Insights from the shoulder reflexology point
Yesterday in an online class a student asked me for clarification about what to do when we feel “crunchy” areas in the feet. Do we just work this pressuer point on the foot and move on like all of the other reflexology points? Do we apply more or less pressure? Do we stay on this area longer?
If you aren’t already a reflexologist, reflexology student or reflexology client you probably had no idea that pressure points on your feet are “crunchy”. I can say with a lot of confidence that you almost certainly have several crunchy reflexology points on your feet right now.
What we describe as crunchy pressure points are areas where there is a build up of uric acid crystals in the tissues of your feet. What they feel like to the reflexologist has been described on a spectrum from sandy to salt rocks or even gravel. These areas on the feet are one way that the feet can tell us where there is stress, imbalance or disease in the body. To answer the student's question, we do apply additional pressure as is tolerated by our client and for additional time. Using pressure with our fingers, thumbs or even knuckles (Thai reflexologists will even use reflexology sticks!) we break up as much of these crystals as we can and by applying pressure to these areas we can stimulate a healing response in the corresponding body part.
To take the teaching further I shared two examples from my work as a reflexologist that were profoundly confirming of the relationship between crunchy spots on the feet and the corresponding areas of the body.
Years ago I was hired by a veteran who had debilitating shoulder pain. He was scheduled for surgery but the wait was going to be a long time. His pain was affecting his quality of life and mental health significantly so he wanted to give reflexology a try. He was humble when I initially met him. I knew he had shoulder pain from a long ago injury during his time working overseas. While I was offering him reflexology nothing felt out of the ordinary in his feet until I got to the shoulder reflexology point on the same side of his body where the injury was. It’s not unusual for most people to have some crunchy crystals in the shoulder reflexology points but what I felt in his foot was like nothing I had felt before. I can only describe it like gravel under his skin. I was shocked. It was then that I understood the severity of his condition. I worked that reflexology point with deep pressure for an extended period of time before I moved on to finish his session.
He told me that his pain level had decreased significantly. It was not completely gone, but he scheduled himself for bi-weekly reflexology sessions from then until he eventually had his surgery. His quality of life and mental health improved significantly during that time.
I had one other set of feet that presented with gravel like crunchy crystals in one shoulder reflexology point. I confidently asked the client if she had pain in that shoulder and was shocked when she said “no.” How? The feet had never lied to me before and I wasn’t talking about a little sandy crunchy spot that might not manifest in the body obviously.. these were huge crystals that indicated a very significant problem in the body. And then I remembered.. she had told me she had weeping cysts that wouldn’t heal in her arm pit. She verified that yes they were on the same side of her body as the foot I found the significant crystals in. Wow! There is no “arm pit” on the reflexology foot chart, but if you were looking for an arm pit reflexology point, it would absolutely be where the shoulder was.
A slightly crunchy area can be an imbalance that hasn't fully presented itself yet and reflexology can help prevent an issue in the body before we were even aware of it. Foot pressure points that are moderately crunchy are things we may be aware of or not, such as kidney stones, pain, asthma etc. and areas that are significantly crunchy can point to very serious issues such as the ones I've described above. Reflexology can be beneficial as a preventative, or to support the body to heal, or in some situations for maintenance and comfort when medical care such as surgery is indicated.
Below you'll find a full size reflexology chart for feet and a reflexology chart for hands too. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, book a session with a local reflexologist. You can also help your shoulder heal by applying pressure to the points on the feet or hands using the charts below.
To learn more about By the Moon Foot and Hand Reflexology training, go here.