What's Up With The Feet Anyway...?
I've been doing Massage Therapy and Bodywork for over 24 years. I've experienced a lot of different people on my table; and they all fascinate me. Their energy and how it shows up in their bodies tells their story. About twelve years ago, I took a specific class on reflexology that was much more detailed than any I had taken previously. I also took a Toe Reading class which was much more "questionable" for those folks who need the hard and true science. Both of these classes had an extreme influence on my life. I never looked at my feet or anyone else's the same. My take of the experience was that Our FEET tell our story. The SOLE gives us an impression of our SOUL.
Mind you, I don't always look at the feet as some existential answer to life's undying questions. Sometimes, the feet just want some attention. And it just feels good to get a foot massage. BUT...sometimes, if you really think about your life and the correlations that both Reflexology and Toe Reading bring forth, it is impossible to ignore the connection.
From a scientific point of view, there isn't much hard and true science to back up the connection that Reflexology has made. There are some studies showing that foot massage and Reflexology help with proprioception and balance. It has been shown that in the elderly, there are significant improvements in balance after just one 20 minute foot and ankle focused massage (Manual Therapy 2009). It has also been found to assist in the rehabilitation of Stroke victims and to assist in the functional mobility and balance of individuals with Diabetes Mellitus. There are more and more studies being done thankfully. It's imperative that this simple technique be utilized to assist in health and healing.
And then we have gravity. We stand, walk, dance and move with our feet daily for the majority of our lives. We ask a lot of our feet. There are 26 bones, 100,000 - 200,000 nerve endings, many small muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia all in the zone of our feet. That's a lot of "stuff" in such a small area. Our feet get tired. Just as the muscles in our necks and backs become tense, our feet feel the same. With all those nerve endings, there are bound to be some feelings of pain and discomfort that occur. Our nerves have a direct relay system with our brain and spinal cord. That tells me there's an obvious correlation with the immensity of nerves in the feet and the overall health and wellness of the body. If our feet are feeling tired and overwhelmed, our body (and even our mind) is having the same experience.
With just a little help from a foot massage, your body and mind can feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Ready for a new pep in your step? Get those small bones, nerve endings, muscles and fascia of your feet massaged! Such a small act can do wonders for your well being!