Questions, Answers and Alternative Ideas

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Question...... I have pain in the ileocecal valve reflex area (right foot).  It's at times really deep penetrating pain.  It can disperse with pressure but sometimes it makes it worse.  I eat really healthy (semi macrobiotic).  However this on-going foot issue is a head scratcher.  Any brief thoughts would be fantastic.

AnswerÖÖ It would be in
ileocecal_valveteresting if you could remember what was happening, or what you were thinking about when it became Ďreally deep penetrating painí.  Itís amazing what can set of a pain reaction. 

Before I think about the position on your foot, letís think about the function of the ileocecal valve.  It sits at the junction of the small and large intestine (ileum and cecum).  Its critical function is to limit the reflux of colonic contents into the ileum.

Metaphysically, in moving forward, there is no going back; there is a need to close off from the past. We have gone through a door that has closed.  It is not meant to be re-opened. 

Interesting, you mention you eat really healthily, and yet you have a problem that is showing up in the digestive system.  For all intents and purposes, you are doing the right thing but not getting the results you expect.  Is there any other area of your life where you are doing the right thing, and not getting the results you had hoped for?

Also it is part of the digestive system.  The overview of this system is being part of a team.  If one player isnít pulling their weight, then it adds extra work to the others.  Right foot infers something you do on a physical level.

Thinking about the position on the foot, it is in the base chakra area, bordering on the sacral chakra.  The heel is about your place in the group, family, culture, work environment, tradition; anything that has rules and expectations, and what you have to do to be accepted there.  The lower plantar heel is also about emotional security.  The sacral chakra which is higher up the foot, into the soft lower arch, is more concerned with one to one relationships, money or material security and power games.   The trick is to identify if any of these issues have been set off when the deep penetrating pain begins.

Listening to words is another way to gather information about the core issues.  ĎDeepí and Ďpenetratingí are the words used.  What else has penetrated and left its mark at a deep level.  If there is something that comes to mind, are you able to close the door on it?

I sometimes tell my clients that they donít always have to understand what the cause is; they simply have to be ready to release the emotion that is holding the pain in their foot or body. 

Pain isnít in the body to make like unpleasant, so next time it comes, hold your foot and ask what the message is that itís trying to convey. As I have said many times, I donít I read feet.  I gather information and suggest possibilities.  Hope this gives you a starting point and something to think about.


The neck reflex

Side of toe could be related to a few things. If the pain is on the inside of the foot (medial base of big toe) it is around the base of the neck reflex which also includes the throat and thyroid.  Therefore it could be related to what you say, either not speaking up or saying too much (voice box); getting along with others (throat, common passage way for food and air) or questioning who is in control of your life (thyroid, endocrine system).

If the pain is on the lateral side of the big toe (the side next to the second toe), then there could be issues related to constantly looking at someone else rather than focusing on where you are going in life.  This is the physical reflex of the side of the neck, so it could be indicative of all those sorts of things that you need to turn your head to see; someone point of view; taking notice of someone else; knowing whoís on side and who isnít or whoís behind you or whoís got your back.  If you are constantly looking over your shoulder at someone or being distracted by what is going on behind your back, then the base of the big toe could be painful as it reflects the neck being stretched or being held in an uncomfortable position.  So imagine what your neck does and parallel that to which direction you are looking in e.g. approaching life head on or constantly looking over your shoulder to the past.   Take notice what you are thinking about when pain hits this spot either in the neck or the foot.

The base of the big toe is also related to the throat chakra and issues about responsibility and creating a life of choice rather than one that is thrust upon you; not living in the present, either focused on the past or always looking to the future; the balance point between head and heart, logic and intuition.

goiterSome thoughts about someone with a benign goitre, associated with stress, nerve damage due to a viral infection and antihistamine for sinisitus.

I associate anything to do with the nervous system with communication:  a break-down in communication, mixed messages, incorrect information etc.

Among other things the sinuses are Ďa resonance chamber for speech.í When something is re-sounding, it is going around and around and around. 

Now think about the antihistamines.  Our immune system is over-reacting by producing excess histamine because the body detects an enemy.  So one could wonder if a person is over-reacting to someone or something and not doing or saying anything about it.

