June 6, 2012 in Health, Lifestyle

Reflexology: It’s All About Shoes

If you’ve been a regular reader of Living Intentionally, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of going barefoot. Going barefoot has a lot of good things going for it, including readily offering earthing/grounding and giving our bodies the equivalent of a nice dose of antioxidants thanks to the exchange of free electrons from the ground. All in all, it’s a great thing for our bodies and not only is it good for you, it feels good.

Walking barefoot also has the super benefit of stimulating our nervous system. All our body’s energy systems route through our feet. Walking over uneven surfaces stimulates these energy systems and encourages energetic flow throughout the meridians. Each pebble, twig, bump or whatever you happen to step on presses into various nerve plexus that trigger stimulating signals that ensure your energy systems work correctly. One of the major points, Kidney 1 (K1) in the centre of the ball of your foot, is actually the main acupuncture point that acts to connect all your meridians. Stimulating K1, therefore, stimulates your entire body.

When we wear shoes, we lose most of this vital stimulation. Given that many of us live in areas that are not conducive to wandering around sans shoes and that many of us have no choice but to wear shoes daily in the course of our employment, we can be left wondering how we can enjoy the benefits of a barefoot lifestyle without actually being barefoot.

Enter reflexology. Reflexology, or zone therapy, is a system of applying pressure to feet, hands, face, ears and other areas of the body to stimulate zones/reflex areas to effect beneficial changes in the body. The idea is that each of these zones or reflex areas map to various bodily organs or systems. According to reflexologists,  it’s possible to effect positive changes to health in the body through stimulating the associated points.

A good example of this is shown in various reflexology mappings on the feet. If you look at a reflexology diagram of the feet, you’ll see how they literally map out correlations of where, for example, the spine is laid out across the surface of the foot. Stimulating these areas, it is thought, effects healing in the associated areas of the body.

It makes sense to me. We evolved over millions of years to wander barefoot and receive hours of stimulation to our nervous systems each and every day. With the advent of modern shoes and lifestyle, most of us no longer enjoy this stimulation and need to turn to alternative means. If you haven’t tried reflexology, I encourage you to do so. It can be a great way for you to help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.

If you’re reading this in the Tokyo area, Salon Nirai (site is Japanese) is offering a 15% discount to Living Intentionally readers on their first visit. Salon Nirai offers services in Japanese and English to female clients and is located in Tsurukawa (near Machida) on the Odakyu Line, just a few-minute walk from the station. Just tell them that Living Intentionally sent you!

Love and Laughter,


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