Pounding. Tapping. Jogging. Skipping. Feet get us where we are going every day—in various ways, but regardless how they get us there, the healthier they are, the happier you just may find you are. From the “Happy Feet” penguin movie for kids and Dr. Seuss’s “The Foot Book,” to the surge of foot reflexology clinics, interest in foot health is a hot topic. I’ve hopped on board, surpassing the simple pleasure of a pedicure and stepping into Chinese Medicine which associates each organ of the body with a spot on the foot.
I recently became certified in foot reflexology. My interest in the ancient art peaked when I noticed my reaction during a massage when the therapist began rubbing my feet. I felt a sadness wash over me and wanted to cry and wasn’t sure why. I mentioned the feeling to him and he said it was a common reaction to experience a variety of emotions during a foot massage.
I had encountered a similar experience years before with my first yoga classes. I’d be hanging out upside down in downward facing dog when I’d suddenly be giggling … and not because I was laughing at the person sprawled out beside me. Often in a Vinyasa flow class, I’d find tears running or be extremely elated. It was more than a mood swing. I simply couldn’t control the urge to laugh or cry.
In addition to the emotions foot rubs evoke, diseases and ailments can be confirmed or discovered based on tenderness in corresponding areas on the foot. In integrative foot reflexology, the foot is separated into four zones, the toes indicating the head and working down past the lungs and stomach toward the heal.
In this therapeutic modality, the foot areas depict the entire body as do the ears and the hands and follow suit with acupuncture which is based on the premise of energy lines called meridians through which energy flows to all the areas of the body.
Western medicine is slowly incorporating more holistic approaches to health and not relying as much on electronic devices to diagnose and treat disease. Acupuncture, reflexology and massage are just a few of the alternative health options seeping into an ever-expanding health-conscience society.
I’m a believer in the merits of foot reflexology due to the numerous medical research on the benefits of the practice and health-related issues that can be indicated from assessing the zones of the foot. For me personally, the area of my feet that are most sensitive do correspond to health issues I’m treating.
I urge you to tap-dance into the wealth of knowledge that has been passed down through generations of traditional medicine. Learn and grow. Peak over the ledge of your pharmaceutical county—even if it’s on tiptoe. Let your feet carry you where your health wants to go.
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County, author of “Rain No Evil” and host of Life Speaks on AIR radio. Access more at soundcloud.com\lifespeaks.