If the endocrine system is involved (goitre) a person may need to consider authority and control issues.  As the master gland relies on negative feedback, a person may be mistaking constructive comment for personal criticism.  More specifically the thyroid is related to how the body uses energy and the goitre, simply put, is an enlarged thyroid gland which can lead to a swelling of the neck over the voice box.  So here we have boundary issues and again communication.

With the symptom presenting in the neck, a person would need to consider the throat chakra, which is about being responsible and the ability to create a life of choice not imposed circumstance.  To do this they need to live in the present, not in the past or the good old days or the future when life will be better when such and such happens.

The words a person chooses are important.  The benign goitre has Ďattached itselfí.  So I would be thinking has this person may have attached themselves to someone or has someone attached themselves to them. 

 My holistic approach looks at many levels, not just the physical symptoms.  In just a few minutes, I usually come up with several possibilities but that doesnít mean I will mention all of them.  I have come to know that the body has its own language and its always spot on.  I believe if I know the purpose of the body system or organ, I can parallel it some relative life issue.   

Einsteinís great equation:  E=mc2 or energy and matter are interchangeable. If I donít deal with my Ďstuffí when it is in the form of energy, it may change into matter for greater impact and attention.

grays_colon_smallQuestion:  What about the sigmoid colon
When isolating the sigmoid colon, keep in mind that it is also part of the digestive system and therefore shares many common issues with the descending colon.  Its focus is also process and teamwork, not to forget chaos before order.

On a physical level, the descending colon moves the waste matter along while water and salts are being absorbed back into the body.  Once this waste matter reaches the sigmoid colon, the absorption process should be completed.  The main function of the sigmoid colon is to store the waste matter until it is ready to enter the rectum and be expelled through the anus as faeces.  If this process is delayed in the sigmoid colon, the faeces will harden and result in constipation.

On a metaphysical level, issues with the descending colon suggest that in a given situation there is still something to be achieved.  There may be some benefit or some learning experience to be taken from it before it reaches its end.  Whereas an issue with the sigmoid is saying there is nothing more to be taken from the situation, nothing more to give, nothing left to be of benefit. 

In the western world, one of the most common diseases found in the sigmoid colon is diverticulitis; small, bulging pockets of the inner lining become inflamed or infected.  This is not a problem in Asia or Africa as they eat more unprocessed food.  The low-fibre western diet is one of the most likely causes of this disease. The real issue here is: Why do people continue to eat foods that are not supplying the bodyís needs?  Are we too busy to prepare proper food?  Do we make food choices from habit?  Do we comfort eat?  Are we too exhausted by what we have to do and therefore canít do what we want to do?


The unsuitable foods we eat could pose the question:

  • What else do I do that I know isnít good for me
  • Why is my life so busy
  • What other bad habits wonít I change
  • What part of me needs to be comforted
  • What drains my energy

Constipation suggests:

  • What am I struggling to let go of
  • I need someone to help me because Iíve let a given situation go on too long
  • This situation didnít really need to become this painful

The other difference to look at is the chakras where the descending and sigmoid colons sit.  The descending is more connected to the sacral chakra, but the sigmoid, being lower in the body would have more of the base chakra issues i.e. group, family, culture, belonging and security.  It is more associated with a personís place in the group, rather than the one on one relationship issues of the sacral.  Therefore the questions asked above are in relation to the group, family, culture and where a person experiences their emotional security. 

I really believe that if you have the most basic understanding of how the body works it is relatively easy to find a connection to the cause of the problem. Sometimes logic gets in the way but trust your imagination and you may be surprised with the results you come up with.

Why left foot descending colon so sore. What does it relate to in metaphysical terms.
Thank you

 As you would have gleaned from reading my website or book, I donít read feet.  I gather information from several sources and offer possible causes of symptom and pain.  So in considering the Ďleft foot descending coloní, I would initially think about the general issues related to the digestive system.

 The descending colon is part of the digestive system.  In metaphysical terms, I would relate the digestive system to process and team work.   Each player in the digestive game has a role to play and if the player doesnít do their job properly, then it makes it difficult for what follows e.g. if the teeth donít chew the food, then the stomach has to work harder to break it down.  If the stomach doesnít break down the food properly, then the small intestine wonít be able to absorb it.  The success of each process in the digestive system depends on the previous one being done properly.

 Iím pretty sure if you asked most people about the metaphysical meaning of the colon, they would say holding on to something or letting it go.  Thatís the obvious answer, but maybe I can be a little more specific. By the time the food has reached this point, the nutrients should have been absorbed and the unwanted residue would be going through the process of leaving the body.  Once again there is a process going on related to water absorption; too much or too little results further symptoms.

