Foot Factors From Around the World

December 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

  1. The first place I looked for a custom that involves the respectful touching of feet was India. Steeped with ritual and ceremony, it has long been practiced that children bow down to touch the feet of their grandparents or of their elders. This practice is followed by either a blessing or a hug by the elder as an acknowledgement of the respect and love they feel.
  2. In the Native American culture, drums were played with the feet. The Aztec and Hopi Indians used hollowed logs with wooden coverings that when danced upon would resonate.
  3. African and Indian cultures, along with others, have a tradition whereby a specialist is called in to paint intricate designs on the hands and feet of the wedding party. This custom is thought to bring good luck to the bride and groom and to ward off evil.
  4. In Asian cultures, depictions of the footprint of Buddha carries great spiritual meaning. As many as 65 symbols for devotion can be found in these carvings and paintings. The central image on the foot is that of a wheel with 8 spokes. Each spoke represents part of the eightfold path to enlightenment.  It’s interesting to me that this symbol is in the same location as our reflexology “Solar Plexus” reflex. I’ve always felt that there is a lot of wisdom and spiritual connections in this potent point.
  5. A ritual that is said to originate as a hospitality practice in ancient times was the custom of foot washing. Even the kings of europe engaged in this practice in the royal courts up until the 20th century. Washing the feet of guests was once a common practice and has endured in religious ceremonies to the present day.
  6. Sumo wrestling is an ancient Japanese practice which dates back many thousands of years. Seeped in ritual that is said to originate with the Shinto religion, the wrestlers perform a foot stomping ceremony (Shiko) to initiate the event and salt is then used to purify the ritual.
  7. My favorite is practiced by mothers around the world. I call them the first reflexologists, naturally. Yes, it’s mothers and sometimes fathers, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and babysitters who have all found that “one common denominator” when communicating with babies.

I’m talking about the ancient practice of “this little piggy went to market” or whatever else it’s called in as many languages as there are cultures.

Where would we be as a species without the delightful and spontaneous practice of playfully pressing and gently squeezing babies toes? This is something that comes as naturally as rocking them in a cradle. We’ve all done it and all had it done to us.

But, think about it for a minute. What reflexes are being supported and stimulated here? You got it…. the CNS. And what is expanding exponentially as babies grow and learn. Right again! It’s their brain and nervous system (along with all other parts of their bodies).

I think that moms just “get it”, and their preliminary efforts at reflexology can and do have a positive effect. Why else would it be practiced everywhere, ever since time or toes began.

So, there you have it. I invite you to celebrate your (or someone else’s) feet for the next 7 days or seven weeks (or 7 minutes) by foot bowing, dancing, foot painting, solar plexus holding, foot washing, foot stomping and please, don’t forget to wiggling those toes.

Happy New Year from the Reflexology Professor!

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training


  • Wendy Coad

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