They curve when we ignore our dreams, straighten out when we are on the right path and hide under one another when money woes strike. Every bump and wrinkle offers a sign staring straight back (or up) at us, but usually overlooked. Stomped on in fact. But pay attention and they reveal our tendencies, beliefs and habits.
Toes, says Margaret Rutherford with Payson Healing Arts, reveal both our past and our present.
Yes, you heard right: Toes.
Rutherford practices the little-known art of toe reading.
Toes, she insists, reveal even more about a person than handwriting, lines on the palms or wrinkles on the face.
“Our feet represent everything that your life has experienced,” Rutherford said. “When you look at someone’s toes, you can see if they are walking their destined path.”
The feet of serial killers often feature a wide gap and knurly toes, she explained. Compare that with someone who generally has their life together and the toes align; the skin is smooth and the feet flexible.
The gist of it: the worst your toes look, the further off the path of your life you’ve stumbled.
But Rutherford says she does more than stare at feet: She also reads the person.
“A lot of it is intuition,” she said. “A connection. You can see so many things in a person’s feet just by being in their presence.”
And toes are just one way to see inside. Emotions manifest everywhere on the body.
Rutherford also reads faces and energy too.
She insists her knack doesn’t arise from some mystical skill: She has learned to tune in and pay attention.
Rutherford opened Payson Healing Arts in the Swiss Village Shops as a physical and emotional wellness center where she and others can share their knowledge and offer both classes and treatment.
Besides toe reading, Rutherford is a licensed massage therapist and certified in qigong, an energy practice.
She stumbled on toe reading some years ago and added it to her bag of healing tools. “Look at your feet. Your feet represent your whole life,” she said.
The position, shape and condition of toes reveal how well someone communicates, if they procrastinate, how they handle relationships, manage money and cope with difficulties.
And each foot, each toe tells a different story.
The left foot represents the relationship with our self, our spirit. The right foot holds the tale of who we are here and now.
“So who they are on the outside, on the right foot, might appear strong, but on left foot there may be a deep insecurity, a lot of negative self-talk evident.”
Rutherford studied this reporter’s toes and declared that because my big toes, or destiny toes, were straight I was on the right path in life. I believe you are pretty much on course, there have been things that have caused you to take a turn, but you stayed true to what you want to do,” she said.
She held the sides of my big toes. They looked pudgy. “You see how they are very bulbous here,” she said, “you have big dreams. And you feel like you are on your path, but this is the seed — you want to be a big tree.”
She ran her fingers across my feet, stopping on my second toes. I said I had always wondered why they were longer than all the others and bent.
The second toe, she explained is the communication toe. My second toes ended squarely indicating “that you can be pretty blunt and to the point.”
But because they curved softly, my words were never meant to hurt. Other people she said with very boxy communication toes hurt others with their words whether they intend to or not.
She touched my middle toe, the action toe. She said while my big toe indicated I was a big thinker, I wasn’t acting on any of those thoughts because my second toe was smothering my action toe. I looked down and could clearly see that second toe on the right foot leaning into my middle toe. “You are over thinking things to an extreme,” she said.
Your intuition is strong, she said, pointing to the wide gap between my second and big toe and the relatively straight second toe on my left foot.
“Let yourself just be and just do it and don’t think it to death,” she said. “If you don’t think so much you can move forward more with the things you want to do. And in your heart you know what you want to do.”
A toe ring on my action toe was apparently choking it and moving it to my over-thinking second toe might help, by stifling off my over thinking.
She ran through the other toes. The fourth represented relationships and the baby toe, money. She said the tendency of my toes to clutch the ground slightly suggested I am holding onto something — perhaps pain.
“You didn’t deserve it though and you didn’t understand,” she said. “Let it go.”
She said toe readings are always much more than surface observations, they are reading someone’s life, their soul. Like our beliefs, our toes are not fixed. They change as we do, she said. Take more action in life and that curved toe may straighten out.
In the meantime, I’ll get a pedicure to hide all that.
Rutherford offers free qigong classes Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at 616 N. Beeline Highway.
For information, visit www.paysonhealing artscenter.com or call (928) 978-1715.