Celebrity foot reader Jane Sheehan, who lives in Lancashire, believes feet can tell you a lot about a person - with the soles revealing your innermost soul.
She tells AASMA DAY about how she fell into her unconventional career and gives her a foot reading...
There was a point in Jane Sheehan’s life that, whenever she went to a party, she would find herself with a foot in her hand before she got a glass in it.
Laughing, Jane, 52, says: “Foot reading used to be this amazing thing I could do to wow people and was a bit of a party trick.”
However, foot reading is now a serious business for Jane and, as the UK’s leading footreader, she has read the feet of many celebrities such as Martin Kemp, Linda Lusardi, Alan Carr, Ray Quinn, Fern Britton, Philip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Melanie Sykes and reality star Chico.
Jane, who lives in Scarisbrick, near Ormskirk, can tell a lot about people’s personalities and characteristics just by glancing at their feet and has appeared on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Takes Two and is a regular on ITV’s This Morning.
Jane, who also runs a reflexology business, explains: “To me, they are not feet – they are stories.
“You get snapshots of people’s personalities simply by looking at their feet.
“Feet reveal a lot about a person and give insights into their personality and health.”
Jane’s unusual choice of career came about almost by accident after many years of different jobs, including working for business and PR agencies and IT roles.
It was around 20 years ago that Jane’s friend Claudine expressed a desire for a reflexology treatment as a birthday present, so Jane booked them both in for a session, thinking it was a beauty treatment.
Jane recalls: “I didn’t really know much about reflexology, so when the reflexologist was telling my friend all about her health, I was thinking: ‘How can you tell all that just by looking at her feet?’
“When it was my turn, every time the lady touched my big toe, I had such an emotional reaction, I had tears streaming down my face and had no control over them.
“When the session finished, I felt like I was in slow motion and the rest of the world around me had speeded up.
“It was such an amazing feeling, I just had to know more about how touching my feet could achieve that.”
As a result of that treatment, Jane studied reflexology at the Chiltern School of Reflexologists, earning a distinction.
At the end of the course, she had to do 65 hours of case studies and they all had huge emotional reactions.
Inspired to find out more about the power of feet, Jane met Dutch Hungarian Imre Somogyi who had interviewed 5,000 people about toe shape and personality and come up with a “toe alphabet.”
Jane memorised this and developed her own style, incorporating different foot reading philosophies, and began reading the feet of anyone who would let her.
Jane remembers: “It started off as a bit of fun just reading friends’ feet. But then it got to the stage where I couldn’t go to a party without getting a bare foot thrust into my hand before I could even grab a drink!”
The turning point came when Jane was asked to read feet at a fund-raiser for a local play group and couldn’t believe the queue of people lining up for a reading.
Jane says: “I was thrown in at the deep end as I had never done foot reading for money before. It was just my passion.
“I never knew it had such a therapeutic effect until I started doing it for money.
“People took it so much more seriously when they were paying for the information.
“I had to learn to curb my flippant sense of humour and I could not believe the readings had such a big impact.”
Jane spent the next few years working full-time in an office job while also working as a reflexologist in the evenings and doing foot readings at weekends.
As things began to gather steam, she realised something had to give and, in March 2005, she gave up her day job to turn to reflexology and foot reading full-time.
The first day of her new working life, Jane appeared on This Morning where she was interviewed by Lorraine Kelly and Tris Payne and read photographs of two celebrity feet – Cameron Diaz and Princess Diana.
She also did some live feet readings in the studio of people stood behind a screen and these turned out to be the stars of Celebrity Fit Club: Aldo Zilli the chef, Kim Mayzelle the soul singer and Paul Ross, the breakfast radio show presenter.
Jane now does reflexogy treatments, foot reading parties and teaches foot reading around the country and abroad.
Jane says many of her reflexology clients do not even know about her foot reading skills but it gives her an extra insight while she is working on their feet.
Jane is keen to point out that there is nothing “psychic” about foot reading as she is simply reading what is already there.
