The Diaphragm Line
The diaphragm line runs along the end of the ball of the foot. This line is representative of the diaphragm muscle that runs across the chest. The areas of the body that are between the shoulders and the diaphragm have symbolic reflexes on the foot. These reflexes are both on the top of the foot and on the bottom.
The zone lines run through this area of the foot, connecting with all other areas. Remember, although zone one in this diaphragm section theoretically contains the references to the bronchial tubes, the heart, parts of the lung, and a section of the esophagus, this section can refer to other areas in zone one. All of the zones run through the ball of the foot, so anywhere on the body may be a referral.
There are a few types of referral areas found on the foot, relating to the body. One type is the references to all areas in each zone. For example, zone two from the second toe runs up through the body into the brain, through the eye, and down the arm to the index finger. The organs in zone two are generally those that are located half a finger's length away from the center of the body.
The organs and other parts of the body linked to this area are sinus, teeth, secondary nose and thyroid reflexes, some of the bronchi, lungs, solar plexus, a section of the thoracic back, and the areas of lymph. However, while working in this zone, the person may state that he or she feels a throbbing pain in the front of the thigh, near the centerline of the body. This is still zone two, which you are stimulating.
This type of connecting will happen throughout the entire body. Perhaps you are reflexing the right shoulder reflex. This time the receiver tells you she is feeling something in her right hip! Here is an illustration not only of zone therapy at work, but also what is called anatomical referral areas. The right side always refers to the right and the left to the left. The right shoulder refers to the right hip and the left shoulder refers to the left hip. The upper arm refers to the thigh and the forearm refers to the calf. Elbow and knee are referrals to each other as are the wrist and ankle. The last referral areas of this type are the hand and foot.
Referral areas allow you to provide assistance to an area that might be too sensitive or injured. For instance, an injury of the foot would refer you to work on the hand, as a hand injury would relate to work on the feet. Understanding these anatomical referral areas helps you to provide the best care. All parts of the body are represented on the feet; stimulating the related reflex of an injury will help to relieve pressure and congestion of that area.
The solar plexus reflex is found along the diaphragm line, tucked under the center of the ball of the foot. This powerful point is also the beginning of the kidney meridian.
When a Referral Is Really a Meridian
For years, reflexologists believed that everything on the right relates to the right and everything on the left relates to the left. However, there are other times when zone therapy is not the answer. Let's say you are reflexing a person's right hip reflex, and he puts his hand on his left hip as he tells you that warmth is spreading through that hip. The feeling has crossed over. The same meridian runs on both sides of the body, and the gallbladder meridian does run through the hip, so it's possible.