Posted on March 20, 2017 by Dr.Paul
Since time immemorial, people have believed that there are strong connections between the health of disparate areas of the body. Perhaps surprisingly, many of these beliefs have centered on the foot as a source of both sickness and healing.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of these theories, examining them as they’ve evolved from ancient times up to the present day.
Reflexology: Is It Real?
Like some of the modalities practiced at PMR, reflexology has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine and is connected to concepts of energy flow (or qi) within the body.
However, its contemporary form is the brainchild of an American doctor, William Fitzgerald, who developed a theory that links “zones” of the feet to corresponding areas of the body. The idea is that medical conditions can be treated by applying pressure to the right part of the foot.
However, unlike some other ancient modalities, the effectiveness of reflexology remains unproven by most studies. However, that’s not to say that there’s no merit to the techniques—in fact, many patients still swear by them.
The Foot and the Spine
Though it’s not quite reflexology, there is a proven medical relationship between the foot and the spine. In fact, according to some physicians and chiropractors, most spinal ailments can be traced to an imbalance in the feet.
You may not know that two human feet contain 52 bones—over a quarter of your body’s total of 206—and nearly as many muscles. Foot problems are common, and as the feet are such a critical support system for the body, imbalances in the feet may affect your entire nervous system.
Likewise, spinal ailments may cause problems with your feet. Though not the most common root cause, spinal issues, including spondylolisthesis, herniated disks, and spinal stenosis may cause foot pain and other symptoms, including numbness in the leg, often concentrated on one side of the body.
If you believe that a spinal ailment may be causing your foot pain, speak with a chiropractor or doctor about it.
At PMR, we believe in a holistic, individualized approach to health care and overall wellness. At the end of the day, all parts of the body are connected to one another, whether that connection is obvious or not—and every person’s body is unique. That means that a technique applied in one area can have surprising consequences for the rest of the body, but also that the same techniques won’t work for everyone.
We bring that understanding to every patient we treat, always with the belief that a patient’s comfort and wellbeing is the most important priority.
For more great health and wellness tips, contact us at PMR today.