To start, you need to understand what Reflexology is.
Reflexology is a therapy that is primarily centred on the feet or hands. It is based on the theory that these areas reflect our physical body. If you were to divide your body directly down the middle into two halves, your right foot would reflect the right side and your left foot would mirror the left side. This also includes everything located within the body, from bones to muscles and organs to glands.
Reflexologists use ‘foot maps’ in order to help us work out where on the feet (or hands) certain physical elements sit in direct transference from the body. For example, it goes to say that we only have one heart, so the foot map should only have one heart on it! It should also show two kidneys (one on each foot), one stomach (with the main portion being on the left foot, flowing over to the right), small and large intestines covering both feet and so on.
But this isn’t the only way that we can work.
Many Reflexologists including world renowned therapists Chris Stormer* and Avi Grinberg** believe that the feet are also a reflection of the person on all levels. This means that we can treat a person on a wholistic basis. The feet can reflect imbalances not only on a physical level, but also emotionally, mentally, spiritually and energetically.
Aspects we look for include the temperature of the feet, colour in certain areas, injuries, deep creases, the shape of the toes and how the feet sit (angle) when relaxed and so on. For example, someone who has oedema around the ankle may have issues letting go of stuff while another person whose feet turn inwards may be quite shy and insecure.
One of my clients had an injury on the dorsal side of her foot, which lay across the crease where the leg joins the foot. I asked her if she suffered from stomach issues or nausea often and she said yes, asking how I knew. To my trained eye, the scar was sitting across a stomach meridian point so it made sense that she may suffer from issues relating to her stomach.
It is important as a therapist that we are careful in how we express any information that we may pick up from reading the feet as the client may become upset or may not be ready to hear it. It is best to simply write these thoughts down in the client file (first, intuitive thought is often the best) and let the information come directly from the client. This will normally occur naturally over the course of a few treatments.
Next time you look at a pair of feet, take the time to look at their landscape. What do you see?
*Chris Stormer – Language of the Feet: What Feet Can Tell You (1995)
**Avi Grinberg – Wholistic Reflexology (1980) and Foot Analysis (1993)