By Sam Belyea a.k.a. The Foot Whisperer
So, why does a marker pop up on the feet, versus the hands, versus the face, versus the ears? There are a couple rules I’ve found for extremity-specific assessment of markers that appear only on one of the four major extremities, while the other three are seemingly silent.
1. Extremities Favor Their Own Zone
The feet are the extension of Horizontal Zone 5, the lowest of five body zones that contains all of the reflexes for the legs/low body. The feet will naturally speak about the structures that are nearest to them i.e. the legs, knees, hips, low back, groin, lower digestive reflexes etc. The hands will naturally speak more about the shoulders, arms, chest/lung, breast and upper digestive reflexes, but both the face and the ears are very focused on what’s happening in head/neck territory. Now, all four extremities will uniformly manifest an issue when it has become very present in the body such as a systemic infection or wide-spread deficiency. However, what I find is that each extremity ‘flavors’ their messages based on the structures that are most relevant to them – as a general rule.
2. Now You See It, Now You Don’t
Can you visually see the extremity? The body’s choice of manifesting dis-ease can often be very specific based on what can or cannot be hidden easily. For instance, when issues pop up on the face I always know that the body is asking the client to literally ‘face’ the issue. We don’t hide our faces often in Western culture, so the body is strategically sending a ‘red flag’ signal to all of the other bodies in the vicinity saying, “This is what I’m going through!” While the feet are often in shoes and not easily looked at, if someone is on their feet all day or an athlete relies on their feet for their sport, the significance of the body choosing the feet to manifest a symptom is a not-so-gentle push to listen by hitting the person where it will hurt the most. My massage therapist friends/clients/students will relay how nothing hurts more than their hands or that the issues they have only appear in the hands – no coincidence; same with the ears, which can be hidden but are also easily seen. Stuff like that is very important to understand during initial assessment.
3. Form Governs Function – Mental/Emotional Significance
Similar to something popping up on the face meaning to ‘face’ an issue and each extremity favoring the structures that are naturally closest to them, each extremity holds a mental/emotional pattern based on its location, form and function. The feet are the extension of Horizontal Zone Five whose mental/emotional significance is related to our sense of security and how we are moving forward through life. Physically, the feet help keep us stable and allow us to move forward – get how that works? Hands are an extension of the heart and will always have a more ‘touchy-feely’ quality to them; I always take into consideration their emotional slant when assessing. The face is all about expression, what we can no longer hide or what ‘hits us in the face’ causing unexpected upheaval. Ears have the physical function of receiving sound waves and they are shaped like satellite dishes for that purpose, so their mental/emotional significance is related to the soundtrack of one’s life. For the ears, it’s all about what words you are hearing on a daily basis, what other people are telling you and what you are telling yourself.
Understanding why the body will choose one extremity over the others, or a concert of two or three, can be an extremely helpful asset in assessment. Asking pointed questions based on this information can help friends, family and/or clients understand the deeper significance to their discomfort. Always, understanding Reflexology theory is about learning how interconnected the body is with our life experiences. Often times, when chronic dis-ease is present the relationship between the person and their body is a stressful one. Learning to de-code symptoms through the reflexes can repair that relationship and help the individual come to terms with the body trying to help instead of blindly hurting.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a chronic health issue and would like to consult with a Certified Reflexologist and see what the reflexes are saying about your current situation, feel free to schedule a Reflex Consultation with Samor take a moment to fill out our Reflex Consultation Package online applicationfor more in depth coaching. To find out more about Reflex Consultations, check out this blog post entitled 'What is a Reflex Consultation?'