In most energy/spiritual healing traditions it’s taught to heal starting at the head and crown, and work downwards. Let’s explore what happens when we turn things upside down, and start with the feet instead.
But first, a bow of respect and acknowledgement to the practice of top-down healing, which acknowledges ‘spirit’ as the source of healing. That can’t be overemphasised, and for most westerners who have grown up in a functionally atheist culture (in terms of beliefs about the true validity of the soul), it’s a radically important thing to take on board.
Top-down healing alludes to what many believe to be the soul’s direction of incarnation: from the crown downwards. Healing from the crown is thus meant to support the person at their connection to spirit, and proceeding from there.
I’ll offer a different spiritual topography: spirit doesn’t have an up vs down sense of direction as we have in 3D space. Rather, it’s an emergence, an emanation that is spatially most like inside-out. From the 3D outside-in perspective the movement of spirit coming into the body looks like it happens downwards from the crown, sure, but that’s incidental. What matters is the claiming of spirit itself, of dropping into the deep knowledge and truth of the oneness of body and spirit: that spirit is and animates every cell, every cell’s nucleus, the organelles of the cells, the DNA, the cellular fluid, the space between cells, the space between molecules and atoms… That all of these things (and more!) arise out of, and are, spirit.
This soul or spirit that condenses into matter to make the physical body, and is conscious, and is consciousness, can’t be constrained by limiting distinctions, directional or otherwise. The root chakra is as much a portal of your connection to God as your crown chakra is. A clod of earth is as holy and sacred as a polished diamond. The consciousness of these things isn’t identical, but everything comes from, and is of, and is, spirit.
Placing our hands on the feet of a person and connecting to their spiritual source helps us remember that, and helps heal the client of the split they may have inside of themselves where the human and the spiritual are seen as separate (and the human side, unworthy).
So whilst any or NO hand position will get the job done in the sense of connecting the healer and client to/with spirit, going to the feet also reminds us of the unity of spirit and the sacredness and omnipresence of all spirit-as-consciousness. I think that’s a good thing.
… Any act, whether symbolic or practical, that helps us dissolve that illusory split, or the belief that human = bad and spirit = good, is immensely helpful and supportive.
Another benefit of working feet first is it’s easier to connect and work with and channel earth energies. Working with the head, where the pineal and pituitary glands are, the crown and third eye and talu chakras, the upper hara, the fontanella and so on, is indeed a very powerful place in the body, a focal node of access points. But the consciousness associated with those chakras is usually not overly disturbed, especially for people on a spiritual path. Putting lots of attention to that area is, in a sense, gilding the lily: we’re already whole in our ‘upper chakras’ in their relation to our spirituality. It’s our human selves that need love! :-)
So working with the feet, and earth energies, is to work with the energies that our being is most thirsting for. Source doesn’t need more source energy. Our bodies, that live in cities and eat industrial food and wear polyester clothes and work inside windowless boxes and inhale fumes etc, do need life-earth energy. Our beings are starved of that; even people lucky enough to live in pristine parts of the world and in close connection with nature will have traumas, blocks and other internal difficulties that make them at least partially closed of to the earth and its energies.
Our being in this lifetime comes from the earth. The animating consciousness that created us used the clay of organic matter from the earth, and our energy bodies are emanations of source that contain a mixture of the essence of our deeper soul, our family’s soul, the earth’s soul, and the soul of the sun and other celestial bodies.
Touching the feet is to honour the clay, the earth, the mother of us all.
One more big benefit to feet-up healing is that it follows the way that the body and energy system takes in energy and life force (in contrast to ‘top-down’, which is in part symbolic, and in part a symptom of a world-view that doesn’t consider the human side overly important). Perhaps our soul did come in through the crown and come downward. But the earth’s energy that sustains us comes upward, from the feet and root chakra. Encouraging the connection to the earth is one of the (if not the) most important ‘thing’ that’s within the purview of healing, especially in the case of single healings (if a client goes to a healer regularly over the long term, there may be more scope for spiritual counselling of sorts, in which anything can be brought for healing and explored and supported). Supporting and working with the feet does more for a person than supporting and working with the head.
Of course that’s not always the case, and perhaps its less true for people who you might consider spiritually unawakened – perhaps for a very materialistic person the best thing would indeed be to focus the attention on the crown region. But on the whole, particularly amongst people who are drawn to seek healing, the most gains come from foot work, of grounding and rooting and connecting to earth and encouraging their ongoing incarnation and assimilation of earth’s energy etc.
Perhaps another exception is in hospice work or in hospitals, where strengthening the felt connection to spirit is the highest priority (and in the case of long term illness, support for the crown and third eye, pineal and pituitary glands is definitely needed; maybe wellness truly begins in those master glands).
(My interest in healing is its potential for transformation and awakening rather than relaxation or physical healing, so that’s the perspective I write from. Practising healing to provide comfort and succour is much needed, but that’s not what I’m writing about)
Our feett are our foundation in this human life. To start from and work on the feet is to start at the beginning, honouring all of our being, and where we are now. It’s so deeply empowering and restorative to let go of ‘crown centric’ notions and everything connected to them – the idea that heaven is up rather than within, that ‘spirit’ is different from and better than human/physical, and all such beliefs that are superfluous and obstructive to our growth. Let’s instead grasp our humanity (perhaps by the ankles!) and sink in to our human fullness and depth.