Thumb Walking the Toes
Practice thumb walking for a moment. Walk your right thumb across the back of your left hand from the first knuckle to the wrist; then bring your thumb right back up to the next knuckle and repeat, continuing through all five knuckles. Once you've got that down, it's time to move to the feet.
Start by holding the right foot with your left hand while the right hand does the walking. The left hand will support the foot. Begin with the great toe and slowly take small bites as you thumb walk along the edge of the toe up to the top. Walk across the top of the toe and down the other edge into the toe web. Use your left hand to separate the toes, as the thumb walking down into the web will feel awkward at first. Your right thumb can only go down so far along this first inside edge. When you feel the thumb cannot go any farther, turn and thumb walk up the ridge of the next toe.
Thumb walk up each toe, walk across the top, and walk down the other side to each web. Once you reach the outside of the little toe with your right thumb, you will switch hands. Now the right hand becomes the holding hand and the left hand does the work. Thumb walk back along the ridges and down into the web of each toe until you again reach the great toe.
When your thumb makes the turn, it feels as though you are swiping in between the two toes. Be patient. At first you will feel like you are all thumbs, but this will pass. View this process as walking up the mountain, across the plateau, and down the mountain into the valley. From the valley it is back up the mountain again.
Walking the Zones on the Great Toe
After you have walked to the farthest side of the great toe, switch hands so that you are working with your right thumb. Use your left hand to support the right foot by holding the top half with your palm and gently wrapping your fingers and thumb around the foot. Now you should imagine the great toe divided into five zones; you will be walking each zone on the big toe.
Start at the base of the great toe and thumb walk up onto the flat sole surface of the toe. This is zone one. Bring your thumb back to the toe neck and thumb walk up in an imaginary line right next to the first walkup. This is zone two. Keep bringing your thumb back to the toe neck and walk up each zone; this will include the side of the toe as well. Do not drag you thumb back to the neck, just take it back smoothly and walk up the next zone. After the last zone, use your thumb to rotate on top of the toe, moving in small circles, as you stimulate the brain reflex.
The Remaining Toes
From the great toe, bring your right thumb to the base of the second toe, the plantar (bottom) side, and thumb walk up to the tip of the toe. Bring the thumb back to the toe neck and walk up to the top again. Rotate and hold on the top of the toe. Remember, rotation is using your thumb in a small circular motion on one area. As you are holding, feel through your thumb how the surface of the toe begins to give, responding to the treatment.
The remaining four toes each have about two lines for you to walk up. These are not zones. Rather, they are imaginary lines you are picturing to guide you through the toes. At the top of each toe, circle and hold, then move on to the next toe, until all toes have been thumb walked in this manner. As you complete the baby toe, switch hands and walk back along each toe, repeating the movements with the left thumb. The right hand becomes the holding hand, giving support and leverage.
Walking the Tops of the Toes
Don't forget the top (dorsal) surface of the foot! The reflexes on the topside reflect the back of the head. Holding the right foot with your left hand, let the right thumb rest along the bottom side of the toes. This thumb will provide leverage while the tops of the toes are being worked. Using your index finger, walk down the top of the toe to the base. Bring your finger back to the top and walk down again. Repeat once more; then move on to the next toe. Complete this movement on all the toes and then switch and walk back.
What is the toe neck?
The toes are shaped a bit like our head, with the larger portion of the toe relating to that part of the skull which houses the brain. The head of the toe is bigger than the lower region of the toe, which we refer to as the toe neck.
Working the Necks of the Toes
After walking all the toes along the ridges, the plantar surface, and the dorsal surface, you will now move into the area that represents the neck. With the left hand holding the right foot, use your right thumb to walk the neck of the great toe on the bottom of the foot. Take very little bites from the outer edge of the toe in toward the next toe. Bring your thumb back and repeat with tiny bites along the neck for several swipes across. The toe neck will feel stiff under your thumb, so try walking until this area feels less tight.
Allow your thumb to rest as you walk with your index finger along the neck surface of the toe on the top of the foot. Again, take tiny bites as the finger walks to the edge of the toe and bring your finger back to repeat again.
Finally, with both thumb and index finger, walk together toward the other side of the toe. The thumb is on one side of the toe and the index finger is on the other side. Let the index finger rest at the base on the top of the foot as the thumb actually walks in between the first and second toe, at the base. You have just worked the entire neck reflex.