One day in April I lay on the lawn of Madison Square Park and gloried in a sunlit day clear of humidity and haze. Great washes of rains had recently cleansed the city’s buildings and streets and spectacularly revived its urban backyards and parks.
Soaking up the sunshine, I recalled late winter and early spring when two of my clients were complaining of lethargy and staying at home seemed like an excellent idea. This was not surprising to me because according to Ayurveda, that seasonal period is dominated by the dosha kapha.
A dosha is a particular state of matter and energy. A dosha that is kapha has a weighty density to it. It is a combination of the elements earth and water. The other doshas are pitta which is a combination of fire and water, and vata, the pairing of air and ether.
Children's bodies are predominantly kapha. Our bones and bodily fluids are kapha. New York City's infamous humidity is kapha. The sludge in our sewers is kapha. The oil in our French fries is kapha. Fiorello LaGuardia had a kapha body-type. (In comparison, RuPaul would fit nicely in the the pitta category and Anna Wintour in the vata category.) In our emotional environment, melancholy and depression are kapha.
As in cellular fluid and spring rains, the sticky, fluid nature of kapha is necessary to lubricate life. Also, this quality binds matter together, otherwise we’d all be a mass of dispersed atoms. However, when kapha dominates or tips the scales, so to speak, excessive congestion can occur–much like my nose during this past springtime’s insanely high pollen count.
The densest end of kapha’s spectrum is when energy and matter is crystalline, which can be seen all around us in our urban architecture and streetscape. Even our judgments and perceptions can harden–or crystallize–into fixed thought patterns: “All NYC bicyclists are dangerous.”
Where can kapha be found in our bodies? All sorts of places! According to Polarity Therapy, though, excessive accumulation of kapha occurs most readily in our feet. They are considered to be the negative pole of the body, where energy is drawn down and condensed. This negative pole is necessary for conduction of energy throughout the body. However, instead of the energy fully flushing through the lower extremities, often it will pool, stagnate, and refuse to budge. Even crystallizations can form in the tissue. Behold kapha feet!
According to the theory of Reflexology, reflexes for the entire body reside in our feet. For example, if there is congestion in your lungs from asthma, most likely there will be congestion in the lungs' corresponding reflex: the ball of the foot. Therefore manually breaking through congestion and crystallization in the reflexes of the feet can help dislodge energetic, physical and emotional gunk in the corresponding areas of the body. Blockages are cleared throughout the body and overall circulation is stimulated and improved.
I have found Reflexology to be a very effective technique for clients, both physically and emotionally. However, digging up a lot of long-held energy can be overwhelming for the body. To facilitate a more complete and healthy discharge, I follow with Polarity Therapy contacts on the rest of the body. This often brings the client into a far better state of balance.
Consider a Reflexology and Polarity Therapy session as a spring cleaning. You'll step out with summer in your own body: brighter, clearer and lighter.
This was originally posted July 5, 2010.