The torso is mirrored on reflex maps of the feet along the instep, or arch area – reflecting the digestive system, kidneys and more.

When a professional Reflexologist is working on the feet of a client she will work the space between the ball of the foot and heel of the foot – commonly referred to as the arch or instep. In Reflexology this part of the foot is believed to mirror the body from the diaphragm to the pelvis, including reflex areas for stomach, kidneys, small and large intestines and more.

Depending on the wellness goals for the session extra time may be spent on these areas of the feet in a reflexology treatment. Clients with particularly high or low arches are good candidates for this extra attention as well as those suffering from digestive disorders or discomfort.

Reflexes Mirrored in the Midfoot

In foot reflexology the head and neck are reflected in the toes, the chest cavity is reflected on the balls of the feet, and the torso is reflected in the midfoot. The diaphragm line is at the bottom of the ball of the foot, visually recognizable as the “shelf” before it dips down into the arch of the foot. If you gently draw the toes and heel together a crease occurs in the middle of the foot which Reflexologists consider the waistline.

Reflexes between the diaphragm line and the waistline include:

  • Liver and gall bladder – reflected on the right foot to mirror the right side of the body.
  • Stomach – found below the great toe under the ball of the foot.
  • Pancreas – located below the stomach reflex area on both feet.
  • Spleen – on the outer edge of the arch the spleen reflex is located in zones 4 and 5, or in line with the 4th and 5th toes.
  • Kidneys – each foot has a reflex area for each kidney, they are found near the plantar tendon that runs from the big toe to the heel.

From the waistline to the heel line the reflexes include:

  • Small intestine – zig-zagging back and forth the small intestine reflexes take up a large area of the foot from the waistline to the heel line.
  • Large intestine – also known as the colon, the reflexes start at the heel line of the right foot, travel up to the waistline, crossing over the foot horizontally along the waistline to the left foot, then down the edge of the left foot to the heel line and over. On the reflex charts this looks like an inverted ‘U’ that covers both feet.
  • Appendix – located near the start of the colon reflex area on the right foot near the heel line.

Benefits of Reflexology for the Arch of the Foot

Outside of benefiting the reflexes that mirror the internal organs of the torso, including digestion, the foot itself can get a lot of out a session. Acting like a suspension bridge, the arch of the foot doesn’t get the pounding effect from walking like the ball and heel do, thus it can go for some time without full stimulation from the ground we walk on. Some people use Reflexology regularly for foot pain, and during active athletic periods in their lives.

The author originally published this article on in 2010.