Toe Reading

When I was first learning Polarity Therapy, one of the more preposterous concepts being presented was the idea that the shape and condition of a client’s toes can be a useful reflexology indicator of the Three Principles/Five Elements situation, guiding the process of creating a strategy for the session.

Having paid attention to this for many years, I can only conclude that the concept is valid, though not to be over-used. It is included in our Polarity classes, and earlier this month the current Level 1 class had fun with getting their toes “read.” We thought others might be interested to see a few toes and experience the reading process.The guiding theme for toe reading is, which toe attracts one’s attention? Any attribute can be used: shape, condition of the nail, coloration, comparison with others, or any other factor. If the toe of interest is the third toe on the left foot, Fire element and Yin energy are indicated. We would say that we can meet this client energetically at the corner of Yin Avenue and Fire Street. Please note that this is a highly subjective process and there are no wrong answers; toe reading can be approached in a leisurely and fun way secure in the knowledge that the session process will find its own way.In toe reading, commentary is often about the parents, as much or more than the client, because our parents are a significant source for our life lessons. We inherit significant attitudes and expectations from our parents, and rebel against or adopt their life issues to some degree, so they are part of the earliest template creating our form. The body is said to constantly crystallize from the top down, so the toes represent the oldest energy patterns, as far into materialization as possible in the body.Toe reading is not the primary assessment method in Polarity. The locations of body problems, plus what the clients say and how they say it, are more primary pointers for starting a session.

Thanks 1o the CSES APP class of 2011 for letting their feet be viewed!

#1: The left foot (Yin side) seems more stressed than the right, and the Fire element (middle toe) has the most distortion, bending and curving to obstruct the fourth toe. There is some deviation of the big toes away from each other, suggesting that the parents’ communication experience was sub-optimum and pointing to the importance of Ether element (discrimination, communication, emotional balance) for this client.#2: In this example, the left Ether toe (big toe) is significantly smaller than its counterpart, and the Earth toes are small and curved on both sides. The divergence of direction between the big toes is fairly pronounced. I would start a session at Yin Avenue and Ether Street, and take some time to support Earth element as well.#3: Here there is some irritation on the left Ether toe, and the left side is generally more stressed. The left Fire (middle) toe attracts my attention, as it seems to set or hold a pattern for the Water and Earth. Lines or bumps on the toes suggest neck and shoulder tension. I would initially meet this client at the corner of Yin Avenue and Fire Street.#4: In this example the right foot shows more stress, so Yang Avenue would be a good place to meet, but at which elemental cross street? Fire or Earth would be good candidates. Note that the Air toes are longer than the Ether toes, so for this person support for Ether element functions (emotional balance, discrimination, expression) would be part of the plan.#5: Here my curiosity is attracted to the left foot and its Air and Earth toes. Note that the  toenails are minimal; this has been interpreted as indicating restricted flow. We could meet initially at Yin Avenue and Air Street, and include Earth in the process. The Ether toes point away from each other, so there could be some support for communication especially in close relationships such as the person’s significant other.#6: Coloration of the feet including some grayness of the Ether toenails suggests a period of cleansing including purifying diet would be indicated. The medial two toes (Ether and Air) are much more complex than the lateral three, so session focus might focus on the upper body. I would start with Yin Avenue and Ether Street.#7: Here the space between Ether and Air is notable, on both sides. This could suggest that there is a gap between the feelings and self-awareness of them, slightly more in the Yin realm of experience. Among the toes the littlest (Earth) is more curved. I would start with Yin Avenue and Ether Street, and through the sessions I would be encouraging the person toward greater authenticity and clarity making good choices.#8: This person’s left foot is slightly smaller than the right, and the air toe in particular seems to be stressed including a small toenail. Water and Earth also attract my attention, due to curving sharply. I would be proposing to meet at Yin Avenue and Air Street. I would expect that torso below the diaphragm would appreciate some support.#9: The left foot is quite strained, especially the big (Ether) toe, which moves strongly away from the midline suggesting complex experience in Yin Ether. The bunion effect could be reflecting upper back tension on the left, and the wide divergence between Yang and Yin would be a pointer to emphasizing good communication in relationships. The right foot’s bumps on the toes and under-turned Earth toe would suggest neck/shoulder tension and insecurity, respectively, in the Yang realm of experience (father).#10: Here the left Fire toe attracts my attention initially, so I would be curious about meeting at Yin Avenue and Fire Street. Coloration would be a reminder to support overall circulation via diet and exercise. The Ether toe on the left is also slightly more deviating from midline than we see on the right.

John ChittyComment