Words on Wellness
The Door to Another Universe!
Your feet are pretty amazing things. Just in case you haven’t noticed lately. Strangely, some people really don’t like feet…but I think they’re fascinating and incredibly powerful regions of our bodies.
You may be wondering what feet have to do with the title. Well I’ll tell you: In my opinion, the feet are a doorway into a whole other Universe, and more specifically the tops of the feet. Seriously.
By now it’s pretty well known that the soles of our feet can act as a “map” of sorts to the rest of our body. Basically each part of our body has a corresponding place on the sole of the foot. In and of itself, this is a pretty incredible thing. But I’m putting it out there that the top (dorsal) of the foot is equally as powerful as the soles of the feet, maybe even more so.
Thai massage has shown this to me time and time again. Once a treatment begins and people begin to relax, at some point I will usually do a little work on the top of their feet. Almost without fail and within 5-10 seconds of me lightly massaging the tops of their feet, the client will start twitching. Fingers, hands, arms, facial muscles – they all begin to twitch. This happens probably 90% of the times that I work on the dorsal foot.
I’m not just making these claims based on what I see when I massage others, it also happens to me when I am receiving a Thai massage! It’s absolutely amazing to feel yourself starting to slide away into some other place. It’s not quite sleep, but not quite awake either. It’s somewhere in between. Who knows, it may be the same place where yoga Nidra takes you… What I do know is that I am in a profoundly deep state of relaxation, somewhere between awareness and the subconscious. This is the Universe that I speak of: the miniscule and yet vast, endless space between alertness and sleep. Amazingly, I am still partially able to recognize the physical sensations of my body, but it’s almost like it’s not really happening to me. I can feel my own fingers, hands, legs and arms twitching – not able to control it and only just capable of noticing.
Energetically I know that during this time of profound relaxation spent “somewhere else” my body is taking the opportunity to restore, rejuvenate, revive and heal. Academically, I searched for any relevant information to help me understand what might be happening on a physiological level. I found that in Reflexology the dorsal foot relates heavily to the respiratory system, including the ribs, thoracic cavity, diaphragm and the trachea. Amazing! Something as simple as touching the tops of the feet connects us to something as profound as breath.
Wait. Before you start massaging your own feet this instant, and telling me it doesn’t work, just hold-up. Part of what I have learned about this neat little occurrence is that you have to be already deeply relaxed. For example, part-way through having a [silent] massage treatment or some other practice you find deeply relaxing. Similarly, if you want to take notes during this process there’s a delicate balance of trying to maintain awareness of what’s happening whilst not being so heavily in the mind that you’re unable to fully relax.
Why do I share this story? It is a huge reminder to me of the power of touch, the power of breath, and also the understanding that we don’t know it all – that there is still so much to explore within our own internal universes before we even begin to explore the external ones. So the next time you give an adjustment in a yoga posture or if you’re a massage practitioner just take a moment to appreciate the profound connection you are about to experience and the vast unknown that you’re about to tap into. Don’t ever enter this situation thinking that you know it all. Enter as a novice. Explore. Find doors you weren’t taught about.