Updated: Feb 17
"Why do you like working with peoples feet? Yuck!" Was the most common reaction I had from family and friends when I decided to dedicate myself to the practice of Reflexology.
I came from a Tourism background. Walking around beautiful places showing visitors sites that made me proud was, what I though, "my calling". It turns out, my true calling what making people feel good (even if just for a few hours) and in the end, feet were always a part of the happiness equation.
With this blog I'm hoping to give people an insight on the wonderful world of feet and why you should love this usually forgotten part of the body.
As you may have noticed already, I'm not a talented writer (I'm not even a talented English speaker). So I'll try to keep it short and simple. Hopefully I'll compensate with passion for what I do and a bit of good humor.
So... What can feet do for you?
1. They are your only connection to the ground.
"The longest journey begins with a single step" - Lao Tsu
Think about it. How do you get from A to B? Now imagine having mobility issues, foot pain or being unable to use your feet?
Appreciate how wonderful it is to know they will take you to where you need to be.
2.They are the foundation for all your body weight while standing... and in movement...
"Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise" - Carrie Latet
Your whole upper body sits in 2 relatively small structures with 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments each. This is a masterpiece of biomechanics.
If we alter the evolutionary design of any part of this intricate mechanism with, let's say, tight and pointy shoes? high heels? rigid shoes? Will the upper body try to compensate?
The short answer is yes and unfortunately, in time, these compensations translate into pain and health problems.
3. They inform your brain of where you are in relation the ground.
"With thousands of plantar receptors, the foot is also a proprioceptive-rich structure, containing thousands of small nerves that are sensitive to every subtle movement we make." - Dr. Emily Splichal
Imagine you allow all those nerves to activate the way they are meant to. How will your upper body react?
Can you imagine the amount of injuries that can be prevented?
Can we keep our nerves stimulated to prevent loss of balance in old age?
Yes. New amazing and exciting research is being conducted by Dr. Emily Splichal on neuro stimulation with standing and walking.
4. They allow you to absorb the earth's electrons when you walk barefoot.
"The Earth itself is the original anti-inflammatory. And the planet itself is the biggest electron donor on the planet" - Clinton Ober
What happens when you take your shoes off in the green or at the beach? The two main science-backed benefits of earthing: Reduced Inflammation and regulation of the circadian rhythm.
Have you noticed that when you go on holidays to a far away beach destination the jet-leg only really hits you when you come back? Can you be regulating your circadian rhythm in the sand? Absolutely!
5. They help you heal and restore.
"If you're feeling out of kilter, don't know why or what about, let your feet reveal the answer, find the sore spot, work it out." - Eunice Ingham
Eunice Ingham was the first to realize that foot restrictions could cause problems in the upper body health and upper body weakness could also translate into foot imbalances.
What we do as Reflexologists is look for these imbalances and through stimulation of all the amazing nerves in the feet we ask the body to supply blood flow and nutrition to the areas that need it the most.
Could we do it through walking? I believe we could to a certain extent (walking can't replace human touch) if proper function and nerve stimulation was restored to the feet. And this is why I became a certified Barefoot Training Specialist® and I'm also developing a Movement Based Reflexology Method. But that's a story for another time.
To finish my first attempt at a blog I should answer that first question: "Why do you like working with peoples feet?"
And the only answer I can give is: This is the most fascinating thing I ever came across. The amount of angles and approaches to feet are so varied and yet so impactful, I can't imagine doing anything else.
Thank you for your love and patience.