Knowing the map of the foot zone is extremely powerful, and you can accomplish some major health benefits by understanding the basic map. I experienced this as a new student. I learned all four phases of the foot zoning and practiced them for six months before my first class with Dr. Ersdal, father of foot zone therapy. Once I met Dr. Ersdal and began to learn from him, I realized how important knowing anatomy and physiology was for me, as a practitioner, and for my clients to get the best benefits.
Let me explain why. When Dr. Ersdal came to the U.S.A. to teach, most of his time was spent, helping students recognize the physiological patterns and conditions of the body through acupressure signals in the feet. I didn’t know until my first class, but Dr. Ersdal expected us to have already taken a college-level course in anatomy and physiology. I found this out once I had an opportunity to visit with him. During class, I was mesmerized by what he had to say about the inner workings of the body. The body is mathematical, artistically created, poetic, forgiving, constantly regenerating, and has many backup systems to help heal it when an area of the body is compromised. The body is in and of itself, a miraculous work of art by our creator, and we get to occupy it!
Learning anatomy and physiology changed my life. It changed the way I foot zoned my clients, which surprisingly vamped up their healing results. It has been nearly 30 years, and I’m still learning about the body as science continues to unravel its findings through modern-day technology. Modern science has opened Pandora’s box for me. It’s been a beautiful journey.
A scientific effect I want to share with involves physics. In physics, there is a phenomenon known as the “observer’s effect.” The observer’s effect states that the act of observing will influence the phenomenon being observed. So, when observing something or someone, we are affecting them. We can affect them in a powerful, healthy way, or we can negatively affect someone. How frightening and powerful is that? By having the knowledge and understanding about something as you observe it can be very powerful.
Imagine understanding and knowing the map of the feet, as well as knowing the observer’s effect, and how it can affect your client. Perhaps that’s why I was already getting results with clients before I ever met Dr. Ersdal and realized the power of anatomy and physiology during foot zoning. Add the knowledge of the human body and how it works with foot zoning. Utilize the observer’s effect of physics with foot zoning, and with the understanding and knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Now you have an even stronger, more powerful effect on your clients than just knowing the acupressure points on the map of the feet.
Something most people don’t know about Dr. Ersdal is because he knew his anatomy and physiology so well, he was able to see patterns with organs and systems that correlated with the acupressure points found on the feet. This realization allowed him to map out new signals on the feet into systems, setting him apart from reflexology or sonotherapy. Dr. Ersdal was also able to discover certain systems and organs associated with 105 different pathologies. His findings were huge and changed what we once called reflexology, to a more advanced form of acupressure on the feet. Today that therapy is known as foot zone therapy, the foundational Ersdal method.
Foot zone therapy foundationally relies on anatomy and physiology. Zone therapy is defined as triggering acupressure points on the feet that correlate with the organs and systems in the entire body. Foot zoning treats the body in its entirety by zoning all acupressure points in a given session.
Yet today, many foot zone practitioners who were not trained this way, do not have enough understanding of what the organs of the body do, how they function as a system and support each other. These foot zone practitioners only know that the foot zone will affect the body in some manner. On average, about 1/3 of our student base is already a trained and certified foot zone practitioner from somewhere else. These students feel they lacked in their former training. They came to Wellness Life Zone, Foot Zone Academy, to gain more competency in advanced foot zone technique. Information on anatomy and physiology is a testimony that foot zone practitioners genuinely want and need to understand the body, and not just the basic foot zone map or emotions.
When I took my 7-hour written board certification with Dr. Ersdal, fifty percent of my test was dedicated to anatomy and physiology. Anatomy and physiology knowledge has changed acupressure therapy on the feet or reflexology, into a much more advanced form of acupressure; we now call foot zone therapy. By the way, you’re probably wondering if you have to take a 7-hour board, no worries! That won’t be the case for you.
At Wellness Life Zone, Foot Zone Academy, we teach and live by an acronym called K.I.T., Knowledge, Intent, and Technique. The Academy realizes all three of these components are necessary for proficiency. Much of this knowledge is understanding the anatomy and physiology of the body.
