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Alternative Medicine

Jane Sheehan: Understanding emotions and personality through feet

Jane Sheehan reads the editors feet
Jane Sheehan
Jane Sheehan

by Mina Droubi

Jane Sheehan is the UK’s leading foot reader and has been practicing since 1999. She analyses the structure and texture of the feet to interpret emotions and personality.

Jane began foot reading in 1999 and started teaching the techniques in 2003. In 2010 she was awarded honorary membership of the Association of Reflexologists for her outstanding services to reflexology.

Jane please tell us what is foot reading?

Picture the scene. It’s 1998 and I’m experiencing reflexology for the first time. I’ve trotted along to the local beauty parlour with my friend for her birthday. She fancied having some reflexology and I thought it was a beauty treatment! They were telling her all about her health and I was amazed at how much they knew. Then it was my turn. I had such a profound experience that I had to know more. Yet for me, it wasn’t just the physical aspects of our health through the feet that interested me. It was how the emotions and personality are reflected through the feet.

Skip to 2016, I am now the UK’s leading foot reader, teaching groups of reflexologists and having travelled as far as Australia, United Arab Emirates and the USA to bring my teaching to new audiences. I analyse the structure, texture, deformities and blemishes of the foot to understand the emotions and personalities of my clients.

I can use this as a stand-alone treatment or as an additional tool in my reflexology treatment to enable a more holistic approach. When doing it as a stand-alone treatment I am very direct. I tell the client exactly what I am seeing. But when I am doing it as part of a reflexology treatment, I am not direct. I have what I call “an intentional conversation” where I am reading the emotional background and leading the client to discuss that area of their life, but getting them to open up and tell me their story. In this way you open the reflexology session up to become more holistic, treating the body and the emotions at the same time. I not only work the relevant areas of the foot following the physical map, I can also use the emotional map as well.

As well as one-to-one readings I also offer group readings, either in person of via photographs, which can be a great bonding exercise for friends and a team building exercise for work colleagues. Readings for families, friends, colleagues or couples bring in a whole new dimension. Similarities and differences in personality are explored and can highlight the areas where you will relate and the areas where you will conflict. I have noticed when reading groups of people that a theme runs through their feet; even certain jobs have certain feet characteristics. Baby readings can be particularly fascinating. When babies are born, they already have the basics of their personality showing on their feet. People often ask me “isn’t it just wearing bad shoes that make toes turn in?” Seeing babies’ feet where they’ve not yet worn shoes can immediately disprove this statement.

Is it fortune telling?

People assume that foot reading is like fortune telling. It isn’t. It’s a fascinating tool to allow you to learn about someone’s emotions and personality. I compare it to the Myers-Briggs personality profiling tests that employers often use in their recruitment process. It doesn’t tell you everything but it does tell you enough. Unlike the Myers-Briggs tests though, it would be very hard for you to throw the results.

I have worked at the Dubai Ladies Club in 2007 teaching 14 to 17 year olds and 18 to 21 year olds how to use foot reading to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to use it as a tool for personal development.

Through teaching foot reading, I have found that it’s not only reflexologists who benefit from adding foot reading to their treatment. For example, Mary Stapleton wrote to me telling me of how she has incorporated foot reading into her hypnotherapy practice. Anne Town wrote to tell me about how she uses my foot map in conjunction with colour therapy and has since written a book about it.

What can your feet tell you?

Just as in reflexology, in foot reading we have a map of the foot using horizontal and vertical zones which I outline in my book “Let’s Read Our Feet!”. In reading the vertical zones, we are understanding the topic that you are thinking about. In reading the horizontal zones, we are understanding which area of your life upon which this thinking is impacting. The actual blemishes that we read are interpreted to tell us how it made you feel in relation to these zones.

It is a vast topic, but here are a few things that you can understand and incorporate into your treatment straight away.

Yellow Ball of the Foot

In reflexology the ball of the foot represents the lung area. In foot reading it represents your emotional life. If you see yellow discolouration in this area it is interpreted as “You are feeling fed up but are keeping those feelings to yourself. You don’t want anyone to know what you are feeling” We can further fine-tune the reading by looking at the exact zones it is in.

Hard skin on shoulder reflex

Hard skin on the shoulder reflex represents “having responsibilities that are weighing heavily on your shoulders.” (The shoulder reflex is below the little toe on the ball of the foot)

Cracks on the heels

Cracks on the heels indicate “obstacles that you perceive you have to overcome before you can move forward and take the next steps.” Foot readers would use the map of the foot to understand which area of their life these obstacles impacted and would choose the deepest crack to tackle first. You can incorporate coaching skills with this.

Little toe on its side

This person is unconventional, rebellious, my way or the high way!

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Mina Al-Droubi
Mina Al-Droubi is a researcher and contributor to The Majalla. Mina, an Iraqi–British journalist, graduated in International Politics from City University and received her master’s degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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