Foot zoning is an up-and-coming alternative treatment in the United States. “Zoning” manipulates the energy meridian lines ending in your feet to treat the entire body and bring it into balance. Expert, Katie Bodily explains that it is particularly effective for women with PCOS because, “as you know, it takes a lot of different tools to deal with PCOS. As women with PCOS, our endocrine systems are imbalanced. The foot zone helps to balance all those parts of the endocrine system so that they can work better with each other.” Curious? Listen in as Katie explains:
- What is foot zoning?
- The difference between foot zoning and reflexology
- How foot zoning can help with detoxification, fertility, and more
- Where to find a foot zone professional
- What to expect during a typical appointment
A full transcript follows.
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
Mind Body and Sole website
Butterfly Express website
Amy: Hello and welcome to the PCOS Diva Podcast. My name is Amy Medling. I’m a certified health coach and the founder of PCOS Diva. My mission is to help women with PCOS find the tools and knowledge they need to take control of their PCOS so they can regain their fertility, femininity, health and happiness. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out pcosdiva.com. There I offer tons of great free information about PCOS and how to help your PCOS through diet and lifestyle so you can begin to thrive like a Diva. Look for me on iTunes, Facebook and Instagram as well.
Today I have the privilege of talking to Katie Bodily. I’m really excited to talk to Katie because she is a Diva. She’s somebody that I met through my work with PCOS Diva. She has a lot of great information to share with us. If you have not checked out or read her article on essential oils, she wrote a really great informative overview of how essential oils can help PCOS. I will post a link to that underneath that podcast. You don’t want to miss it.
Today I’ve brought Katie on to our podcast to talk about something called foot zoning, which is really fascinating to me, and it has helped her PCOS. She’s going to talk about how it can help other women with PCOS. Katie, welcome to the podcast.
Katie: Thank you so much, Amy. It’s so great to be here. Thank you for having me on.
Amy: I’m thrilled to talk about this topic and for you to share your info with the rest of the Divas. I just wanted to give everyone a little info about you. You are a foot zone practitioner located in northern Utah. You graduated from We Do Feet in 2006. In addition to foot zoning, you are trained at various emotional release and energy healing modalities. You’re a stay-at-home mom to two kids and you’ve embraced the PCOS Diva lifestyle.
I thought you could start, because you are a fellow Diva, maybe you could share your PCOS story with us and maybe how it led you to trying these different modalities for healing.
Katie: That sounds great. Like you said, I am PCOS Diva. I did the Jumpstart program, I believe it’s been three years now. I just have to put in a big thank you for that right now. It’s such a great program. At the time, I was working with a naturopathic doctor and trying to rebuild my health. I’d had two kids, and I was about 30-years old and my health completely fell apart.
It was so bad that I had to drink an energy drink to unload the dishwasher. If I walked up the stairs, I would have to stop at the top of the stairs and rest for a little bit because I was so exhausted from walking up the stairs. I thought, “Oh my word, what is going on with me?” So much fatigue and so tired. I was starting to lose some hair, and I was gaining weight like crazy. I was at loss what to do.
I started looking for answers. I’ve known that I’ve had PCOS since I was a teenager. I have the privilege of having a mom who’s in the medical profession. She consulted some of her fellow doctors at work. They did an ultrasound and found cystic ovaries. Based off of the symptoms they said, “You probably have PCOS.” I was lucky to get the diagnosis early, but at that time, this was 20 years ago, there wasn’t anything more than birth control pills. I got put on the birth control pill as a teenager. That helped a little bit.
During my 20s I ignored it, but once you turn 30 all of a sudden you can’t ignore things like you use to. I was looking online and found this program and cried because it was all the answers I was looking for. I really have always been interested in natural health. Like I said, I was working with a naturopathic doctor and trying to do things naturally. I had tried the Metformin. I tried the Spironolactone. They didn’t work. They made me feel bad. I wanted to find something different.
