I’ve been practicing for so long that I remember when I trained, we worked with people with their socks on. At the time it was considered appropriate – especially if they had a foot fungus.

That was silly, because socks are not a barrier to foot fungus, aka – athletes foot. If there’s a fungus on the foot then there’s a fungus on the sock and there’s a fungus in the shoe.

Before you say eeewwww, remember that the fungus that causes athletes foot is a thing of nature and found just about everywhere. It’s on the floor and on the door and in the air too.

But it won’t thrive in most places. It thrives mainly in places that are:

1. warm

2. dark

3. damp

And that’s why the warm, damp feet of perspiration soaked athletes (feet that are housed in the darkness of a shoe that’s been worn over and over) is like a holiday cruise for that fungus. It never wants to leave.

I’ll often send my clients who have what looks like athletes foot to see an appropriate professional for help, like their local pharmacist or podiatrist. There are many over-the-counter and prescription medicines that are said to help.

But, if the client fails to also do a few simple things that I’ve listed below, the likelihood for success is diminished.

If you are actively trying to eliminate a fungus, you have to actively “clean up” its immediate environment, and by that I mean minimize the warm, dark, damp factor as much as possible.


Follow these steps:

1. Switch to a cotton (or a wool blend) sock – when fighting fungus you need to minimize the warmth and moisture factor and natural fibers will absorb moisture and/or keep the foot “cooler”. Nylon and polyester socks are like mini saunas and need to be avoided for the time being. A blend is okay as long as it’s 80% natural and no more than 20% synthetic.

Change your socks every day (at least).

2. Never wear the same pair of shoes every day. Fungus can stay active for up to 3 days in a shoe so you want to let the pair of shoes you wore on Monday air-out until Thursday before you put them on again. Otherwise, and especially if you are treating the foot, you will likely transfer the same fungus back to the foot, and so on… foot to shoe… shoe to foot.

3. Remember to dry between your toes after taking a bath, a shower, after exercise and at the end of every day. This is sometimes hard for the elderly because it requires some flexibility that they may no longer have. It might explain be why foot fungus is more prevalent amongst the elderly too.

What about reflexology?

Well, for starters athletes foot is contraindicated for foot reflexology because it might be transmitted. And, it’s just plain uncomfortable – dry, itchy, rash-like, with broken skin – especially between the toes.

That’s why there’s hand reflexology, so work on the hands until the feet clear up.

Thinking about it, if fungus is everywhere then it’s the job of the immune system to protect us. If a fungus has gotten past it, then a detail to the immune system reflexes is in order.

If medication is being used, supporting the body in its natural detoxification processes with a focus on the elimination systems might be helpful, including the colon, kidney, lung and liver reflexes.

Include the parathyroid reflex too (in my last newsletter I wrote about psoriasis, another skin condition, and how calcium is sometimes not balanced in the area of concern).

That should clear up some of the mystery surrounding “tinea pedis” (the Latin name for foot fungus) so that your clients can enjoy the wonderful benefits of reflexology.