This is an area which generally does not receive the attention it is worthy of, which is a pity as the toes are areas of great reflex, significance.
It is because the toes can be something of a challenge, is a reason they are usually given scant attention, particularly to those who are at the beginning of their career in reflexology. Working the toes completely as I suggest has a wide physiological influence, creating an alchemy benefiting the entire reflex, matrix, thereby making each treatment more effective.
In fact, and I have made the point before — the toes have such reflex, significance that an entire treatment can be dedicated to them.
However, while saying this I am taking about a focused and positive application to all the surfaces of the toes for at least 20 minutes. This has to be given within the tolerance of the receiver, particularly during the initial stages. The effect of this is a pleasantly, stimulating and mentally uplifting experience to the receiver.
The contacts are made with all the areas of the fingers and thumbs, which requires dexterity, but with practice and perseverance this will be achieved. I suggest that practice should be confined to sharing sessions with colleagues. This will not only enable the techniques to be practiced, but also to experience the various sensations during and after each session.
There are various types of contacts which I devised to enable effective contact to be made on all the different types of toes. These are taught at my A.R.T. seminars.
There are two phases which are very important to observe:
Phase 1 is performed using techniques without any lubrication
Phase 2 is performed using techniques with lubrication
There are types of feet (and toes) which only need the Phase 1 treatment - without lubrication.
It is important that if lubrication is used it must be applied very sparingly. Oil is not suitable as it is too slippery. It must be of the type which is absorbed or evaporates, leaving the skin dry.
What is the significance of the dorsal areas?
There is a marked difference in the effect of reflex stimulation between the plantar and dorsal areas of the toes (the medial/lateral are also important).
The dorsal reflexes of the toes exert a wide influence, including and not exclusively, digestive, urinary, lymphatic and hormonal. It is the lower parts of the toes where they join the metatarsals and beyond which also needs to be included as shown on the illustration. I also include the webs of the toes in this protocol.
The illustrations below show a few of the techniques for working the dorsal surfaces of the toes. In general the dorsal reflexes of the feet (including the toes) are of a Yang nature, in contrast to the Yin of the plantar.
Once the toes and the dorsal areas receive as much attention (or when indicated, more attention) as that of the plantar, treatments will have a greater, therapeutic benefit, leading to increased patient satisfaction. This after all is our purpose for being reflexologists.
My Best Wishes