thumb to the toe. Repeat to each toe. You might find that the arch of the foot is tender, as it has all of the reflex points for the vital organs.
- TOE TOPPERS – to clear head, relieve neck tension and stimulate reflexes that correspond to the head, scalp, and sinuses, and are linked to headaches, tired eyes and jaw tension. With the index finger, roll across the tip of the big toe (thinker toe) and continue along the tips of the other toes. Then with the thumb, inch your way down the bottom, center and sides of each toe, exerting as much pressure as you feel comfortable with. The area between the big toe and the second toe may be very sensitive, as it corresponds to neck tension.
- SPINAL WALK – to relieve upper and lower back pain, shoulder and hip tension.Walk with your thumb down the outside of the big toe on the sole of the foot to a bump at the base of the joint. Massage that point. Now, starting from the base of the big toe, walk across the ridge with the thumb to the area an inch down between the fourth and fifth toes. Work deep, as this is shoulder and hip tension area.
- LYMPH AND LUNGS – to clear congestion and stimulate lymphatic system, which guards against infection and aids detoxification.
This time, you are working the top of the foot. Start at the joint midway between the ankle bone and heel (the reproductive system) and inch over the joint of the ankle to the same starting point on the other side. Repeat back. Still on the top of the foot (about 2 inches from the base of the big toe), work up to the arch of the foot. Repeat with each toe.
Now, repeat everything on the other foot.