If you enjoy foot massages, I recommend trying foot zone therapy (aka foot zoning). It has additional benefits that you won’t get from your typical foot massage and is a little different from traditional reflexology. Foot zoning provides a great bodywork session that takes a whole person approach – balancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies at the same time, all while massaging your feet and working on various pressure points. This healing modality encourages the body’s natural healing capabilities by stimulating blood circulation, hormone balance, digestion, lymph flow, nervous system, etc.
I was introduced to foot zoning through Jenni Runolfson, who has been “zoning” for over 10 years and is an instructor for We Do Feet Seminars. I was sold after the first session. Here’s a synopsis of my experience and how I discovered the benefits of Foot Zoning:
Whole body, with major areas of focus: vegas nerve, lower back, solar plexus, chakra balancing, thyroid and kidneys.
Result: I was a little surprised that Jenni was able to tell that my back was really tight that day…through my feet. She also made the comment that the pressure point for my thyroid was very crunchy (makes sense – since I don’t have a thyroid). Mid-session, I felt a tingling sensation at the top of my head and I asked her what she was working on – it turns out she was working on my crown chakra! I felt very relaxed after I left, and my back was shifting around a lot, in a good way. My back tension was gone by the next morning. I also slept better that night than I had in a couple months.
Whole body, with major areas of focus: sinuses, lymph glands, solar plexus, physical energy and ears.
Result: I was recovering from a sinus and double-ear infection at the time and was a few days into a round of antibiotics. The morning before I saw Jenni, my ears hurt from the pressure in elevation change driving down the canyon from my house to my office. I didn’t experience this driving home after the session or the following days. My solar plexus pressure point was really tender during the session, which I believe was due to me dealing with a challenging emotional/spiritual situation at the time. My coworkers also commented that I sounded and looked much better the next day in regards to my head cold and congestion.
Although the benefits of healing work similar to foot zoning and reflexology have been recognized for thousands of years in ancient Egyptian, East Asian and Native American cultures, it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that this specific healing modality began to gain momentum in the states. Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, a nose and throat surgeon who practiced at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, is considered to be the American pioneer of foot zoning. Dr. Fitzgerald discovered that the body was made up of 10 zones (five on each side) that spanned the entire length of the body. These currents of energy carried impulses that connected pressure points on the feet to distant parts of the body. Through his studies, he was able to determine that pain and underlying causes could be alleviated by applying pressure to certain areas of the feet and hands.
In the late 1900’s in Europe, Dr. Charles Ersdal began doing significant work toward foot zoning after he was able to recover from post-stroke paralysis through regular reflexology treatments over the course of two years. After extensive research and work, he created the Foot Zone Technique. He later began teaching and lecturing in the United States several times per year, which helped grow the healing modality in the Western United States.
Find a Foot Zoner Near You
To try this wonderful healing modality yourself, find a foot zoner near you in our directory.