Finding PCOS Diva, it was a complete game-changer for me. It supported everything that I had been doing and that I believed in. I’d been foot zoning for five years or so or more and enjoyed natural things in the essential oils and things like that. It really fits so perfectly. Now I recommend it to everybody. My mom recommends it to all of her patients, even the people who don’t have PCOS. If they have any thyroid issues or digestive issues, she sends them straight to your website. She says, “This is where you need to go, everything that you need to know.” She’s seen how it’s helped me. She’s seen how it’s helped her.
Then the foot zoning, I’ve used it to help to maintain my PCOS. My goal for myself this year has been to get zoned once a month. I call it “getting zoned.” It’s the same thing as foot zoning. By getting zoned every month- go ahead.
Amy: I was just going to ask you … First of all, thank you so much for sharing your story and please thank your mom for referring her patients to PCOS Diva. I think your story, gosh, listening to you, and I bet a lot of women listening, they can totally relate. Your story is so similar to mine. It was that early 30 mark that I started feeling really, really fatigued and also couldn’t tolerate the pharmaceutical drugs, just made me feel worse. I remember feeling like I was way too young to feel so old. Like you said going up the stairs and then being exhausted.
Looking at these natural healing modalities and foot zoning, when you talk about getting zoned, I guess it reminds me of getting a chiropractic adjustment. I actually went yesterday for my monthly adjustment. Maybe before you get into how it’s worked for you, I know I asked you to do that, but I guess I want to know more about what it is. Do you mind sharing that first?
Katie: Yeah, let’s start from the beginning. What is foot zoning? Foot zoning is an alternative therapy. It balances out the body’s energy meridians by manipulating points on the feet. It’s really similar to reflexology. A lot of people are familiar with reflexology and acupuncture, acupressure. It follows the same idea as that.
The difference between foot zoning and reflexology is that foot zoning treats the body in greater detail and it treats the entire body. For example, if you went to a reflexologist, say, for fertility issues, my understanding of reflexology is that the reflexologist would treat the reproductive organs and the endocrine glands, but if you go to a foot zoner for fertility issues, they’re going to treat the entire body head to toe to bring the whole body into balance or to homeostasis.
The feet are like a map to the body. I know you’ve seen some pictures online that has a picture of the foot and then on the foot is a drawing of different parts of the body, different organs like the lungs, the stomach, the eyes, the heart. You can see where those organs correlate on the feet. That’s what we’re working with. Most of the pictures that are online, I don’t like them. They’re not as accurate as I think they could be. I think that the International Institute of Reflexology has the best one. All the other ones you’re going to only find through these foot zoning schools. That’s my personal preference.
There are energy meridian lines that run through our body. Every part of our body is connected to one of those meridian lines. Each one of those energy meridian lines has an end point in our feet, in our hands and our ears. By working the end point of the foot, we can reset that energy meridian and clearing the energy blockages. When that energy is blocked, whether it’s been an injury, an illness, toxins, emotions, then the body doesn’t function like it should. When an energy meridian is balanced, then the systems of the body and the mind and the spirit are balanced and the body can do what it’s designed to do, which is to heal itself, which is so cool.
In essence, a foot zone is like a reset for your entire body, head to toe. Variations of the zone has been around for thousands of years. There’s hieroglyphics from Egypt. There’s variations of it in the Native American culture. Japan has their own version of it. Over in Europe, they have their version of it. It’s an up-and-coming modality in the United States with this big resurgence of natural therapies. Foot zoning schools are branching out and teaching more people how to do it because people are looking for natural treatments with the rising care of health costs, over use of prescription drugs. People want to be empowered with their health and to be able to help their families.
Amy: I’m a big believer in balancing the energy in your body. I have not experienced foot zoning, but I do go to acupuncture. I actually found a community acupuncture co-op recently. I go every Tuesday. This is part of my being a Diva. When my daughter’s at dance class, I go for about 40 minutes. It costs me 15, $20. I definitely feel a shift, especially around, I think, my adrenals. I don’t feel so stressed. Even though I have a lot going on, I’m handling my stress so much better I think as a result of going to acupuncture. I’m sure that you can help with adrenals with foot zoning as well.
