How touch affects us, and do your toes curl under?

March 13, 2021
How Touch Affects Us

When I asked you what’s the first thing you’re going to do when it’s safe, many of you said, “Hug my children whom I haven’t seen in months.”

Touch reduces our stress and soothes our nerves. It’s amazing how holding a hand or massaging a shoulder or reflexing a foot can deeply relax our body and ground and bring us back to center.

I see it in your face and hear it in your voice when you leave my reflexology room. But more importantly, you tell me how much better you feel. That’s what’s kept me going since June 19, 2020 when our governor said I could reopen.
In these last nine months, I’ve taken more than 260 temperatures… the first step in a reflexology treatment these days. No one who has come has dealt with Covid personally. That’s some kind of miracle. Those who have canceled appointments at the last minute turned out to have bad colds. In two weeks I’ll have my second Moderna shot. I still follow the Oregon Health Authorities guidelines for massage businesses. I’m doing everything I can to keep you safe, including wearing these darn masks that steam up glasses and make it hard to hear and see tears and smiles. It’s been an unbelievable year and I’ve survived because of you. Thank you.
Do your toes turn under?

This winter many new clients came with turned-under toes or Hammertoes. They loved how the reflexology stretched their toes, muscles, and tendons and released the tightness.

The real question that comes next is, “Why are my toes turning under like this?” And that question leads us back to shoe choices.
Our toes are meant to be spread out and flexible to help balance our walk. But after spending a lifetime in shoes that may be tight, short, or with an elevated heel or shoe design where the end of the shoes turns up, our toes and feet can become less flexible and more painful. When you remove the soft cushioned insole inside your shoes and stand on it, we can both see how your shoes are really fitting inside. When feet hurt, I often see feet over the sides of the insole or toes at the very front of the insole, which means toes are pushing against the front of the shoe. In countries where people traditionally go barefoot, there are few-to-no cases of Hammertoes.

Besides reflexology and exercise (see below), I often recommend clients visit Northwest Foot and Ankle clinic - Podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan has created a natural foot care clinic and developed lightweight silicone toe spacers called Correct Toes. For hammertoes, Correct Toes help toes stretch out and lengthen. But sometimes just getting a better shoe with no heel and more room in the toe box ends the pain. I’ve worked with Dr. Ray for more than 12 years now and have seen many positive changes in my clients’ feet.  

(Above, Dr. Ray’s Patient Coordinator, Megan, custom-fitting Correct Toes for my client at no charge.)
Here’s a 2-minute Self Care Stretch and Mobilization video of exercises developed by Dr. Ray to help hammertoes. 
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Nancie Hines, MA, OR LMT 18833
ARCB-National Board Certified Reflexologist
One of three Nationally Certified Reflexologists in Portland


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Nancie Hines, MA

OR LMT 18833

Oregon Reflexology Network
National Certified Reflexologist

(1 of 2 Nationally Certified in Portland)

Schedule a Session




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