I love Foot Reflexology. Its simple, effective, it feels great, it treats the entire body through the feet, and it is a powerful modality to support detoxification - an essential function that our bodies are always performing. Everything we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin makes its way into our blood stream and even if you eat the healthiest diet on the planet, you are still encountering your fair share of toxins - even nature makes them!
Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers - mildly toxic to much of the population. Pollens in the air? Allergens that even if they don’t affect you negatively, are still foreign particles your body must deal with and excrete. Hormones? Natural or otherwise, they must be broken down by the body using a similar detox pathway. In short, your body is detoxing all the time and the more we support this essential function, the healthier we will be. When your body isn’t detoxing efficiently you can experience Headaches, Digestive Upset, Bloating, Water Retention, Sluggishness and Fatigue to name a few common symptoms.
The feet have a direct relationship with circulation and detoxification. Through foot reflexology we can support the body and clear the way for detoxification to be even more efficient and successful. This makes foot reflexology an excellent addition to any cleanse or overall health regime. Furthermore, it does not have any negative interactions with medication or treatment. The only time foot reflexology is not indicated is for people with a history of pulmonary embolism or for someone with an active deep vein thrombosis.
Foot Reflexology has many benefits. Some of the most common are:
Many of these are directly related to the improvement in circulation and detoxification Foot Reflexology provides.
Foot Reflexology and Detox
So how are the feet connected to detoxification? Physically speaking, the feet (and the hands alike) represent the end of the circulatory loop, the hairpin curve in the road from the heart out to the lower extremities and back again. Like a hairpin curve on a long beautiful drive, you have to go single file and a little slow to make around the bend safely - it can become a traffic jam - and if the road gets jammed up there due to debris, an accident or slow traffic, everything has to wait and slow down behind it or take an alternate route home. The alternate route (your lymphatic system!) can be hard to find and indirect - not nearly as efficient as the main road - AND you can get stuck or lost.
As a driver on the circulatory system highway, is in your best interest, therefore, to stay on the road. This means that the more the road at these hairpin turns is clear and smooth, the more successful your trip will be.
This is part of what Foot Reflexology does to improve your detoxification pathway. Heavier particulates such as calcium and uric acid can actually settle out of the blood stream and deposit in the feet making little crunchy bumps. You may not feel them when you walk, but if you get a foot massage or pedicure, you will feel these little crunchy things in various parts of the foot - especially around the arch. Foot reflexology actually breaks up these deposits, which then get picked up by the lymphatic system (part of the circulatory highway) and then removed by the Liver and Kidneys as part of natural detoxification. Debris in the road, cleared!
Furthermore, Foot Reflexology manually squeezes the muscles in the feet providing myofascial release which relaxes them improving circulation, and causes expansion and contraction of the tissues assisting the muscles in moving blood and lymph along further encouraging smooth blood flow. Clear path and flowing traffic? You betcha!
Lastly, Foot Reflexology works energetically to improve your overall Qi circulation. In Chinese Medicine pain in particular is considered to be a blockage in the local area coupled with underlying constitutional factors. Foot Reflexology is a powerful Qi and Blood moving treatment to reduce pain because the channels in the feet include the Liver, the Kidneys, the Spleen, Stomach, Bladder and Gall Bladder - all essential organs in digestion, Qi generation and detoxification. Combine that with the power of the Reflex Zones on the feet to energetically treat the whole body and you have an extremely strong method for supporting overall health and vitality.
In Short - Everyone Needs a Little Love for their Feet
I truly believe that foot reflexology is one of the best simple non-needle methods for improving overall health. That’s why I include it in almost all my Acupuncture sessions because it is such a powerful tool. If you haven’t considered adding some foot reflexology into your regular health regime I highly recommend it - we’re all encountering toxins all the time and the better you body can handle them, the better you will feel.
Until next time,
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Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.