Katie: Yes, definitely. That’s one of the great benefits of foot zoning and also those other energy modalities is that they release that tension from the body. It helps you to feel lighter and less stressed. It can help to release those pent up emotions. My cortisol levels, I just got them retested. I had them tested at the beginning of the year, and then I had them tested recently. I’ve been so pleased at what a difference it’s made, learning how to manage my stress better, getting a foot zone once a month, and my cortisol levels are improving so much. I love it.
Amy: If you haven’t realized, I guess, the relationship between PCOS and cortisol and how important it is for us to manage our cortisol, please check out my articles about adrenals and cortisol on PCOS Diva because it’s a really important piece of the puzzle. I love that you regularly get your cortisol levels checked.
Katie: I’ve got a great functional medicine doctor that really emphasizes adrenal health. One thing that I’ve noticed is how much emotions play on our adrenals. One of the things we don’t really think about is how those emotions affect our body. Through the foot zone, emotions can get released. Sometimes someone will come and get a zone, and they’ll all of a sudden crying and they don’t know why. They’re like, “What is going on? I’m so sorry.” I’m not at all surprised because that happens. I explain how the emotions affect our body. There’s a really great book by Karol Truman, Karol with a K. It’s called Feelings Buried Alive Never Die. There’s also Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.
Amy: I was just going to mention that. That was a real eye-opener for me early on in my journey how much our emotions are tied. You know what I did, Katie, is one day I went through her index in the back of her book where she has all of these conditions and how they relate to our emotions and energy and went and highlighted all the symptoms of PCOS.
One of the things that I saw, this underlying thread, was that our ovaries are the point of creation. A lot of women with PCOS, through my private coaching I found that we’re suppressing our creativity. I think women with PCOS are highly creative, but those who are suffering the most have no creative outlet. I think that’s the really important part of healing is find something that you love and you can get into that state of flow where time goes away because you enjoy what you’re doing so much and do more of that.
Katie: I agree so much. It’s such an important part of our human journey.
Amy: How did you encounter foot zoning? How did you come across it? I honestly never even heard about it until you brought it up on our alumni page.
Katie: It is a little less known. It’s secluded right now to the western states, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Arizona. Fortunately, I live in an area where there is an abundance of foot zoners. I had heard about it. I never experienced it. In my early 20s, I randomly, out of nowhere, completely herniated a disc in my back and was down flat. We didn’t have any health insurance at the time. My daughter was two. It was a really scary thing.
Of course the doctors want to do surgery on it. Without health insurance that really wasn’t an option. One of my mom’s friends stopped by and he says, “My wife is taking this class. Why don’t you let her try this?” I thought, “Okay, fine. I’ll try anything if that will help me get out of this pain.” She worked on my feet, and I felt so much better. I was so amazed. She came back a couple of times and worked on me. Then I did a few other modalities like cranial sacral therapy and chiropractic, and eventually I was able to heal this disc up. I didn’t really think anything of it after that.
Then about a year later, my brother casually mentioned, “I’m going to go talk to someone about learning how to foot zone.” Something in my gut said, “You need to be there. You need to do this.” I said, “I’m coming with you.” He says, “No. No, this is my thing.” I’m like, “No, sorry. I have to be there.” I went and talked to them. It felt like one of those moments that you know is right.
I took the class after only getting a few foot zones. I didn’t really know much about it, and really found the place that I felt like I needed to be. It’s been 10 years since I’ve taken those classes. It’s been such a great, great thing to have in my life. I’m able to use it for my children. I’m able to help friends and family. It’s turned into a little side business. People come to my home and get their feet zoned. It helps out with so many different things. I have people come with the full spectrum; anything and everything. There’s really nothing that a foot zone doesn’t help with. For me, it’s the answer to everything.
