Archaeological evidence of foot massage has been found in many ancient civilizations including: China, India, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Rome and Greece.
The theory of foot massage along with the centuries-old practice reveals that every internal organ of the body has its corresponding reflex zone in the foot. The functions of all body systems are regulated through activating these zones with the help of massage and thus prevention and treatment of many diseases are carried out.
Here we need to pay attention to the following:
The recognition of the fact that there are reflex zones in the feet and hands which correspond to specific parts of the body contributed to the advent of the foot massage. We must accentuate here that we speak about "zones" or areas, but not points, which are located in all parts of the foot including its bottom, top, inside and outside parts, and in the lower leg. Therefore foot massage means the massage of all reflex zones.
Stimulating these reflex zones is a purely physical technique. It is mainly a process of giving the massage applying pressure of different intensity with the thumb, finger and hand.
Foot massage results in physiological alterations of the body. The massage gradually relieves tension, restores balance and recovers the ability of proper functioning of internal systems. As a result this massage has a preventive and therapeutic effect.
There are reflex zones both in the feet and in the hands. However hand reflex zone massage is inferior to foot massage in efficiency. Therefore it is especially important to pay more attention to studying and mastering foot reflex zone massage techniques. It is worth while resorting to hand massage only in exceptional cases, which will be mentioned below.
Therapeutic foot massage has its origin in the magic art of Chinese medicine. Every person can enjoy health and happiness as this method being your personal physician is available to everyone. There is no need in taking medicines or use devices; because to have a possibility of preventing and treating diseases, improving your health all you need is your feet and hands.
So, what kind of magic is in question?
All the magic is in the technique that you are to master. Studying and mastering this technique do not cause many difficulties.
An average person can master it within a short period of study. But you will not have any result without proper studying and practice. However, negative consequences do not occur even if an incompetent person is giving massage. We spread this knowledge with the purpose of enabling people to enjoy perfect state of health and to improve the health of the whole population.
Also we believe that those who are interested in this technique will get acquainted with the philosophy underlying.
Anyone who studies the foot reflex zone massage techniques should fulfill the following requirements!
1) For self-learners and beginners:
Applying massage is recommended to improve your health or the health of your family members. To achieve success it is essential to study hard and to apply knowledge in practice.
With the help of massage we can::
- Improve our health and prevent diseases.
- Identify the disease or any body system abnormality in time to treat or prevent it.
- Treat some chronic diseases efficiently.
2) For medical workers and specialists:
You must have a desire to help people. Performing massage you should remember how important this manipulation is.
You must on no condition consider foot massage to be humiliating and unworthy of a qualified professional. While working with a client you must aim at full confidence and comfort, rest and relaxation.
During your working process you should analyze your experience, share experience with colleagues and improve the techniques and methods of massage.
It is important to prepare yourself physically. Sometimes you are to give massage to several clients without a break, or you have to deal with so-called steel feet (feet with extremely tense muscles). In these cases you will not be able to obtain the desired result if you do not have enough strength. Thereby, you must do exercises daily, paying attention to the strength of fingers and arms from shoulder to elbow.
In spite of the fact that there are more than 60 reflex zones in the feet it is not very difficult to remember them as there is a definite pattern of their arrangement. The location of every zone was specified thanks to long-term experience of practical observations.
To explain the issue of reflex zones location, we will use the chart below.
If you put two feet together they will resemble a man sitting on a chair.
- The toes correspond to the head.
- The forefoot corresponds to the upper part of the body, the chest area (lungs, heart).
- The outside of the foot reflects the shoulder, elbow, knee, etc.
- The middle part of the foot is associated with the abdominal cavity, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, gall bladder (in the right foot), spleen (in the left foot), kidneys and other organs.
- The heels correspond to the pelvic area, reproductive system (uterus, ovaries, prostate), urinary bladder, ureters, vagina, anus.
- The inside of the foot along the full length represents the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar and hip sections).
The chart described above gives only a general idea about the subject. Below we are going to introduce every zone to you in the sequence applied during the massage. The explanation is detailed enough to guarantee precise mastering of the knowledge. Standard anatomical terminology is used to describe the location of reflex zones.
The backside of the foot is mentioned as Top, the sole as Bottom, toes as the front part and the heel as the rear part.
As it is said above there are a great number of reflex zones in the feet and they are associated with the organs of the body.
When pathological changes or functional deviations occur in any internal organ or in any part of the body, the symptoms of disease are observed in a reflex zone corresponding to this organ.
Symptoms of pathology, signs of pathological changes or functional deficiency of internal organs can be detected with reflex zone examination or palpation. Thus the principal location of pathology, disease or its harbinger can be revealed.
When pathological changes or functional deviations occur in any internal organ, in a reflex zone corresponding to this organ the following symptoms of a disease can be observed:
- Foot tenderness to pressure:
Light massage of foot reflex zone corresponding to healthy organ does not cause tenderness while in problem zones acute pains or aches are felt and tenderness in them is higher than in healthy ones.
This is an evident sign that assists in distinguishing healthy organs and systems from diseased. In disease detection with the help of foot tenderness to pressure, the key question is mastering the pressure intensity applied.
