In The Foot Book, author Devaki Berkson writes:
Otau was a wise, old, and wrinkled man. The whole village respected his healing abilities. One day a foreigner came to ask him many questions and write down the healing ways of Otau. However, all Otau would say was, See to their feet and you have seen to their body."
"I do not understand," insisted the foreigner.
"Your understanding will never be enough," Otau chuckled. "See to their feet, and that will be enough."
Foot reflexology, or zone therapy, is a type of pressure-point treatment applied to the feet. The theory behind reflexology is that the body is divided lengthwise into energy zones that end at the feet. The feet, therefore, contain reflex points that correspond to all major organs, glands, and body parts. Attention to your feet can thereby affect your whole body. Perhaps this is what Otau was referring to. Reflexologists attest to the overall therapeutic value of this type of treatment. It relaxes, stimulates energy flow, and often relieves pain.
- Position yourself so that you can comfortably hold one of your feet in both hands. This can be done more easily if you can sit in a chair. (You could also invite a friend to give you this foot treatment.)
- Now, begin to massage this foot and ankle gently all over. Work between and around your toes. Give special attention to your ankles.
- Using your thumb pads or the knuckle of your index finger, begin to explore your foot and ankle until you encounter a sore spot. Apply light pressure here and massage in a circular motion for no more than thirty seconds at a time. Then move on to find another spot that needs attention.
- The chart indicates the correspondence between places on your foot and the rest of your body.
- When you are finished, stretch your toes. Bend, flex, and rotate your ankle. Gently rub your foot all over . . . and then go to work on the other foot.
[graphic of foot reflexology points]