This excerpt is taken from Chapter 5 of Bio-Touch: Healing With the Power in Our Fingertips
As gratifying as it was to be part of many meaningful and amusing experiences while volunteering at the Bio-Touch Center, it wasn’t all roses for me. While I enjoyed working on knees, backs, arms, hands, legs, heads and necks, I struggled when I had to work on feet. I hated feet. Even as a child I regarded them as ugly, neglected things that peeked grotesquely out of sandals. Naked and vulnerable, they were often displayed for the world to see, when they should have been hiding inside socks and shoes.
I think my loathing of feet started the day I had a play date at my friend Carolyn’s house. I was six years old. We were sitting on her living room carpet playing the board game Sorry. Carolyn’s mom, a pretty woman, kicked off the beautiful black and white peep-toe high heels she was wearing. Then she sat on the couch, rolling down her stockings.
My eyes shifted to the woman’s feet as she rubbed them. I stared in horror. The skin was flaky and mottled with blue and purple veins that clashed with her blood-red nail polish. Several misshapen toes sported thick, yellowed corns. Knobby bumps protruded from her insteps. I turned away with a stomachache, wishing she’d put her shoes back on. It was fitting that we were playing Sorry. I sure was sorry I’d seen that woman’s feet.
My own toes weren’t gorgeous, but I always made sure they were lotioned and pedicured or covered up. Our daughter, Jill, actually had the prettiest feet I had ever seen, while our son David’s wide flippers always made me smile. And although Howard’s feet were decent-looking, I hadn’t offered him a foot massage in nearly four decades of marriage.
But now, people were looking to me to ease their throbbing, aching hooves. I was expected to touch their cracked, crusty heels, sweat-sticky soles, fungus-covered nails, and hairy toes—all in various stages of cleanliness. Ugh. Each one of those things, alone, grossed me out, but seeing them in assorted combinations made me gag every time. With gritted teeth, I approached feet like they were stink bombs with a hair trigger.
By DEBRA SCHILDHOUSE
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