(Abstract from “Reflexology: Basics of the Middle Way”)
The following information has been taught to Reflexology training participants and therapists for over 30 years and is a part of the Chi Medics unique approach. It is a different perspective and may be worth considering. Enjoy
Sharon Windle and Moss Arnold
We are all quite familiar with the power of touch inducing physiological, psychological, and pathological responses within the body. Any form of touching induces these responses. So, the first aspect of the power of touch is an important chemical change in the person being touched any place on the surface of the body (Skin to skin).
Therapeutic Touch through the feet: Why the Feet?
With touch one can simply feel what is happening in the body through the feet, and take note of what one feels, and then via the Anatomical Reflection Theory, the zones of the feet and the divisions of the body, transfer to the body. The sense of touch is therefore extremely worthwhile as it reveals information on a physical, as well as on an emotional, mental, and spiritual level, and on an energy level.
Why use this medium: The Feet? There are several reasons for this including:
1. External to Internal: The Feet are one of the Four Reflections:
The Chi Medics perspective is that there are four parts of the body that reflect the whole, or four external structures which reflect internal structures. These are the eyes, ears, feet and hands.
- The Feet as Our Instrument of Movement:
The feet, unlike the hands, are our instrument of movement. The hands embrace and the feet walk. The feet get us moving, keep us moving, and movement brings about change. So, the feet are a significant factor in both external and internal movement and change. Working the instrument of movement is a significant aspect of change and therefore has an impact on the health, healing, and wellbeing of the human being.
- Reflexology is a Balanced Therapy (Yin and Yang):
When performing Reflexology, one work the feet with the hands. This is significant as the hands are yang (active and doing) compared to the feet, which are yin (receptive). The reason for this is that the human being stands on the earth but reaches for the heavens, and so heaven energy, universal energy, or God’s energy, which is yang, enters the human being through the upraised hands and arms and head, and flows down into the earth through the human’s feet. At the same time, Earth’s energy, which is yin, flows upwards entering the body through the feet. This is the explanation of the Chinese energy flow system called Meridians.
- The Feet Nurture and Cleanse on an Energy Level:
The feet are the most yin structure compared to the rest of the body. Yin is the deeper and more powerful, while yang is more superficial. The feet are particularly important as the first destination of yin (Earth) energy. The role of yin energy is to nurture, feed and cleanse. This is a significant and vital role. The feet then are the entrance point of yin/Earth energy and the exit point of yang/Heaven’s energy. Therefore, the feet are the most powerful and significant of the external areas of the body that reflect the whole.
- Mother/Child Relationship: A Sacred Art:
The feet are our connection to the earth, and the earth (yin) is our mother who nurtures and cleanses us through our feet. All of us then are the children of Mother Earth. The relationship between a mother and child is the first and most significant of all relationships. Our mother brings us into the world making this a powerful and sacred relationship. A mother nurtures her child, takes care, feeds, and cleanses her child. This is the yin relationship of Mother Earth and her children, humanity.
So, the feet deserve a great deal of respect and when working the feet, one is becoming a bridge between Mother Earth and one of her children. Thus, one is entering this most primal, basic, and sacred of all relationships.
Foot Reflexology is the only therapy where this is the case. When one practises Reflexology, one is not only working a powerful reflection of the whole human being, but also entering the most sacred and sanctified of all relationships, that of mother and child. The Reflexologist by virtue of working on a person’s feet is being placed squarely between the child (the receiver) and his/her mother: The earth beneath thy feet. This is not an authoritarian, dictatorial, restricting, or abusive relationship, but rather a gentle, nurturing and loving one. Thus, when performing Foot Reflexology, the giver needs to demonstrate the deepest of respect and honour to the receiver and their mother the earth, by respecting this relationship, by promising to ‘Do no harm’ and by offering themselves to the receiver as a nurturing and cleansing intermediary. The practitioner gives oneself over to the process of the receiver rather than working the feet.
This is a major reason that a standard stimulation-type approach is especially inappropriate when working the feet. Stimulation by its very nature is a yang approach and is not as appropriate for the feet. Once you realise this, and you show the feet the respect they deserve, you will find that the human being’s body opens to you, allowing you access and letting you in.
One last point worth reiterating is that you are not working the feet but the entire human being, including all aspects through the feet. The feet are the medium into the human condition and so each section of the foot represents a part of the body. One should do nothing to the feet that one would not do to the body. In this way you are demonstrating an extremely important expression of deep respect, responsibility, love and true consideration and value of the human being. This is another benefit that has evolved from the mother/child relationship and the sacred art of Foot Reflexology.
Therapeutic Touch in Foot Reflexology
Not only is touch important, but also the type of touch is of particular concern. How one handles the feet sends a clear message to the body about your attitudes to the feet, to the body and the receiver.
The eyes see what is on the surface of the feet but cannot see beneath the surface. The eyes are not as reliable an instrument as most think they are. This is because the impulses which the eyes pick up are transferred to the brain/mind, and it is here that the impulses are translated into meaningful information. So, the ability to take in light and vibrations is the major function of the eyes, but the ability to translate and understand those vibrations occur in the brain/mind, and this is based on previous experiences, knowledge and programming of the brain/mind or computer.
For this reason alone, it is recommended not using your eyes when performing Reflexology. As a suggestion, use your eyes to get to the general area where you are going, and then work with your eyes closed. This way you will train your working thumb and fingers to be your eyes. You must always be under the skin, but with experience and increased sensitivity your pressure will lighten, as it is all there just under the skin. Too strong a pressure actually decreases one’s sensitivity and masks the messages under the skin. In fact, over time, strong pressure will cause imbalance in the body.
Note: Constant light gentle pressure tends to work more on an emotional and spiritual level while constant strong pressure tends to work on a more physical and mental level. Yin and Yang at play. To work wholistically in a balanced approach you need a mixture of both.
Following on from this is the fact that to be wholistic one needs to touch the feet (or body) as when you do this, you penetrate all levels on existence and all aspects of life: The Physical – touching the feet; the Emotional – the first outer or etheric body; the Mental – the next body and finally the Spiritual. By touching the feet, you are penetrating and connecting all these four levels of existence together, including energy or chi as all these levels are composed or made up of chi, and so are wholistic in nature. Off the feet (body) work is dealing with an aspect of our existence rather than them all.
There is no one pressure, and as you develop your ability to feel what the body needs in different locations, you will increase and decrease your pressure as you work, much like a musician playing an instrument where the vibrations or notes increase and decrease, creating a harmonious whole: a song.
So, touch is extremely important, but the type of touch is far more important. Learn to listen to the body through your touch and you will know what the body, through the feet, is asking for and you can begin the journey of listening and following the body’s messages and working with the body rather than against it. It is not hard, but easy.
“Healing is natural and easy. It can happen in the blink of an eye.”
“Miracles can happen. Open the door for miracles to happen.”
“Healing is hard. Life is Hard. And one must struggle and suffer to heal.”
Which is the better belief system? Which is a better premise from which to work?
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