Amy: I love that you honor that little voice that said you have to do this. I remember having that same experience when I was blogging about PCOS and then decided to go to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. It was a non-negotiable. I had to do it. Even though it was financially difficult at the time, gosh, it was one of the best decisions that I ever made in my life. I listened to that inner voice.
You talked about how foot zoning can help PCOS a little bit. We talked a little bit about fertility and adrenal support. How else do you think it has helped your PCOS or helped some of your clients?
Katie: I believe that foot zoning is such an important tool to use when dealing with PCOS. If you don’t have access to a foot zoner, like out on the east coast there’s not as many, the Midwest there’s a few. Other things like the acupuncture, the reflexology, those are great options, too. Something that’s similar to it, it’s worth considering.
As you know, it takes a lot of different tools to deal with PCOS. As women with PCOS, our endocrine systems are imbalanced. The foot zone helps to balance all those parts of the endocrine system so that they can work better with each other. With each foot zone, the different organs and glands of endocrine system are balanced. We work the pineal glands, the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, and the ovaries. These each get individual attention to restore a healthy energy flow.
Another way that a foot zone helps with PCOS is it helped to element toxins from the body, which can disrupt the body’s ability to metabolize hormones properly. The liver and the spleen get cleared and balanced. The digestive system gets cleared. The lymphatic system gets a lot of attention in the foot zone. That’s a unique thing with the foot zone. There’s a lot of moving the lymph, making sure the pathways are open so that everything can flow like it needs to.
During this last Sparkle Cleanse, I made sure to get a foot zone right after to help my body to clear out all those toxins that we were dumping with that cleanse. It really helped me feel a surge of energy to move all of that through there. Also, during the foot zone, the vagus nerve gets a reset. Earlier this year you, Amy, had posted an article on the importance of toning the vagus nerve for PCOS. A foot zone is a great way to tone the vagus nerve and to decrease your cortisol levels.
I’ve noticed that if I go too long in between foot zones, I start to get cranky and I don’t handle my life very well. Like you had said, when you go and get your treatments done, even though the stress of life is still there, you handle it better. It brings balance to our mind. It brings balance to our body. It brings balance to our spirit.
I’ve noticed in the 10 years that I’ve been doing it, knock on wood, everyone that has come and really consistently gets foot zoned and is working on their health, they’ve all been able to achieve the fertility success that they’ve been looking for, which is really exciting for me.
Then it can also help to avoid problems in pregnancy. I have to tell you a story of my friend. She also has PCOS and has had a number of miscarriages, but she’s been able to have four children. Her first two children were born very, very early because she developed severe preeclampsia. Because of that rising blood pressure, the two babies had to be delivered early. It was a really hard thing to have those babies be so little and in the hospital for so long.
For her third pregnancy, she came to me and said, “Do you think foot zoning could help with that?” I said, “I think so. Let’s give it a try.” She came once or twice a month throughout her pregnancy. She was able to carry the baby to full term. She didn’t have any of her blood pressure problems. It was a really beautiful pregnancy.
When she became pregnant with her fourth child, she said, “I want to do that again. That was great.” We zoned her again about once or twice a month throughout the pregnancy. Again she was able to carry that baby to a full term, didn’t have the preeclampsia problems, and another beautiful pregnancy. It was a great way to be able to offset things that were a challenge to her, whether it was from the PCOS or not. We know that it’s possible that it was. There’s a lot of different ways that it can help with the PCOS plus releasing the emotions, the tension, the stress that comes from having to constantly work on this PCOS. It’s something you have to maintain all the time.
Amy: It really is something that you have to … there’s so much focus put on it in your life and managing the symptoms that you have to find ways for that release whether it’s exercise or meditation or acupuncture or foot zoning. It’s another tool in your PCOS toolbox. If somebody were interested in trying to try this new modality, where could they look for a foot zoner and what would they expect during a typical appointment?
Katie: There’s a couple of ways that you can find a foot zoner near you. You can Google find a foot zoner near you. That will bring up a web page. It’s the Mind Body and Sole website. On her website, she has a really comprehensive directory of foot zoners. You can search by zip code and see which one is closest to you. You can set a mile radius, how far you’re willing to go to find a foot zoner.
