Meet Your Feet

by Mia White


Have you thanked your feet lately? Our feet carry us through life, but are so easy to take for granted, all the way down at the other end of us.

It’s time you got better acquainted.  Allow me to introduce you to your feet:

Did you know?

  • A human foot & ankle contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments. Together, your feet contain one-quarter of all the bones in your body
  • In a pair of feet, there are 250,000 sweat glands, and over 7,000 nerve endings
  • During an average day of walking, the total forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to an average of a fully loaded cement truck
  • The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime, more than four times around the earth!
  • 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives
  • Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. Shoes that are more fashion than function are largely to blame

All those joints and nerve endings means the feet are designed for lots of stimulation and micro-movements, but our feet spend their days in constricting shoes and walking on flat surfaces. This diminishes the healthy flow of blood, lymph, and nerve signals, and compresses joints, reducing the feet’s ability to perform their job of absorbing shock and maintaining balance. Your feet are your foundation; if they’re not balanced, it affects everything from there up (i.e., all of you!).

Reflexology is the art and science of foot massage. It sees the foot as a mini-map of the whole body, which can be stimulated and toned by massaging the corresponding reflex points on the feet. Massage of the feet is included in a full-body massage, but in a reflexology session, the feet as well as the lower legs and knees receive a very focused massage. A treatment can give the feet the stimulation they crave, alleviate and prevent many common foot ailments, and bring a great sense of well being to the whole person. A reflexology session can also be a good choice for someone who is short on time, or new to massage and wants to start out slow, as it allows the person to remain fully clothed (wearing loose pants that can be rolled up above the knees), or for someone who can’t receive a full-body massage for some other reason.

Every one of those 26 bones, 33 joints, many sweat glands, nerve endings, muscles, tendons, and ligaments will be massaged and gently stretched and flushed and anointed with nourishing massage cream and fragrant beneficial essential oils that will tone the corresponding organs and structures of your body.  You will likely be surprised to rediscover how good your feet could feel, but you may also be surprised to notice how much better that crick in your neck is, or that cranky shoulder, or your digestion. Or that you sleep better. Or have a spring in your step. Or run faster.

Thank your feet in this way, and your whole body will thank you back.