Reflexology Foot Chart: A First Look
In order to fully understand a reflexology foot chart, it is important to understand the concept of “relating the macrocosm to the microcosm.” In other words, being able to see how the human body is represented – or mapped – on the feet.
When viewing a reflexology foot chart, it is important to keep in mind the fact that the entirety of the human body is being “drawn” upon the soles (plantar aspect), sides and top (dorsum) of the feet – and including the ankle. This makes for a rather consolidated version of the body and, as such, some reflexes will be visibly overlapping others. For example: the heart reflex resides over the lung reflex; the eye and ear reflexes are on the sinus reflexes; the sciatic nerve overlays the pelvic regions; and so on. The basic premise is that the body has depth and is home to many large organs that take up quite a lot of space. Replicating this on a reflexology foot chart, requires an understanding of anatomy and physiology and a surface modeling of the body. In other words, a two-dimensional perspective with accurate placements for all bodily components.
This reflexology foot chart graphically represents how the body is represented on the soles of the feet. All the major organs and bodily areas from the head to the pelvic region are depicted. Again, notice the layering of the reflexes.
In order to properly assess and plan for a reflexology treatment, a reflexologist will refer to a reflexology foot chart. And, even though most reflexologists have memorized the locations of the body’s organs and regions on the feet, it is always best to consult with the client while referring to the chart in order to address the client’s concerns and to gain the confidence of the client by engaging them in the planning of their reflexology session.
A trained, professional reflexologist will always partner with their client and offer their clients opportunities to verbally interact in their session by encouraging questions and feedback. Oftentimes, a client will have an unusual sensation in one area of their foot and will want to know what that part of the foot represents. A quick look at the reflexology foot chart will provide the answer and the reflexologist can then focus on that area. This also provides important information as it relates to providing reflexology on the hands and outer ears, if these are to be a part of the client’s reflexology session.
When a client understands how to interpret a reflexology foot chart, it removes all the apprehension and the unknown elements from a reflexology treatment and allows for relaxation and balance, which are the primary goals for virtually all reflexology treatments.
Reflexology Foot Chart Differences
Not all reflexology foot charts are exactly alike. There are nuanced differences between different charts. However, they all have a general similarity and resemblance to one another and one chart is not “better” than another. You may have noticed something in one chart that is in a different position in another chart or is missing altogether. Again, not to worry, a well-rounded visual understanding of how the body is represented on the feet is all that is needed to understand and to practice reflexology. The reflexology foot chart is a reference and reminder for the general positioning of the reflexes that correlate to the represented areas of the body. It is not uncommon for an area of the foot to be reflexed and feel something in a totally unrelated area of the body. This is the nervous system at work and nothing moves perfectly from Point A to Point B.
As an example, I had been providing a series of reflexology treatments for a man with kidney problems who had been referred to me by his doctor. Of course, I prioritized the kidney reflexes in our sessions and let him know when I was beginning and ending that part of the treatment so he could visualize what I was doing and could “contribute” to the session through his own intention and energy. One session, when I began working with the kidney reflex, he said he felt his inner thigh spasming – not painfully, but noticeably. As soon as I discontinued working with the kidney reflex, the spasming stopped. This led me to investigate more deeply, Chinese Medicine and the meridians. This explained that the kidney meridian, or energy channel, went from the feet through the inner thigh before arriving at the kidney itself. It was then I became a student of the meridians and have incorporated them into my reflexology treatments.
Another Reflexology Foot Chart
As you can see, now we have a reflexology foot chart for top (dorsum) of the feet. Yes, a reflexology session involves applying techniques to the top of the feet, as well. And, while there are similarities, there is one important distinction: the top of the feet references the back of the body, whereas the soles of the feet reference the front of the body. So, by applying reflexology to the top and the bottom of the feet, a reflexologist provides a full and well-rounded reflexology treatment for their client.
But wait . . .
One More Reflexology Foot Chart
Lastly, we have a reflexology foot chart for sides of the feet. As you can see, many important reflexes reside on the sides of the feet. The reproductive areas are represented, as is the Knee/Leg/Hip/Back. Between the sole, top and sides of the feet, a reflexology treatment encompasses the entire body – all within the feet!
Once all aspects of the feet have been addressed in a reflexology treatment, and the benefits of reflexology have been fully experienced, the session will usually come to an end. The reflexologist will quietly announce that the session has ended and will suggest their client take a few deep breaths and do some light stretching while still lying on the table.
However, for those who want to go the extra mile in a reflexology treatment, the hands and the outer ears provide additional opportunities to receive reflexology. All in all, referencing a reflexology foot chart is a simple way to build a client’s trust and confidence in you – the reflexologist – and reflexology, in general.