A good reflexology foot chart / map can show you where the important reflex points are located on the human foot. Pressure or stimulation applied to these points via massage and/or acupressure can help to heal illnesses within the body.
In this article, we will explain how you can read and use a reflexology chart to guide you in working with reflex points of the feet to stimulate and heal specific areas of the body. Read on to learn more.
There are similarities & differences between the feet
When reading a foot reflexology chart, it’s important to understand that the reflex points on the left foot correspond with the left side of the body. Likewise, reflex points on the right foot correspond with the right side of the body.
Some reflex points are the same from one foot to the other. Some differ slightly or significantly. This is why it is important to consult your chart when you have identified an area of sensitivity on the foot.
How the chart is set up
The foot is divided into four sections with the toes corresponding with the head and neck, the ball of the foot corresponding with the shoulders and upper torso, the mid-foot corresponding with the mid-torso and waist and the heel corresponding with the pelvic area.
It is important to note that some practitioners prefer to combine the toe and ball-of-the-foot areas into one. With this interpretation, the sole of the foot is divided into three secsions; however, for more precision in pinpointing problems and treatment it can be useful to interpret the division as four horizontal sections:
- Ball of the foot
- Arch area
The foot is also divided into five vertical sections that are delineated by running a straight line down from between each of the toes. This system provides for a way to map the foot and pinpoint the correspondence of specific reflex areas with specific areas of the body.
Sections are very precise
It is very useful to understand that each of the four areas of the foot is divided to five smaller areas. This allows you to focus physically and mentally on very precise areas of the body.
For example, the entire toe area corresponds with the head and neck; however, if you wish to focus on the eyes you would apply gentle reflexology pressure and mental focus to the second and third toe of the right foot. This technique is used to address problems such as eyestrain.
How to use the chart to address specific needs of the body
Before beginning reflexology massage techniques, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with this reflexology foot massage chart. Look over it carefully and commit the information to memory as well as you can.
However, it’s important to understand that your approach to identifying and treating problems of the body through the feet will not come from initially knowing the problem of the body and then addressing the feet so much as it will come from identifying problems of the body through the reflexology massage process.
While you or the person whom you are massaging may have specific bodily complaints that you will want to keep in mind, you are sure to find that as you massage sensations of the feet will identify areas that need more attention.
When you feel areas of stiffness, hardness or other unusual texture and/or when the massage elicits discomfort or other sensations, that is a signal that particular attention should be paid to the area identified.
With reflexology massage, you “see” with your fingertips
Understand that reflexology massage is a slow and careful process. You move your thumbs and/or fingers forward slowly across the entire surface of the sole or top of the foot. As you move, you constantly attend to responses.
If you feel or sense something different or unusual in any area of the foot, or if the person you are massaging tells you that he or she is feeling unusual sensations you have identified an area that needs attention.
When you have identified an area of sensitivity, refer to the chart to understand what part of the body you are addressing.
- If you are working on yourself (e.g. using reflexology sandals), you can then focus your attention on healing that part of your body as you work on the corresponding area of your foot.
- If you are working on another person, you can instruct them to focus their own healing attention on that part of their body as you work on the foot.
Take a holistic approach
It is not desirable to simply focus on a part of the foot that corresponds to a part of the body that has been identified to you as being problematic. The reason for this is that if you do not do a complete, careful, exploratory reflexology massage you are sure to miss areas that need your attention.
When using the reflexology foot chart, you are wisest gain general familiarity with the chart and use it as a reference tool while you work. Your focus should be on your massage technique and on developing your sensitivities and sensibilities to be able to locate problematic areas. The chart to help identify the correspondence of these problematic areas with parts of the body.