Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tone: The Communicator

© Eraxion. Image from

Body's self repair operates at a certain tension level. Create a relaxation response with Reflexology and body starts to auto self repair.  (This morning's Twitter)

This early morning tweet by me lead to a discussion on "tone". One person wanted to know more on tone so we are putting up snippets of any article dating back to 1982. We were really into tone back then and even built it into our book, Hand and Foot Reflexology: A Self Help Guide.

The way we maintain tone is a complex yet beautiful system. So here are some quotes from Tone: The Communicator.

"The body is in constant communication with all parts of itself providing the ability to move and survive. The ability to move calls for knowledge of the position of every muscle, joint and tendon. The ability to survive requires a perception of the chemical levels, in case of emergency changes in them.'

"Tone describes such a communication system. Tone is usually recognized as a state of readiness. It is most often associated with muscles but it also exists in the internal organs.'

"Tone is the background against which events of the day are played. It is however an active background as if each blade of grass in the background of a movie set were also playing a role in the picture.'

We were very deep into tone back then as we saw it as the connection between various body parts. The body sets a certain tension level or tone in the background in order to respond quickly to changing demands.

It would be impossible to survive without well regulated tension levels. Sleeping is different than being awake. Sleeping is a different level of tone than being awake and it could be a catastrophe if the two tonal levels were mixed up.

The feet help set the tone or tension level of the body. This is so we can stand upright successfully and move properly. It takes an enormous amount of information about the proper tension levels to make this happen. If this communication is miskeyed or inadequate we fall down.

I always use the story of falling asleep with my legs tucked under me to explain this concept. When the phone rang I jumped up to get it and immediately fell down. Since my legs were asleep I didn't have the proper tone or tension to stand upright must less run for the phone.

Why is tone important in reflexology? The feet help set the tension level for the rest of the body. Reflexology with it's applications of pressure alter the tone of the body. The patterns of stress formed in the feet are "broken up" by applications of new signals.

Shoes and flat surfaces send the same tonal messages into the system. Boring. The stress of not having a variety of signals to respond to makes the body work within tight ranges of tension or tone.

Feet have incredible capacity to respond to a wide variety of input as we pick our way over uneven terrain. Yet with shoes and flat surfaces the same signals are inputted over and over again. A lack of variety is stressful.

There is a new concept that states the system finds stability through change. Change is a must or as one researcher put it, "Variety is not just the spice of life. It is the very stuff of life itself.

We experience high degrees of tension when the tone of our internal conversation doesn't change. A little change or shift in your tone is good for you. If fact it may be the very stuff of your life's rich experience.

Kevin Kunz

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