There’s also another directory on the Butterfly Express website. Butterfly Express is an essential oil company. They also teach some foot zoning. They have a directory on there. If you go to their website, it’s under the professionals tab. You can search by state. It’s mostly United States. I think there may be a Canada directory. I think there was someone in Germany that was foot zoning. Excuse me. I’ve got a frog in my throat now. This winter air is getting to me.
Amy: Go ahead, take a drink of water.
Katie: Goodness. Then you can also look at different school’s websites. Each school will have their own directory for all of their graduates. Like I mentioned, the majority of the schools are located in the western United States, but some of the schools are starting to branch out. If there’s enough of a need in other parts of the country, then they will come to you and teach. I don’t know what the requirement is for how many people are in a class, but they want this modality to be available to a lot of people. If it’s something that someone is interested in enough, they can either travel and learn how to do it or they can generate some interest in their community and have these schools come and teach them. The best way to look is to look online.
What to expect during a foot zone is it will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Every zoner does things a little bit differently. Some zone out of their homes like I do. Some work out of a salon or a health club or some other place of business. They might take a few minutes to talk to you about your health, what your goals are for your health, things that need to be known about your body. Pretty much there’s no contraindications to foot zoning.
If someone is in their first trimester of pregnancy, I like to wait until they’re in their second trimester if they’ve never had a foot zone before, so that the rebalancing of the body doesn’t trigger too much of a cleanse that it would eliminate the pregnancy.
Some zoners use essential oils and a carrier oil on the feet. Pretty much you get to sit back and relax while they rub your foot, they push on different parts of the foot. Some spots might hurt, but for the most part it’s very relaxing. The foot zoner may ask you questions based on what they feel on your feet. It’s amazing what the feet can tell you. We don’t realize how much is going on with these feet.
They’re going to work the outside of the foot, the top of the foot, the inside of the foot and the bottom of the foot. You might feel really sleepy after a zone or you might feel really energized. You might feel, like some people they start to cry and they don’t know why, or you might feel like you handle your life better. You want to drink a lot of water after a zone to help flush out any toxins. Your foot zoner can give you some recommendations or how often you may need to be zoned or other things that you can do to support your health.
Each of them has got their own unique training based on what their interests are, things that they’ve studied. Some foot zoners really like to learn about herbs and supplements and have recommendations for that. It’s very, very relaxing. It shouldn’t be painful, even though there’s a few spots may be uncomfortable, but it’s not a painful thing. It’s very, very relaxing.
Amy: How much would you expect to pay and how long would it take?
Katie: It really varies. I’ve seen people charge anywhere from $30 to $90. It depends on the area that you’re in, how much experience the foot zoner has. When they first get started, some people start lower. If they have a lot of experience, they may increase their prices. Typically it takes 45 minutes to an hour to have a full zone.
Like I mentioned before, the foot zone works the entire body head to toe. No matter what it is you’re working on, whether you’re going for fertility issues or back pain or gallbladder problems, you’re going to get the same treatment every single time. They’re going to balance your entire body head to toe. They may emphasize certain points like the gallbladder or the back or fertility spots.
Amy: It really sounds wonderful. I’m dying to try it. I think I might have to come out to see you because there are no foot zoners in New Hampshire.
Katie: Unfortunately, there’s not, but gosh, that would be fun.
Amy: I know. I hope that some Divas have the opportunity to go to a foot zoner in their area. Write in the comments. Let us know how you enjoyed the experience. I’d love to hear more about how this modality has helped women with PCOS. Thank you so much, Katie, for coming on and sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us.
Katie: Yes, thank you.
Amy: That wraps up our podcast today. Thank you so much for joining us on the PCOS Diva Podcast. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve liked this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to PCOS Diva on iTunes, the app, or wherever else you might be listening to this show. If you have a minute, please leave me a quick review on iTunes because I love to hear from you. I look forward to being with you again soon. Goodbye.