During the fight or flight response, the feet must be prepared to participate in defending or fleeing. They do this by processing environmental information gathered through pressure sensors in the soles, which helps the body determine optimal fuel and oxygen levels.

Running, for example, requires much more oxygen than walking; feet that need to flee require different levels of fuel and oxygen than feet that need to stand firm and prepare to fight. For this reason, pressure signals from the soles tell the brain whether the body is standing, sitting, or lying down, which enables it to decide whether blood sugar (glucose), oxygen, and muscle contraction and relaxation needs are currently being met; if not, the brain sends out signals to the body, instructing it to make the appropriate adjustments. Think about what takes place when someone is jogging. Increased pressure to the feet tells the brain that the jogger is running. The body adjusts its organs in order to provide adequate energy. Over time, a jogger’s body becomes conditioned to work better.

Reflexology is weightless jogging, exercising similar pressure receptors without the demands of standing and weight-bearing. For example, a single nerve travels from the center of the big toe to the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling movement, respiration, and cardiac acceleration. So pressure applied to the center of the big toe, the pituitary gland reflex area, triggers a revival response.