A Masterpiece of Engineering


A quote from the great Leonardo da Vinci to describe the amazing biological structure which is the human foot.  The words I mostly hear though as a client removes their shoes and socks for their first Reflexology session is “I’m really sorry about my horrible feet…..”  Accompanied by an apologetic look as if they are expecting me to run for the hills… Statistics say that 20% of people think their feet are the most unattractive part of their body.  The truth is that all feet are fascinating to a Reflexologist and as I work on theirs and point out how amazing feet actually are, I see their opinion slowly shifting and they begin to look at their feet with new eyes.

Did you know that a quarter of all your bones are in your foot?  That’s 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. In an average lifetime they will have carried you 5 times around the world.  That’s a lot of anatomy in a relatively small package especially when you consider that these bones are some of the smallest, yet each step you take exerts a force 2-3 times your body weight.  Those feet deserve respect.

So what do we do with these biological marvels? We cover them up, we hide them and don’t give them much thought.  Until something goes wrong.  Philosopher Socrates once said: “To him whose feet hurt, everything hurts”.  When our feet hurt, it’s all we can think about and that’s because there are more nerve endings in the feet (and hands) than anywhere else on the body.  The primary purpose of these nerves is to send vital feedback via the nervous system to the rest of the body and brain about our environment and as our safety is of prime importance, these messages from the feet are given a high priority by the brain – another reason why Reflexology can be so effective.   

Cushioned in our shoes, all of these receptors in our feet do not get the work out that walking barefoot used to provide and it’s thought that this in turn affects our general health and wellbeing. In some countries, public cobblestone Reflexology footpaths are common and are designed to improve the health of the feet as well as stimulating the feet’s reflex points – leading to health benefits such as improved circulation, more efficient digestion, pain relief and stress reduction. A walking Reflexology session!  Having a Reflexologist work these pressure points for you is infinitely more relaxing though as the sensations conveyed along these nerve endings can induce a wonderful state of tranquillity and calm.  

If you have been neglecting these biological wonders, you get double benefit as Reflexology will also encourage better circulation to them which in turn leads to healthier feet.  It’s wonderful to watch the feet start to ‘bloom’ as they bask in 60 min of concentrated appreciation and attention during a Reflexology session and by the end, they’re positively glowing…!