If the pressure is too light you will find no tenderness in reflex zones. If the pressure is too strong you will find tenderness in every reflex zone. If the intensity of pressure is unequal you may find tenderness in the zones where the pain is not to be felt, and find not any tenderness in the zones where the pain is to be felt.
So you will not be able to identify problem reflex zones in both these cases. As a result you will fail the diagnostics or will get wrong information.
Therefore it is necessary to master the applied pressure intensity. However the strength of pressure is a relative value. This relativity deals with different sensitivity that every person has.
Some people are very sensitive and can feel pain with a very light pressure; others feel no pain even with very strong pressure. Also this relativity deals with different pressure points of the foot, i.e. the point with a thin layer of the skin and subcutaneous fat requires light pressure, while the point with rough skin and a thick layer of muscle tissue requires stronger pressure. So it is impossible to apply equal intensity of pressure because of these differences.
It is required to master the technique of different pressure intensity application that depends on person characteristics and on a pressure point of the body. In practice this technique is performed by shifting from light impact to strong with gradual increasing of pressure intensity. Usually the tenderness is felt even after a light pressure on a problem reflex zone. So the diseased area is easily distinguished among the healthy ones.
- External changes (A, B, C, D):
A) Difference of color: the common color of healthy foot skin is white with some red inside. However sometimes unusual color may appear in the points of pathologically changed reflex zone. For example, the appearance of a dark purple color in the big toe (the upper reflex zone) may indicate pathological changes in the blood vessels of the brain. This warns about the possibility of having cerebral thrombosis or cerebral hemorrhage.
In the same way the appearance of small subcutaneous petechial hemorrhages, orchid specks of blood stagnation or arachnoid coloring in foot reflex zones often indicates possible damage or internal bleeding in the internal organs associated with these reflex zones.
B) Pits: after surgical removal of an internal organ we can observe the perceptible recess in the reflex zone corresponding to this organ. The pit is especially clearly visible in the area where the skin was quite smooth previously (reflex zones related to breast, uterus, ovaries).
When the functions of some internal organs are depressing, deteriorating or atrophying (e.g. kidneys, cerebellum, great brain etc.), the effects of squeezing and contraction of muscle tissue are observed in the foot reflex zones corresponding to these organs.
C) Swelling: a patient with enuresis or prostatic hypertrophy may have swelling in the reflex zones corresponding to the prostate gland and urinary bladder (prostatic hypertrophy may cause difficulty in urination and enuresis because the prostate gland is located at the urinary bladder outlet).
D) Cuticularization (callosity): often it is associated with plantar callosity, cuneate callosity (wedge corn). The common reason of callosity is foot having rubbed after long walking. However, sometimes it may point at some abnormal changes.
For example, thick corn in the reflex zone relative to shoulder may point at shoulder joint inflammation; plantar callosity in the reflex zones of lungs and bronchi often points at chronic diseases of these organs, such as chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma etc.; the corns in the reflex zones of the liver also may reflect chronic diseases of the liver.
When pathological changes occur in internal organs some abnormal changes of subcutaneous tissue can be observed in corresponding reflex zones, for example excrescence of connective tissue, changes in adipose tissue etc.
With deeper subcutaneous layer palpation the presence of some unusual masses may be detected in the reflex zones, such as granuloma, peg, follicle, induration. These unusual masses called "positive reaction" point at pathological changes or abnormal functioning of the internal organs related to these reflex zones and may assist in disease diagnostics.
4. Advantages and restrictions of the technique of disease diagnostics by means of foot reflex zone massage.
As stated above, foot massage is applied to detect a disease. This foot massage technique is known since ancient times when it was called "examining foot method".
This technique having been arranged with modern medicine became more effective in combination with diagnostic methods applied in Chinese and Western medicine.
The advantages of the technique are the following:
- First of all, it allows distinguishing the problem areas from the healthy ones and thus it becomes the clue in disease diagnostics. It helps make fewer efforts and save time and money.
- Secondly, Secondly, because of the fact that a disease diagnostic technique by means of foot massage does not require any medical devices it can be used in the case of emergency in backcountry districts or settlements with lack of equipment.
- Thirdly, the process of turning healthy people into patients usually takes some time. This process shall develop to some extent before it can be detected by instruments and equipment. And some diseases can be diagnosed only in hospitals!
Often, it takes too much time which results in patient's suffering and influences a disease clinical course.
The diagnostic technique by means of foot massage makes it possible to detect a disease in an initial stage. This allows taking measures in time to stop the disease in the early stages, to prevent the development of the disease.
This is a very important advantage of the technique of disease detection by means of foot reflex zone massage.
Restrictions of diagnostic technique by means of foot massage:
The technique only points at the presence of the diseased internal organ, part of the body or abnormal function but it is not able to give a precise diagnosis or specify the diseased area.
It gives only a qualitative result but do not provide quantitative estimates of clinical course, such as a severity of a disease or any deviations occurred.
The positive reaction of one patient differs from that of another. Therefore diagnostic accuracy heavily depends on the sensitivity and experience of the person who carries it, so it is difficult to achieve the highest degree of accuracy.