Crunchy Feet

By Rachel Bohanan and Ross Ashcraft

Long before I even really thought about massage therapy as a career, I would kick off my shoes and massage my own aching feet after a long day. I remember that crunchy feeling on the sole of my foot and toes.  I knew it felt good to work them out, even though I really didn’t know what I was doing.

Come to find out these “crunchies” are a real thing and something that should not be left in your feet.  These crunchies were once thought to be an accumulation of metabolic waste (uric and lactic acid).  New studies suggest that the crunchies are actually entanglements of nervous tissue which actually indicates unhealthy organs throughout the body.

What are they?

These crunchy deposits are not attached to muscles or tendons as other theories suggest. They appear to be bundles of connective tissue fibers that are mirroring problems in other parts of the body.  Our experience has shown that often certain areas on the foot reflect a problem that is occurring in an organ system.


1)  People with liver disease have more crunchies in their right foot just below the ball of that foot

2)  People with blood pressure problems have crunchies in the middle of the soles of their feet.

3) People with insomnia have crunchies in their big toes.

These are just three examples of the dozens of trends we have found by examining the feet.  Studies have concluded that crunchy deposits in the feet may mean an anatomical problem or body imbalance or dysfunction in an organ.

What does that crunchy feeling mean?

If the crunchy is painful to YOU and is also very clearly felt by a therapist or your own fingers, it may indicate a chronic pathology.  A chronic pathology means, it has been there a while!  If there is mild sensitivity that is only experienced by YOU and is NOT felt by a therapist or your own hand, it is an acute pathology.  An acute pathology means, it is a new thing and hasn’t been there that long.


After I started school to become a massage therapist I found myself thinking of different ways that everyday objects could be used as a massage tool. One day, I was at my sister’s house and I found a regular ole’ marble. I starter to roll the marble in my hand and it felt great; so I tried it on my feet.  It felt AMAZING!


1)  Find a marble, golf ball, or any hard sphere.

2)  Roll it using circular motion all over the bottom of your feet.

3)  Pause and push down when you feel a tender spot.

4)  While working on that tender spot, take deep slow breaths.

Take a look at the chart below.  See if you can find the spot on your foot that our experience has taught us, corresponds to the organ your body is telling you might be in distress.  

5)  Place your hand over that organ and massage it while pressing down into the marble.

Challenge:  Try this and tell us what you experienced.  This treatment is taken from the Reflexology modality common in massage therapy.  It can be performed by any therapist with the training.  Contact us at (918) 610-0027 and we’ll help you find one.

Foot Reflexology


Reflexology: Gravity & “Crunchies”


29 thoughts on “Crunchy Feet”

  1. Man….not gunna lie I hate rubbing feet….but since I take care of my mother she decided to read this over my shoulder…and was all “I have cruchies on my feet” looks like I’ve got some rubbin to do

  2. I am going to try this once I find the right ball sounds like it would feel really good, My dad someone tell him to roll his foot on a soup can every morning to stretch out his tendons. This eliminated a lot of foot pain for him. My brother has experienced gout it was very painful not something he wants to go through again any time soon.

  3. I like working on the feet and feeling everything that is under the skin and being able to work them out does make your client happy and I’ve always had a interest in reflexology

  4. Not going to lie the just the sound of foot crunchys really grossed me out but how you explained it and how to deal with it really makes sense and can really be helpful. So thank you!

  5. I think reflexology works, to some extent. I also feel that any sort of foot rub is going to put someone in a better frame of mind, therefore all over pain relief may be felt. I am for sure going to try the golf ball.

  6. I love love love reflexology! It amazes me that we can help so many organs in the body just by rubbing feet! It’s also one of the most important when giving a massage since we are on our feet all day everyday and they usually don’t get much attention.

  7. I loved this, it actually was like a self massage and released a lot of tension I was feeling on my feet. I hit the tender spots with mediocre pressure and it was awesome to experience foot massage to myself lol

  8. This is interesting. I’ve never had an issue with crunchier in my feet but I live with someone who has chronic insomnia and elevated blood pressure. It will be interesting to mess with his feet to see if I can find crunchier in his big toes or the middle sole of his feet.

  9. I have actually worked on my parent’s and brother’s feet since I was little. I have also massaged some of my grandparent’s feet before. Feet don’t gross me out, and any smells can be dealt with, with a good lotion or essential oil. Or by holding your breath, or breathing out your mouth and not your nose. I know a lot of people like an inanimate object self rub but I really don’t enjoy that. I’ve only received a handful of good to great massages on my feet, but having a person rub is thousands of times better than a wooden, plastic, or glass ball or roller. Also, my mom loves rolling inanimate objects on her feet, so, it doesn’t mean they don’t work.

  10. Doing reflexology helps me with many of the problems I have with my body, I hope to do this with everyone else as well.

  11. this is awesome and if anyone is interested you can actually buy the golf balls at Clary for a low price of .75 cents! that’s right only .75 cents!we also have tennis balls to help with the back… just a suggestion! (:

  12. I remover doing this in alpha class. It felt really good but at the same time worried me that I might have a kidney problem. No worries though, I’m alive and well.

  13. I love getting foot massages but I always have someone else do it for me. I will try this on myself and see how it works out.

  14. using a marble is so much easier on my thumbs! doing it while watching a movie was great. something I might start recommending to clients!

  15. Reflexology has been really neat, I had no idea everything was so connected throughout your body! I’m not a feet person and I usually don’t enjoy people touching my feet..but this has changed my mind. The golf ball technique is really helpful. Especially because I’m constantly on my feet as a server. I’ve enjoyed this past week and can’t wait to learn more.

  16. I found a crucnchie on my heart and I think maybe its because I drink to much caffeine and have heart palpitations at times. I know I should quit it but…..
    my foot is still hurting and I’m not even touching it anymore.. I think i’m gonna try the marbles to Keagan:) I know my clients love when i do reflexology on them and I make it a whole session of hands and feet and hot towels and a scrub for feet. it’s a great way to do an add on to existing clients and make more money and help the clients at the same time. reflexology is always my suggestion to those who are scared of a full massage. Once they are more comfortable with you rubbing on them they seem to open up to more massage.

  17. I like using a golf ball on my feet. I have the most crunchies near my liver and kidney area and as well as the shoulder area of the foot. I like using knuckles instead of my thumbs when I’m working on clients. Saves my thumbs. 🙂

  18. Grrreat ideas Ross. I am looking for work in Tulsa. I would appreciate your help before my next Interview this Tuesday at 11:00. I am about ready to start looking any where that pays decent even if it is back in Corp. América Yuck!! Call me anytime my number is 405-220-5965.
    Thank you

  19. These are some really great tips, I can’t wait to try the marbles. I love learning about simple things around the house that can be used for massage tools. They are great for client homework. Foot massage has always been one of my favorites because it so easy do for anyone anywhere,and it can benefit the whole body.

  20. Good blog on Crunchies! I Have a client who has crunchies in her whole body! Her neck, back, shoulders, arms , legs and feet! I am constantly crunching her crunchies! She always tells me how better she feels when I’m done! 😁