Anatomical Reflection Theory – Perspective of the Feet By Moss Arnold
Excerpt from Chapter 7 “Reflexology: Basics of the Middle Way”
The basic premise of Reflexology is that the two feet reflect the human being, and therefore the two feet reflect the body anatomically accurately in what is called The Anatomical Reflection Theory. Either this theory is accurate or it is not. Either the feet do reflect anatomically and proportionately accurately or they do not. When studying, I dismissed Reflexology as a valid science and therapy as there was no consistency based on this premise. All that occurred was a brief statement that the two feet reflect the body anatomically accurately and then they went on from there, perpetuating the inconsistencies. Further, Reflexology has paid lip service to this important basic premise, with little or no detailed explanation of the perspective, such as –
1. Is the sole of the feet the front or the back of the body?
2. Is the back/top of the feet the front or the back of the body?
3. Is the inside of the feet, inside or outside of the body?
4. Is the outside of the feet, inside or outside of the body?
How can one use a tool without understanding its basic foundations? I could not; and could find no answers to the questions that I had. As I result, I dismissed the Anatomical Reflection Theory and went in search of energies through the feet, and I did not care where I found them. Ironically this search led me back to the Anatomical Reflection Theory – that the two feet do reflect absolutely anatomically and proportionately accurately.
Reflexology indicate, although they do not usually state this, that –
1. The TOES are the HEAD/NECK region of the body,
2. The BALL OF THE FFET is the CHEST of the body,
3. The ARCH OF THE FOOT is the ABDOMEN region, and
4. The LOWER ARCH and HEEL area is the PELVIC REGION.
This is one of the significant problems with Reflexology theory; so much is simply stated with little or no explanation. It is time Reflexology began the process of understanding itself.
For space I will simply list the inconsistencies that I found in point form:
1. Plantar or Sole View:
a. Pituitary gland reflex (two in the feet)
b. Heart reflex (on the left foot only)
c. Solar Plexus reflex (you have two, one either side of the body!)
d. Pancreas and Liver reflexes (are bilateral and on both feet)
e. Bladder reflex – should be very low in the torso (feet).
f. No reproductive reflexes on the sole of the feet
g. The heel area is basically empty.
h. Spine reflex (towards the medial or dorsal surface?)
i. Shoulder, Diaphragm , Waist and Heel line. Where are these? The body or the feet?
2. Dorsal or Back View: Back of head/neck, upper back/back of chest & mid-back reflexes, and Groin, lymph and fallopian tube reflexes [front or back of the body (feet)?]
3. Medial or Inside View: Spine reflex, Upper back/ back of chest reflexes, and Groin, lymph and fallopian tube reflexes.
4. Lateral or Outside View:
a. Shoulder and arm reflex
b. Upper back, back of chest reflexes
c. Knee/Leg reflex
d. Reproductive and pelvic reflexes
e. Lymph, fallopian tube and groin reflexes
These inconsistencies are examined thoroughly in my new book but it should be obvious to all Reflexologists that on the same surface of the feet, there are different surfaces of the body reflected.
The Anatomical Reflection Theory has evolved as my understanding of the theoretical and practical components of Reflexology have evolved, and it is still evolving. It is a process of understanding and development that the more you understand the more accurate you become and the more accurate you become the more you understand.
So the major theory upon which Reflexology is based is the Anatomical Reflection Theory, but it is past time to look at the two major premises upon which reflexology is based, which are –
1. The first is that the two feet reflect the whole person.
2. The second is that the feet reflect the body proportionately and anatomically.
The first aspect of this interpretation is fairly consistent across the science and art of Reflexology, which is summarized in the following Table.
ILLIUSTRATION 13 – TABLE: Anatomical Reflection of the Body to the Feet
Area of the Body
in the feet
|DIVISIONS of the body and Feet|
|Head and Neck||Toes||Shoulder Line|
|Chest||Metatarsal Pad or|
Ball of the foot
|Upper Abdomen||Upper Arch||Diaphragm and Waist Lines|
|Lower Abdomen and Pelvis||Lower arch and Heel||Waist Line and Groin Line|
With the above in mind, if the Anatomical Reflection Theory is correct then it must be consistent. The above table is a step along the way. The other aspect of this reflection theory is the four surfaces of the body (front, back, inside and outside) reflect consistently the four surfaces of the feet. I am yet to find consistency, nor a clearly stated and detailed outline of this perspective. Most seem to have accepted the original and worked from there, leading to inconsistencies and an un-stated stance on the perspective used in Reflexology. Pick up any Reflexology book and the one glaring omission is a clearly stated and explained perspective of the feet.
The following is my perspective. It may in fact be incorrect, but at least there is consistency. Hopefully this will engender debate and discussion within the Reflexology community.
My perspective is that
• The sole of the feet REFLECTS the front of the body.
• The back of the feet REFLECTS the back of the body.
• The inside of the feet REFLECTS the inner aspect of the body; and
• The outside of the feet REFLECTS the outside of the body
Copyright 2010 Moss Arnold, Principal, Australian College Of Chi-Reflexology