 Metaphysically, I also connect the digestive system to matters of discernment.  We take something in.  We use what is of benefit and get rid of the rest.  We have to be able to discern what is of use and what is not.  If the physical body is in good form it can perform this digestive process very efficiently.  If not then we may have to look at some area of our life where we need to be more discerning.

 I honestly believe that if a person knows how and body works, it is relatively easy to parallel a physical symptom to a hidden metaphysical cause.

 So if the tenderness in this area of the foot is related to the descending colon, the cause of the problem could be related to:

  • taking short cuts
  • not wanting to go through due process
  • lack of discernment
  • changing direction
  • not pulling your weight
  • not contributing to the team
  • prolonging something that needs to be ended 

Remember, in the physical body the descending colon is very close to the left kidney, so if the foot pain is more related to the kidney reflex, the cause will be something different.  Also the descending colon passes close to the hips, which brings in the sacral chakra with one on one relationships, power games and money.  Chakra issues usually are very helpful in finding any hidden causes.   Another factor in this case could be not where the foot is sore, but why it is sore.  Changing the focus of the pain brings in other issues e.g. bone, tendons, muscles which throw a different emphasis on the problem altogether. 

Iím sure you can see why itís important not to isolate foot pain without considering other factors. 

An important question to always ask isÖ When did the pain begin and what was going on in your life at the time.  Listen to your words you use to describe the pain to see if there is any parallel in your daily life.  Left foot usually refers to female, feminine self or creativity. 

I usually find that by speaking with a client I am able to help them narrow the possibilities much quicker.  I hope I have been of some help.

Third_Eye_feeReflexology and Insomnia

Clients come in the hope that relaxation therapy may help them sleep but what is more important is the hidden issue that is keeping them awake.

Insomnia is physically related to the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland which produces melatonin, a hormone that affects a personís wake and sleep patterns. If this gland isnít producing the appropriate hormones at the appropriate times, the body is confused about when it needs to be awake and when it needs to sleep.

Metaphysically insomnia is related to the third eye chakra, which sits above the bridge of the nose in the centre of the forehead.  In the metaphysical sense the energy of the third eye chakra is intimately connected to being spiritually awake or asleep, walking in the light or being stuck in darkness, and a mind that is open or closed.  Symbolically it is the place where the mind takes control through thoughts and logic. 

When you consider what the pineal gland is meant to do along with any malfunction, and combine it with the energy of the third eye chakra it is possible to arrive at what could be the cause of a personís insomnia.  Physically the pineal gland helps us to know light from darkness.  Metaphysically it brings enlightenment and dispels darkness. 

I repeatedly tell my clients that the forehead (third eye) is about right judgment.  Right judgment is no judgment and when we donít judge someone or something, we allow. 

In allowing, we are acknowledging that life is perfect as it is.  Everything is the way it is meant to be at this moment.  No one has ever done anything to us.  On some level of our consciousness we have agreed to everything.  Obviously this can be a huge challenge for the mind and logic as they often only focus on the physical result of any given situation.  Insomnia is asking us to consider a higher meaning to life and apply it to the physical reality in which we live.

When the person is awake at night, what are they thinking aboutÖ.

  • Judging someone or something to be good or bad, right or wrong
  • Refusing to see from another perspective
  • Closing their mind to certain areas of their life
  • Not being able to see past the physical result of something
  • Allowing logic to run their life
  • Dismissing possibility or anything that is not understood
  • Inability to see that life is exactly how it is meant to be
  • A hectic and busy lifestyle (reassessing priorities and expectations)
  • Not enough time
  • Seeking approval from another

As we open to enlightenment on a metaphysically level (third eye chakra)

our bodies will adjust to a cycle of light and darkness on a physical level (pineal gland)

and we will sleep peacefully in trust, knowing all is well. (insomnia)

Whatís hiding in the ankles
Ankles are
the reflex for the hips.  The hips reveal any sacral chakra imbalances.  The dominate issues in this part of the foot are:  one on one relationships, power games and money.

