What Your Feet Reveal About Your Health

TCM can tell your health status by looking at the condition of your feet. (Image:  Pixabay /  CC0 1.0)
TCM can tell your health status by looking at the condition of your feet. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), you can interpret health status by looking at your feet. Many meridians in the body either start or end in the feet. Some of the reflexology or acupressure points in the feet are connected to the various organ systems as well.

Feet and health

If you are facing sleeping issues, check whether your feet are cold since having cold feet can interrupt your sleep every now and then. To deal with the issue, consider wearing socks while you sleep. This will keep your feet warm and aid the circulation of blood as well as the body’s energy to all meridian systems.

Sometimes, the nails on the feet can turn yellowish in color, thickening, and splitting at the same time. In Western medicine, this condition is said to be caused by a fungus. But in TCM, this is diagnosed as being a product of dampness. Such a condition is usually triggered by eating food that is too greasy and sweet. Switch the diet to more healthy alternatives and the problem should slowly resolve itself.

Sweaty feet can be caused by excessive heat in the stomach and intestine, which can lead to issues like constipation. If there is damp-heat in the stomach and spleen, there is a good chance that the sweat will be sticky. According to TCM, the failure of the spleen system might result in abnormal distribution of body fluids due to which excessive sweat will build up in the feet. Plus, there is also a risk that the meridian system might transmit some of the pathogens to the feet that will further affect the sweating process.

Massaging feet can relieve some issues. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

In case there are wounds on the feet, it probably is a sign that there are problems with digestion. When your body does not get proper nutrition, the feet will end up calloused, which increases the chances of wounds. Foot cramps are a sign of blood deficiency or stagnation. If the bottoms of the feet feel painful, it is a sign of problems in the kidneys. However, if the pain is at the top of the feet, either the stomach or liver is the source of the trouble. Dry heels indicate the body’s fluid imbalance.

For issues related to Liver Qi stagnation, massaging the Taichong meridian point located on top of the feet (where the big toe bone meets the second toe bone) can be a solution. “Using your thumb, press, and massage this spot on both feet (the meridians are on both sides of your body). You can also rub with your thumb moving forward along the inside of the big toe. If it’s sore, you’re hitting all the right spots! You are unblocking your Liver Qi. Rub this area every day,” according to TCM World.

Soaking feet

In the past, foot baths were a normal occurrence in China. TCM adherents still swear by the practice for its ability to remove pathogenic activity and improve blood circulation. The feet are home to six meridians and 60 acupuncture points. When you soak feet in hot water, the energy in the body is activated. The herbs in the water are absorbed through the skin and end up in the energy channels.

Soaking feet in herbal water is good for health. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Practitioners recommend that you soak your feet in herbal water at least once every day. The water should reach up to 15 centimeters in height so that the calves are fully immersed. After about 20 minutes, you should start to sweat, at which time you should remove your feet from the water. Herbal ingredients used to soak feet include ginger, chrysanthemum, dandelion, baijiu, etc.

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