For example, if you needed heart surgery, you wouldn’t want your family doctor to perform this type of surgery on you, because he hadn’t advanced his training to a level, knowledge, understanding, or even technique of how to perform heart surgery. Even though he is beneficial as a doctor on a basic level, you wouldn’t trust him to perform this surgery without the specialized knowledge of a heart surgeon. Nor would you expect him to tell you that he intends to have a positive outcome for you. He just wouldn’t have the educational skill set. You would want a doctor who is a heart surgeon, has the knowledge, the understanding, and the skill set to perform surgery with the intent of a positive outcome for you.
Does this make sense? A heart surgeon must have knowledge of the heart, and a foot zone practitioner versus a reflexologist needs to know the body. It is not good enough to know the body will heal itself by triggering the acupressure points of the feet. Let’s face it; you cannot do what you don’t know. You cannot influence and affect your client with something you don’t know.
By having anatomy and physiology knowledge, the awareness of the acupressure map of the feet, plus the physics phenomenon of the observer’s effect, you can observe your client as a whole. When you find compromised signals, you can help the physiology of your client come to become healthy by visualizing the physiology of the body. This knowledge helps influence the body to be whole again. Knowledge brings about a greater depth of foot zone therapy to the client.
Dr. Ersdal clearly understood this, and I heard him many times refer to foot zone therapy as electromagnetic therapy. He always told us to remain neutral, and not judgmental when working on our clients, so that we could holistically influence the healing. When we work on our clients, we create a client/practitioner electromagnetic field.
As a practitioner, we need to understand the client is placing himself/herself in our line of therapeutic expertise. Knowing anatomy and physiology is extremely foundational to Dr. Ersdal’s method of foot zone therapy. Just as in building a home, we need first to secure a foundation. We need to learn the foundations of the Ersdal method, be well educated in the basics of anatomy and physiology, and apply this knowledge to the foot zone.
We also need to know the acupressure points of the feet. Without this understanding and being unable to recognize the trigger points, we may merely be doing the basic acupressure points on the feet. Our treatment may be something quite different than the Ersdal method.
Practitioners who don’t learn these foundations, often fall into the habit of paying attention to the symptoms. Symptoms are merely an effect of something much deeper. The practitioner begins to dabble in other modalities with the foot zone and begins to muddy the true practice of foot zone therapy. The lack of foundation gets confusing for clients as they experience a different foot zone therapy from one practitioner to another.
Without knowledge, a foot zone practitioner working outside of the scope of practice may even say something unethical to a client. When practicing foot zone therapy, it takes knowledge to get past the symptoms and to the cause of a client’s complaint. When utilizing the observer’s effect of physics, you observe the body as a whole, with all its systems and components working effectively at the normal line of health, just as a heart surgeon would do in his scope of practice. You will be giving your client a much deeper level of therapy.
There are many ways to view the acupressure points on the feet through the four bodies of health: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. They are all affected through foot zoning because all four bodies of health are interconnected with each other to create wholeness.
Once you, as a student practitioner, learn the foundations of foot zone therapy, you can add more therapies that connect well with foot zoning. These components are taught in our gentle healing classes, but not considered part of the Ersdal method of foot zoning. They are merely touchpoints for recognizing these energies. We do give you some vignettes of these therapies during class. So, keep in mind how important it is to define each therapy to your client as separate, but complementary to the foot zone session.
Another great benefit for understanding the anatomy and physiology of the body as it correlates to the acupressure points you are triggering is when you, as a practitioner, come across signals on the feet that indicates something is compromised. By law, we are not allowed to diagnose what is going on. Have a holistic understanding of what the organs and systems do. This way, you can educate the client about an area of the body where we find those compromised signals. In turn, this helps the client understand his/her own body and what it needs. It brings your client back to his/her original beautiful, healthy innate blueprint. Teaching the client is a very legal and moral way to stay within the scope of practice of foot zone therapy. This type of information empowers your clients to become great stewards of their lifestyle and their four bodies of health.
Often you will see a person’s life transform right before your eyes as you work with them, which is so rewarding in this career. One quick side note, one of the requirements established by the Utah Foot Zone Association, is for schools who are members of the association to teach the basic foundations of anatomy and physiology. These schools are required to certify that their students have been tested and passed these tests with competency.