The Spinal and Brain Reflexes
The reflex for the spine runs along the entire inside edges of both feet. Look at your own feet first. Become aware of the natural curves, feel where the bones end, and touch each ridge. Notice the great toe, how it pokes out a bit and then curves in at the joint and curves out at the ball of the foot. The first metatarsal head is the beginning of the ball of the foot. Feel along the edge of the first metatarsal bone; notice as it flows into the medial cuneiform bone.
It is the cuneiform bone along with the navicular bone that forms the arch. Continuing up the arch you will encounter the talus bone. Let the fingers follow the natural decline in the arch. This decline will bring you right to the heel. This area is the reflection of the spine, the spinal reflex. The bones are covered with muscle and connective tissue, forming a protective cushion as well as a container for lymph and blood vessels along with the nerves particular to the feet.
There are no lymph nodes in the feet. There are many spidery thin lymph vessels, aligned with the arteries and veins. These lymph vessels drain the lymph of the foot to either the nodes behind the knee or to the nodes in the groin.
You already know the great toe represents the brain, including the twelve cranial nerves housed in the upper skull. The central nervous system is the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves that come from the brain and the spinal cord. Information is carried to and from the brain cells via the nerve impulses.
The twelve cranial nerves that are part of the peripheral nervous system are either sensory or mixed nerves. The cranial nerves have names and numbers. The numbers are roman numerals that indicate the order of the nerves. The names describe the function:
Olfactory is for smelling.
Optic deals with vision.
Oculomotor is for moving the eye, eyelid, and constricting the pupil.
Trochlear controls movement of the eye.
Trigeminal has to do with chewing.
Abducens also moves the eyeball.
Facial deals with facial expression as well as saliva and tears.
Vestibulocochlear deals with hearing and equilibrium.
Glossopharyngeal is for taste and the secretion of saliva.
Vagus deals with smooth muscle contraction in the upper abdomen.
Accessory controls swallowing and movement of the head.
Hypoglossal moves the tongue during speaking and swallowing.