Common foot conditions Ankle problems, Sprains, Tightness

Combining the foot condition with issues related to this area

Fracture of the ankle bone is associated with restructuring or support (skeletal system) of a relationship or finance.  This can include difficult people and power-games.
Sprains affect the skeletal system (ligament and joints) and are related to how a person connects to or disconnects from another.
Tight and painful muscles (muscular system) can identify a person having tension applied and being pulled in two directions or divided loyalties.  Whether the pull is towards the group or self depends on which way the pain flows. 


In healing the underlying issues of the ankle, a person needs to consider:

They attract their own issues to learn about themselves
Difficult people are not doing anything to them.  They are doing something for them
The Law of Attraction works whether they are aware of it or not
If they havenít learnt from their parents, they will marry or partner one of them

Healing the sacral chakra energy as discovered in the foot was discussed at length in the workshop I presented at the national conference of the Reflexology Association of Australia in Launceston Tasmania on Saturday 29 September 2012. 

A full transcript of this workshop will be available for sale as a PDF file from this website shortly.

Stretching the big toe joint
Joints (skeletal system) give movement to a rigid skeleton.  Stiff joints, a person is too rigid or fixed.  In this area of the foot it could be related to how a person thinks or speaks. 
Physical reflex, cervical spine and spinal cord, neck, tonsils, thyroid, throat and its passageways.
Thyroid (endocrine system) doing things for yourself instead of having another do them for you.
Cervical spine refers to a delicate structure.  Spinal cord associated with sending the correct message.
Tonsils (immune response) what foreign matter are you being asked to swallow.
How well do you share (pharynx).  Speaking up (larynx).  Hot air, all about nothing (
trachea ).  Changing direction and staying on track (epiglottis).
Throat Chakra is the pivot point of past and present, heart and head.  It holds the energy of responsibility and empowerment, allowing you to create a reality of choice rather than imposed circumstances.
Easy place to put responsibility that doesn't belong to you.

Top of the plantar arch, the boundary band. 
Physical reflex is the stomach. 
Solar Plexus chakra, your rules and boundaries.  Your relationship to yourself.
Are you boundaries being invaded.  Are you giving or is it being taken.

TCM emotions of the stomach stress and anxiety.  It's very important to define stress otherwise it becomes a fog too great to penetrate.  Broken down into workable pieces, stress is not so overwhelming.

Crown Chakra

Holistic approach:
Physical reflex the brain, who is in control
Esoterically the crown chakra, ego, unity, trust
Element of air, (second toe) communication issues
Left foot connected to female, feminine, present

Base Chakra


Physical reflexes
Lower spine, pelvic area, sigmoid colon

Common heel conditions
Spurs, cracks, callouses and thicken skin, pain and burning, blisters, plantar warts

Issues related to this area:
Relationships to and within the group, family, tribe, society, tradition or culture
Family dynamics (parents and siblings)
Emotional security
Ability to integrate into the community or group
A sense of not belonging or not feeling part of something
Religious beliefs and cultural traditions
Rules of the group that must be obeyed
Family beliefs that have been passed down through the generations
Basic survival instincts
Behavioural patterns and habits
Reactions rather than a choice centred response
Combining the heel condition with issues related to this area:
Spurs are associated with bone and bone as I think is related to structure, restructure or infrastructure.  Bones strengthen or sure up.
Spurs on the heel could be related to restructuring or strengthening your position within the group, family, tribe, society, tradition or culture
Cracks split the heel.  So cracks could be seen as splitting, separating or moving away from
group, family, tribe, society, tradition or culture
Callouses are harden skin to protect the area so this could be an indication of protection against the group......
Blisters are caused by pressure from an outside source.  So blisters on the heel could be that you are being pressured in relation to the group.....
Plantar warts are different to other warts and are sensitive to pressure.  So a plantar wart in this area could be sensitivity to the group.....

aling the Base Chakra

In healing the base chakra one needs to identify the beliefs and behavioural patterns that dictate inappropriate reactions and responses.  Much of what doesnít work in an adultís life is attached to beliefs that were learned as a child.  If these patterns do not serve the highest good of the adult, they need to be identified, released or modified so that they will not sabotage oneís potential growth on all levels.

The concept of the base Chakra is further expanded in my book, Holisitc Reflexology, the eight principles
When working from an holistic approach to my reflexology practice, I consider eight principles.  Keeping these in the background, I can mix and match to unfold the secrets of the feet.

Alternative perspective on life, Reflexology and Astrology
Glenda Hodge, Queensland, Australia
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