Foot readings: how emotions effect the body

Did you know that your feet can show your emotions and the state you are in? Veronica Tift educates on the benefits of foot readings.

The heat of the sun is on my face and a gentle ocean breeze is blowing, the beauty of the Cape is all around me and I can hear the sounds of the Tsitsikamma forest from all directions. Visiting family here has filled my soul and the pink hue on the soles of my feet reflect this feeling.

The colour of my feet shows that I’m currently well-balanced and healthy. Since I’m on holiday, this makes perfect sense. My feet one week ago were much whiter reflecting my feelings of exhaustion with a yellow colour on the balls of my feet because I was feeling fed up and cheesed off. Maybe as you read this you notice your feet have a green tinge to them, that could be a hint of jealously.

How your emotions show up on your body

When something emotional happens, like trauma, it not only affects you mentally but physically as well. We talk about a gut feeling and knowing something in our bones. We can see when someone is stooping over with hunched-up shoulders that they are struggling with burden so heavy they physically reflect this.

When you experience the same emotion over and over again, it can start to create physical changes in your body. When you consider this, you can understand how the things you feel emotionally could manifest physically on the body and reflect on the feet.

Your feet have personality and as they carry you through life their physical shape and condition changes. How we walk through life leaves an imprint on the feet that a reflexologist and foot reader can interpret.

foot readings

Image courtesy of Christine Stormer-Fryer.

The stories feet tell in foot readings

Let’s start with the colour on the feet; this can tell me a lot about your diet or lifestyle and from a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, it can reveal which meridian is congested or the element that is out of balance.

Now let’s look at the feet from a foot reading point of view which gives us insight into what’s happing emotionally in your body (the present and female influence on the left foot), or what has happened in the past (the right foot is related to the past and male influence), possibly even what you are worried about for the future.

When looking at the feet, a couple of specific markers are noted. Calluses are common on the feet and often found on people who walk barefoot and have shoes that don’t fit just right. These thickened portions of the epidermal layer of the skin tell me something about a client. I look at what area of the foot the calluses have formed and whether it’s the right or left foot; this can give me an indication of which area in your life has been a struggle or if you have been in a situation that requires extra protecting. People in these situations can become harder, and just like the hard and multi layers of skin that form a callus, they too have become stronger, toughened up and formed layers of protection.

Maybe you need to break free from a self-limiting idea or fears, either from your past or in current situations depending on the location of the callus.

The toes

Each toe has its own story to tell. Toes are incredible and in reflexology the points in the big toe connect to the head. With foot reading, the head and neck reflexes house the thoughts and opinions, these thinking toes are where beliefs, ideas and self-esteem can be found.

When observing the second toe leaning toward the pinkie toe, I might ask the client if they are impatient and often think of the future rather than living in the past. In many cultures, the second toe has great meaning and importance. In India, mother-in-laws have been known to check the second toe of a potential future daughter-in-law and if that toe is too long, they are deemed to not be a good match for their son and probably too bossy. Having a long second toe myself, I prefer the Native American tribes that believe it’s a sign of royal birth.

Cracked heels

Cracked heels are another marker that is often seen. The splitting skin can often be painful with many having tried everything to nourish the skin on the outside, but nothing has worked. Emotionally this person often has cracks in their emotional foundations. Not knowing how to take the next step or digging in their heels, the heels crack from being pulled in many directions, feeling divided and not knowing which way to turn or being torn apart by conflicting views.

How does reflexology help?

The power of touch can be an incredible emotional tool, reflexology can be a true body and mind healing modality if you are open to that healing and ready for change.

Check with your reflexologist if they are trained in this incredible art and science of identify the markers of the feet to reveal physical, mental and emotional stories your feet could tell.

How you feel about your feet can often tell how you feel about yourself. Do you skip merrily or just shuffle along? I invite you to take a minute now and ask yourself how you feel about your feet and what kind of footprint do you wish to leave behind?


  1. Let’s Read out feet! The foot reading guide – Jane Sheehan
  2. Get Started in Reflexology: A practical beginners guide to the ancient therapy – Chris Stormer
  3. Advanced foot reading: A consultative approach to reflexology – Sam Belyea
  4. Foot Reading: A reflexology primer on foot assessment – Sam Belyea
  5. Take the next step – It’s all in the feet – Christine Lynne Stormer-Fryer
  6. The Language of the feet – Chris Stormer


Veronica Tift is a therapeutic reflexologist, registered with the AHPCSA, based in Benoni. She continues to grow her knowledge through attending international and local courses on various subjects related to reflexology. Veronica has a special interest in working with couples struggling with infertility.

Header image by Adobe Stock