August 31, 2018

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What Are Your Feet Telling You?

Owner and training director of the Foot Whisperer Reflexology Institute, Sam Belyea, identifies four signs of imbalance to look for in our feet—and offers remedies for each one.  

By Sam Belyea

“So, are you a foot psychic or something?” This is the question I get asked most frequently, especially because foot reading is less common in the United States than it is overseas.

The answer is no, of course. I am a reflexologist, a specialist who presses points on the feet to help the body heal. Reflexology uses a basic map of the feet to show which landmark on the foot mirrors each body part. Foot reading expands on reflexology theory by adding the internal mental/emotional aspects of a person into the mix. 

As a foot reader, I use the physical shape of your foot, skin, and muscle tone, injuries, the state of your nails, the way your toes curl (or don’t), and a variety of other assessment methods to see what is happening in your life at that exact moment. So, in addition to seeing the stomach reflex, for example, on someone’s left foot, I can also see that person’s current career stress. When assessing the ankle as a reflection of the hips and reproductive space, I can also see the state of the family and relationships. 

The stories the feet share are absolutely amazing, and foot reading is surprisingly easy to learn. Once you understand the basic map, consisting of five horizontal zones and five vertical zones, you will never look at feet the same way again. Discovering this method of assessing the body, heart, and mind validates so much intuitive information that we “pick up” when speaking to someone. It can also confirm physical issues relating to chronic pain patterns held deep within the body.

Anyone who works in wellness or who has had foot issues in the past would benefit from learning about this direct line of communication with the body. Besides, the looks on people’s faces when you introduce yourself as a foot reader are priceless!

Daily Foot Reading Practice

When assessing the feet, there are four primary elemental markers that a foot reader looks for. As a daily practice, when you are feeling strong symptoms or just cleaning your feet, take the time to be on the lookout for the following:

  1. Signs of Fire (Inflammation) Deep redness, heat, pain, and spasm in the feet indicates that the body is overeating. The best way to balance this is by taking extra time throughout the day to drink more water, incorporating cool-down meditation time and consuming soothing foods like soups or stews. Your body will appreciate the extra hydration and you will be taking a more informed role in your own anti-inflammatory protocol.
  2. Signs of Water (Stagnation) Fluid retention, paleness, cold, and constant cold sweating of the feet are signs of that your body has stagnated. Incorporating warming activities throughout the day, like regular cardio, catching some sun, drinking warm teas, and eating spicier foods help to move out stagnation from the body. Notice when these watery symptoms are more pronounced; you will be able to tell what activities are causing this type of imbalance from what you are or are not doing around that time.
  3. Signs of Earth (Stiffness) When the ankles are locked, the toes are curled, the bones are pronounced, and the feet feel super heavy, there is an Earth imbalance. The way to move out this rigidity is through spontaneous activity and taking care to not overload the body. Experiment with gentle fasting, trying new forms of stretching and incorporating relaxing chamomile tea.
  4. Signs of Air (Fatigue) Foot dryness, lines, cracking, and loose joints are all a sign that the body is spending more energy than it is taking in. Nourishment is the primary remedy for an airy imbalance, so avoid skipping meals. Instead, make sure to consume three solid meals throughout the day that are filled with high-nutrient content, preferably in an easy-to-digest or partially broken-down state like soups, stews, and gently warming curries.

Knowing the four types of foot markers to watch out for can make a world of difference, especially if you have had any of the above symptoms for long periods of time. You can take a more specific approach to holistic living through understanding what your feet have to say.