An Emotional Response


The power of the mind can have huge repercussions on how your body reacts to emotions. How you’re feeling, what you’re doing and how you’re reacting to certain situations can all have an effect on your health and overall wellbeing.

In reflexology, certain areas of our hands, feet and face represent different parts of your body. For example, the big toe is affiliated with your head and brain, your fingers, the sinuses and the nose represents the heart. Physiologically speaking this representation helps reflexologists relieve symptoms and energy blockages in specific areas of the body. However, sometimes it’s not just the physical area that is showing an imbalance, it could be an emotion being portrayed.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) parts of your body represent a feeling or emotion. For example the liver represents anger and frustration. If the liver is out of balance you may feel more angry, frustrated or even guilty. This could explain the paranoia felt on a bad hangover day. Alternatively, if you get incredibly angry about something, then the liver itself could become affected.

When treating clients the most regularly asked question is, “what are my feet telling you?” Having gone through medical histories and talked through their presenting conditions, I’ll be looking for the corresponding reflexes on their feet and will tell them what I’ve found. The occasional client keeps some information back or just forgets. These are the ones who affirm my belief in reflexology, as even though we may not have touched on the insurmountable sadness they had experienced at some stage of their life, their feet will tell me. Fewer clients expect you to be able to read the emotional conditions as well as the physical ones.

It’s fascinating when the reflexes are showing an emotional response as well as a physical one. Back pain for instance. Emotionally, your spine represents your support network. Obviously all back pain should be looked at by a Doctor but sometimes when nothing comes up in tests, it could be an emotional issue at the root. Upper back pain can be caused if you’re feeling unsupported or that someone is literally ‘always on your back.’ Mid back pain is often related to unaddressed feelings from the past. Lower back pain can be caused by a fear for your own survival, usually related to money. By surrounding yourself with supportive people, clearing your past or transforming your fears your body’s wellbeing could be re-balanced and the pain lessened.

I’m a great believer that dry skin on the feet is trying to protect that specific area. Hard skin on the shoulder reflex shows someone carrying a heavy burden. Hard skin over the lungs and chest area is covering anxiety and grief. Hard skin over the throat reflex often shows someone’s finding it very difficult to swallow certain information.

In TCM, the following organ imbalance has the associated feelings and emotions:

Liver                                     Anger

Pancreas & Spleen              Restlessness, worry and foreboding

Large Intestine                    Compulsive tendencies

Small Intestine                     Fatigue and depression

Lungs                                  Anxiety and sorrow

Kidneys                                Fear and stress

Heart                                   Overstimulation

Bladder                                Inability to let go, jealously and lack of confidence

Stomach                              Fear of the new and despair

One possible cause of an imbalance in the body is repressed emotions. In TCM and reflexology if energy is flowing well, the body is well. If the emotions aren’t being expressed, the energy becomes blocked, stagnation occurs and your body becomes unwell. This is why it’s so important to express your emotions as you feel them and not allow them to build up. Please don’t make yourself unnecessarily ill.

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