Explanation of Bones as Guidelines
The bones of the feet give the reflexologist clear guidelines to perform their trade. They also work on the lower leg, as the tendons, ligaments, and muscles connect into the foot and are key to movement. The foot contains 28 bones, 4 layers of muscles, 12 tendons, and over 100 ligaments. There is distinct anatomical terminology for the bones as well as terms used to explain direction and movement.
The divisions of the bones are separated into three regions. These regions are the proximal tarsus, the intermediate metatarsus, and the distal phalanges.
The Proximal Tarsus
The tarsus consists of seven tarsal bones that form the back and ankle region of the foot, and the lower arch.
Talus, the anklebone
Calcaneus, the heel bone
Cuboid, a cube-shaped bone
Navicular, a bean-shaped bone
Medial cuneiform, the inside bone
Middle cuneiform, the middle bone
Lateral cuneiform, the outside bone
The talus bone is actually in between the two bones of the lower leg; this bone is the first weight-bearing bone during the action of walking. The heel bone, or calcaneus, is the largest and strongest of the foot bones. The heel takes half of the weight from the ankle and the other tarsal bones carry the remainder of the weight during walking.
These bones are the guidelines for the lower-body reflexes. The heel represents the lower back, especially the sciatic reflex. A part of the intestine reflexes are housed in the heel. The talus has access reflexes for the fallopian tubes and the vas deferens and reflexes for the lymphatics.
The navicular bone sits on top of the foot sandwiched between the talus and the three cuneiform bones. The reflex for the lower back does reach this bone, as do the reflexes for the lymphatics. The cuneiforms come along the top of the foot from the inside edge, representing the lower back.
The metatarsus is made up of five metatarsal bones. These bones are known as I through V, with number I being the metatarsal bone near the inside edge. These bones have three parts: a base, which touches the tarsal bones; a shaft, which consists of the length of the bone; and the head, which touches the bottom of the toe digits. The reflexes involved with the metatarsal bones are all those found from the diaphragm line to the sciatic line, whether these points are on the top or bottom of the foot.
Two small bones, the sesamoid bones, are connected to the first metatarsal head. These bones are actually in the tendons and sit on the underside of the metatarsal. Sesamoid bones seem to appear in areas that take a great amount of pressure. Some people have sesamoid bones in their little toe as well.
There are five phalanges of the foot also known as I through V. Four of these toe bones, numbers II through V, have three parts: the base, which touches the metatarsals; the middle bone; and the head, which is the beginning of the toes. The big toe, also known as the hallux or great toe, has two phalanges. The bones of the great toe are heavier and bigger than the other toe digits. The great toe contains a base and a head. The reflexes dealing with this section of the foot are those found from the shoulder line up to the tips of the toes.
Arches of the Foot
There are two arches of the foot, formed by the bones. The arches give the foot the ability to support and balance the body. Leverage for walking comes from these arches as well. Although these structures are called arches, these formations are not immovable. The action of walking produces an application of weight and then a lifting off of this weight. The arches act like a spring, providing shock absorption.