It's National Feet Week, a whole week dedicated to encouraging people to take better care of their feet. Most people will have regular check ups at the dentist or the optician, but have you ever heard anyone telling their friend or their manager that they have a podiatrist check up?!
People even ignore a multitude of ailments on their feet, just hoping it will go away and never wondering what it means for their general health. Podiatrists are keen to encourage people not to ignore common foot complaints which can lead to serious issues and pain. Fungal nail infections, corns, heel pain and hard skin can all be routinely treated giving feet a new lease of life.
Why do feet so often get ignored? Maybe its because they can be easily hidden away under shoes and socks It's surprising how often people say that they hate their feet and they will never have them on show, even on the hottest days of the year. Maybe it's because people just don't think the health of their feet is that important.
As a reflexologist, I have an understanding of how the health of your feet can be a reflection of the health of your whole body and mind. And how looking after your feet can be a great act of self care. If you've ever had a pedicure, a foot massage or a reflexology treatment, you might recall that feeling of lightness afterwards? Taking the weight of your feet and relaxing completely while someone else gives your feet some love can't fail to make you feel better!
But reflexology is more than just a foot massage and the condition of your feet can tell you a lot more than what type of shoes you've been wearing. Reflexology is based on the concept that there are reflex points on the feet that can be mapped to every organ, gland and structure of the body. The treatment is a massage and specific pressure technique that can aid relaxation and release tension in the body which helps their body to work at a more optimum level, improving the flow of energy and bringing all of the bodies systems into balance, and this in turn gives the body a better ability to heal itself.
Women have been reporting the benefits of reflexology on their fertility for years, and we are starting to get more evidence based research confirming what many people already believed. Barbara Scott is a reflexologist specialising in reflexology for fertility, she has spent many years researching and creating a protocol for her fertility clients (male and female). In her book (Reflexology for Fertility) she details how you can assess your clients feet, her insights are fascinating and (having seen a fair few feet myself) very accurate.
For example a pale coloured foot may be lacking in nutrients and energy which is a sign of poor general well-being, a grey coloured foot may be a sign of poor sleep, and a yellow looking foot can be a sign that you have poor blood nutrition. All of these things can be remedied with the correct diet, vitamins and professional advice and could be vital markers for improving your overall health and fertility.
The reproductive areas of the foot map are around the heel, so a lot of the assessment will happen in this area. The assessment recommends to check for temperature imbalances in both feet, a client with fertility issues may have a cooler reproductive area than the rest of the foot. Although, to add confusion to the situation, being red and hot could indicate an infection. You may have even
have heard old wives tales about wearing socks in bed to keep your feet warm will help you to fall pregnant (I cannot confirm this theory!!).
Further assessment of the ovary (testes), uterus (prostate) and fallopian tubes (vas deferens) will check for energy, buzzing, quietness, fullness, flatness, bumps or crunches. As your body changes throughout the monthly cycle in the case of females, these changes can also be recognised the the reproductive mapping of your feet. This type of assessment can give your reflexologist an idea as to whether your body is acting as it should, whether the energy flow feels positive and ensuring there are no blockages in the system.
Reflexology cannot claim to diagnose or cure any conditions, including problems with fertility. But this area of reflexology research certainly gives some food for thought and might make you consider paying more attention to your feet and how they might relate to your general health and well-being.