Chinese foot massage and foot map

Overdependence on drugs and medication is not at all advisable. The side and after-effects of most of the medicines become challenging to handle in later stages of life.

We do have some uncomplicated therapies like acupressure massage and reflexology. Wouldn’t it help to know how these therapies work and which disorders can be treated by them?

Is it safe? Will the effect be long-lasting, or can you do it yourself? Read on to find all answers to your questions and much more.

What is Chinese massage?

The ancient Chinese way of manipulating the muscles, tissues, and bone with curative and preventive objective, is Chinese massage.

Claimed to be about 4000-year-old therapy, it follows traditional principles and approaches of massage. The fundamental underlying principle of Chinese massage is that the energy ‘qi’ should flow unobstructed in the body from head to toe.

There can be an obstruction in the flow of qi, which results in disease, stress, and pain. ‘Jing Luo,’ the obstacles in the meridian path is removed, to enable free flow of qi.  The Chinese massage intends to balance the body holistically and not just treat the ‘symptoms.’ These two features of the Chinese massage are in stark contrast to the western concept of massage (like the Swedish massage).

There are two techniques of Chinese massage therapy:

Tui Na

It is a prevalent technique used worldwide now. The massage uses pushing, kneading, and stretching moves on the muscles and tissue. In other words,‘Tui’ means ‘push,’ and ‘Na’ means grab.

Zhi Ya

This seldom known technique involves pinching and pressing of the muscles and tissues. The method is very similar to acupressure. But it is not acupressure, its massage.

Both Tui Na and Zhi Ya, use Shou Fa (hand technique) for Yang (stimulation) or yin (sedation).  Chinese massage is known to ease pain, facilitate recovery from injuries, improve the balance of body, and increase the blood circulation.

The Chinese Foot massages

The TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) is of the firm belief that feet are the gateway of good health. Overall, good health begins in the feet, and it travels upwards to the entire body.

Ostensibly all the body parts reflect in the sole. The obstructed qi in body parts gets released by massaging the corresponding section in the foot sole.

In confirmation of the holistic approach of health in Chinese massage, the whole system finds its representation along with the body part. For the sake of clarity, indicating just the stomach is not sufficient. The stomach, along with the whole digestive system, gets its due place in the foot sole.

The heart, too, has its representation in the sole, along with the whole circulatory system. Individual body parts have no meaning unless it is a part of a particular system. The various systems together, build and represent the body. That is the holistic philosophy to which TCM subscribes.

The energy flow gets regulated in parts, then in the system, and then in the whole body for attaining good health.

The foot maps suggest the location of the body parts on foot. The foot are massaged using the knuckles of the forefinger and the thumb.

‘Finger walking’ and ‘thumb walking’ on the sensitive zones of the foot works wonders from the therapeutic point of view.

Apart from curative purpose, foot massage is also a popular therapy to keep the body healthy and fine-tuned. It is a kind of preventive measure against the possible onslaught of diseases.

TCM also believes that the physical well being of the body is much dependent on the mental and emotional wellbeing. A mentally healthy and emotionally stable person is less susceptible to sickness, than otherwise.

The foot massage elevates the spirit and mood of a person. Extreme sense of relaxation resets the stress level to almost zero.

The ancient belief says, ‘The body knows to repair itself. You just relax it, de-stress it’. Although research and clinical evidence lacks in all these theories, the very existence of this therapy for over thousands of years proves its worth.

The foot map of the body

Ancient wisdom and experience have evolved the foot map of the body. Simplistically speaking, it is a graphical representation of the various systems of the body on foot.

To get a better hold of the foot map and understand it practically, let us see it in four areas:

All the toes

They represent the head-neck area of the body. So for any problem in the ear or eye or sinus or stiff neck, find a resolution here.

The ball of the feet

It is the chest area. The chest, lungs, shoulder, are represented here. It has a little dark shade of the skin.

The broader part of the foot: The stomach, intestine, liver, and the regions around the waistline have their reflexological points situated here.

The heel

The pelvic section of the body with its parts seen here.

The spinal cord runs on the inner heel right from the base of the big toe to the heel. It is of prime importance from the foot reflexology point of view.

The complete foot chart is too perplexing to remember. But if you remember these four zones, it will serve a lot of practical purposes.

There is no one standard reflexological foot map. The reflexologist uses a map, depending on the depth of his knowledge. We may have simple maps showing just some essential parts, to a very detailed one which reveals, acupressure points, meridian lines along with the biological systems and components.

Just to understand more, let us see a couple of foot maps.

A simple foot map
Detailed foot map

Health Benefits of Chinese Foot massage

Though it relieves stress and re-energizes the body, ideally, the Chinese foot massage is therapeutic. The various conditions that it can address are:

  • Cure cold and minor ailments of the respiratory system.
  • It cures indigestion, flatulence, and minor ailments of the digestive system.
  • Relieve pain in the spine, shoulder.
  • Energize and boost the kidney, which in turn strengthens the skeletal system.
  • Improve blood and lymph circulation
  • It is known to treat headaches, drowsiness,
  • It resolves skin ailments.
  • It treats liver disorders.
  • It increases the overall energy and efficiency of the body.
  • It improves the emotional and mental state of mind, substantially.

Knowledge and expertise of the reflexologist can set various other hormonal and gland related disorders.

The Chinese foot massage, apart from being an interesting therapy, is effective also. Its simplicity and directness make it appealing and much popular.

One can always try this safe therapy in place of expensive and harmful medications.