A powerful new form of natural healing that hasn’t made it mainstream yet
You’ve probably heard of acupuncture and Ayurveda. You may even know what tapping and oil-pulling are. But there’s a powerful new healing modality that hasn’t made it to the mainstream yet.
As a scientist, I’m skeptical of anything that’s not empirically validated. But it’s also because I am a scientist that I know that just because something hasn’t been studied in-depth doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
After turning a year old, Amber Bodily‘s son, Calvin, became extremely ill with respiratory issues. For seven months in a row, Amber was constantly taking Calvin to the hospital, to emergency rooms, and to medial centers for severe bronchitis, asthma problems, and lung infections.
After months of searching with no solution, Amber felt worn thin. She struggled with the idea that, despite the medications and breathing treatments her son was receiving, his health was not improving. When things didn’t seem like they could get any worse, Calvin was also diagnosed with autism. Amber was exhausted and desperate.
“My child used to be fine. What happened?” Amber wondered. Meanwhile, Calvin was on heavy doses of steroids, breathing treatments, albuterol, and large amounts of antibiotics. His symptoms became so dangerous that the doctor insisted Amber increase Calvin’s levels of steroids to a level so high that Amber had to sign a consent form. The form explained that the high level of steroids could cause brain and liver damage.
Amber was in a state of shock, but the doctors insisted that her child needed more steroids and that his condition was “just something he was born with.” Amber refused to give Calvin the treatment. The physicians were insistent, saying, “Don’t you want your child to live?”
When Amber tried to leave, the nurses told her, “We’re sorry, ma’am but we can’t let you leave. We need to treat him.” Amber pretended she had to obtain her husband’s approval before signing the consent form and fled sobbing from the hospital. She recalls the nurses calling after her: “Ma’am, if you want your son to breathe, you have to have these.”
Amber was exhausted, desperate, and looking for solutions everywhere. That’s when she went to stay with her sister in Arizona. Amber’s sister recommended she go see a friend she called her “voodoo friend,” who treated people by massaging their feet. Amber was skeptical but loved foot rubs, so she booked an appointment.
It turned out that this “voodoo friend” was actually a practitioner of foot zonology. Like acupressure, foot zoning involves treating different points in the feet, but unlike acupressure alone, foot zoning allows the practitioner to evaluate conditions like toxicity, allergies, physical, and psychological health. The foot zoner can then make dietary or herbal recommendations to alleviate problems.
Amber was surprised that the foot zoner was able to quickly evaluate everything that was going on with Amber’s health (she herself was struggling with respiratory ailments as well as infertility). “Everything she said rang true to me and she only prescribed noninvasive treatments: oils, dietary changes, and herbs.” The foot zoner then evaluated Calvin and immediately asked, “Do you know that he is highly allergic to dairy?”
Amber had asked many doctors about this possibility, but they had all said that if he did not have stomach problems, he was not. The foot zoner also said, “I’m not a doctor so I can’t diagnose him, but check him out for autism.” Amber said he had indeed already been diagnosed. The foot zoner told Amber to take Calvin 100 percent off dairy and the red dyes often found in processed food for one week.
She also suggested Amber remove all processed foods, sugars, chemicals, preservatives, and gluten from his diet and only include organic fruits, vegetables, and probiotics, as well as gluten-free grains. “I saw such a great result within 24 hours of getting zoned and adhering to the new diet that I decided, instead of spending hundreds of dollars on doctors and hospital bills every week, I would fly back and forth to Utah to get zoned.”
Amber finally found a foot zoner registered in California (the only one who had been trained in the Nordblom American Institute of Foot Zonology at the time.)
What is Foot Zoning
Foot zoning looks a lot like acupressure but is not at all the same. Foot zoning is a European methodology, brought to the US by Katri Nordblom, founder of Nordblom American Institute of Foot Zonology, that allows the practitioner to assess what is going on with a person’s organs not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. Foot zoning, practitioners claim, brings a person back into balance. Little to no empirical research has been conducted yet on foot zonology but research does suggest that treating signals in the feet can significantly reduce certain symptoms.
Today, Calvin is 9 years old. He does not take medication and is free of respiratory symptoms. The medical doctors have retracted his autism diagnosis (turned out his food allergies had lead to autism-like features and behaviors). As for Amber, despite her infertility problems, she was able to quickly become pregnant after following the foot zoner’s advice and dietary changes.
The zoner suggested Amber become one herself, but Amber was not open to the idea. She already had a full life teaching aerobics and running her own design company—not to mention an active little boy. However, this all changed when she became pregnant with her second child. Amber experienced severe morning sickness for 19 weeks. At 32 weeks she learned that she might lose her baby and that his brain was riddled with tumors and cysts. They also said he had trisomia. The doctors told Amber she should have an abortion. Amber chose not to have an abortion, and the doctors told her that the baby would abort itself.
Amber and her husband were devastated but prepared a little plot in a nearby cemetery to bury their son, given the doctors’ predictions. Her mother even knitted a blanket to place him in. Amber increased her zoning sessions and followed all the dietary and herbal instructions given to her by the zoner. To the astonishment of her doctors, Amber ended up not only keeping her second son, whom she named Elijah Forrest, but by the time she gave birth, there was only a single cyst left in his brain out of all the cysts and tumors that he’d had originally.
Because of the remaining tumor, however, the hospital where she gave birth wanted to perform surgery on his brain. The surgeons gave her a list of potential complications and risks so long that Amber refused. She said the hospital called her for weeks, asking her to come in with her child for more scans. Nurses and doctors told her she was crazy for not treating her son.
That’s when Amber decided to learn how to zone herself so that she could take care of him and her family. Baby in tow, she took the foot zone teacher training. After eight months, during which she took special care of her diet while nursing and zoned her new baby, the remaining cyst disappeared from his brain. She treated her son herself and felt in his feet that the cyst was slowly diminishing.
Several months later, she felt that the cyst was gone. She took him to the doctor and the doctors said the cyst had indeed disappeared. He will be 6 soon. “If I’m zoning him and feel anything, I will treat it right there and then. Often, I can feel ear infections or a cold coming on and will use natural remedies to strengthen his immune system.”
Amber recently had another little boy—all three of her sons are healthy and thriving. In fact, because they hardly ever get sick, other parents at their school have started noticing and asking Amber what she does. Given the healing impact of foot zoning on her family’s life, Amber decided not only to start zoning clients full-time, and to also take the foot zoner teacher training. She now trains others in the art of foot zoning.
I met Amber during a time when my health was failing me and I didn’t know why. Amber’s sessions left me feeling lighter and happier. I was amazed by her ability to intuit things about my health that I had never even considered. Amber told me I was allergic to gluten. Tests later verified what she had said. Amber also told me I was pregnant before I even knew I was (or had done the test). Later, she identified the gender: “It’s a boy and he’s really active.” When I went to get my ultrasound, they said, “It’s a boy and he’s really active.”
Some people still find it strange—and even slightly threatening—that Amber feeds her children a certain way (vegan, whole-food based, and gluten-, dairy-, chemical-, and preservative-free). Amber keeps a low profile about her zoning. Her reputation has spread by word of mouth, however, and her schedule is packed with zoning appointments and calls. During a treatment, you can often hear her now very healthy and energetic boys running around in the next room. Occasionally, they’ll ask for “chocolate ice cream” (i.e., mashed organic kale, frozen blueberries, bananas, and raw cacao).
For more info on Amber Bodily, follow her on Facebook.
For more on the science of health & happiness, check out my new book, The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success (HarperOne, 2016), out now!
A version of this article originally appeared on MindBodyGreen.