Years ago I heard an illustration regarding the importance of each of us doing our part to make the world a better place. It used the Biblical picture of us all being a part of the body, and noted that most of us think of the foot as being relatively unimportant – until we stub a toe! At that moment all the energies of the rest of the body are concentrated toward that hurting member. Thus it is with our feet.
If I were to take a survey (as I often do in some of our classes), I’d find that most of us spend quite a bit of time applying cosmetics to our faces, washing and fixing our hair, bathing our bodies, and perhaps even getting massages and spa treatments. But little attention is paid to our feet until they begin to give us trouble. If we are in a career that requires us to be on our feet for extended periods of time, then we are more apt to pay attention to them. Or if we hurt them in some way, then they get some attention. But they need that attention regularly in a preventive role as well. We need to realize their importance to our overall well-being.
How much do you know about your feet? On average, each foot contains 26 small bones, 114 ligaments, and some 20 muscles. These are held together by connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves and covered with layers of skin. Your feet contain about a quarter of all the bones in your body and they are the foundation of your whole skeletal structure. They support your whole upright body weight throughout your life.
Over a century ago, the feet were “charted”. It was noted that the feet were particularly sensitive in spots that directly related to areas of distress in the body. So a chart was created that linked areas of the feet to specific portions of the body. Thus “reflexology” was born.
In her book on Reflexology, Inge Dougans states, “Reflexology is a gentle art, a fascinating science and an extremely effective form of therapeutic foot massage that has carved an impressive niche in the field of complementary medicine. It is a science because it is based on physiological and neurological study and an art because much depends on how skillfully the practitioner applies his or her knowledge, and the dynamics which occur between practitioner and recipient.”
She later continues, “Reflexologists do not isolate a disease and treat it symptomatically, nor do they work specifically on a problem organ or system, but on the whole person with the object of inducing a state of balance and harmony. The art of reflex foot massage must not be confused with basic foot massage or body massage in general. It is a specific pressure technique which works on precise reflex points on the feet, based on the premise that reflex areas on the feet correspond with all body parts. As the feet represent a microcosm of the body, all organs, glands and other body parts are laid out in a similar arrangement on the feet.”
And since the nerves of the feet are “linked” to various parts of the body, it stands to reason that the use of essential oils and aromatherapy may also enhance that feeling of completeness.
So what does all this mean to you and me? Well, we all enjoy a good foot massage, don’t we? But there may be times when we are particularly stressed in some portion of our lives or some part our bodies and we may want to seek out the advice and counsel of a competent reflexologist. Knowing just how much pressure to place on just the right spot on our feet may be “just what the doctor ordered” to bring us a renewed sense of well-being. Good health and God bless.
– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.