She explains: “I am not psychic, but sometimes people think I am because to them, it seems like magic.
“But I am just reading what their feet tell me about them.
“It is about reading emotions and personality.”
Jane has read the feet of many celebrities and was even asked to read the feet of stars at the Golden Globe Awards by looking at the feet of anyone on the red carpet wearing sandals.
Martin and Shirley Kemp even asked her to do a foot reading party at their home after hearing Jane do an interview with a life coach.
Jane says: “I was totally thrilled to be meeting them – but it was amazing as they wanted to meet me!”
Jane has written several books: Let’s Read Our Feet, The Foot Reading Coach, Sole Trader – how to start and run a therapy business and together with the Association of Reflexology – Reflexes: physical and emotional.
Jane says: “Some people think what I do is bonkers and I have to deal with a lot of cynicism.
“When you mention being a reader of any description, some people automatically think ‘psychic’ or ‘woo woo.’
“But there is a skill and an art to foot reading and you have to study and memorise and have a lot of practice.”
AASMA’S FOOT READING
Who would have thought your feet could say so much about you?
With a quick glance followed by a more thorough examination of my feet, Jane was able to give me a mine of information about my personality and characteristics.
She tells me my big toe reveals I am good at brainstorming and thinking outside the box.
She says: “If someone comes to you with a problem, you can think of 10 solutions to their problem.
“But if you have a problem of your own, you don’t know which solution to pick.”
So far so good as this sounds pretty spot on.
My second toe is apparently tilted towards my big toe and this shows that emotionally, I look back and see how far I have come.
On my second toe, the nail is not wide enough which says that emotionally, I don’t just hear what people are telling me but listen behind the lines and manage to get people to tell me things and am sensitive to their vulnerabilities when I know too much.
Which I suppose is a good trait for a journalist to have.
I am rather dismayed when Jane tells me that my second and third toes are slightly webbed.
This means I am motivated by how I feel and if I don’t feel like doing something, hell or high water won’t make me do it. But if I feel like doing it, I can move mountains.
My feet also reveal that when I go on holiday, I’ll take a big suitcase as I pack according to how I feel, not how many days I am going for. This is something my husband would definitely agree with as he is used to hoisting my heavy case when we go abroad.
But he would laugh at Jane’s next words as she tells me I am not a hoarder and am happy with what I have as he would argue I am a complete hoarder who can’t bear to part with anything.
My fourth toe shows I am a good judge of character and recognise when someone is turning from a friend to an enemy and when it’s time to let that person go.
Another thing I had never noticed was that my little toes are on their sides. This means I am unconventional and rebellious with a ‘it’s my way or the high way’ attitude.
My little toes are also very short in comparison to my other toes which translates as having a great sense of fun and joie de vivre, appreciating the simpler things in life such as jumping in muddy puddles.
Jane tells me I have a “combination foot” as they are wide at the top of the foot but narrow at the heel.
She tells me this means I am hard-working and “like the Duracell Bunny, I keep going and going.” But once I stop, it is an absolute stop and I am full-on or full-off like a light switch.
Again, this sounds quite accurate and I can’t deny it.
The narrow part of my feet shows a love of aesthetics and taking time out to appreciate things.
The arch of my foot shows I am independent and self-reliant. But this apparently also means I won’t accept help as I think I can do things better myself.
However, the slight arch of my big toe means I am motivated to help others.
The bottom of my feet say I appear to talk for England but if people listen carefully, they will realise I am not saying anything personal.
My soles say I am willing to discuss beliefs, ideas and emotions but don’t want to talk about my private life and plans for the future.
There is more than a grain of truth in this.
The tips of my toes say I am stubborn and tenacious, despite having a diplomatic exterior which fools people.
The bottom of my feet also say that, with me, what you see is what you get and I deal with concerns quickly and don’t let them fester.
I am also apparently willing to stick my neck out and take the knockbacks and speak out for others.
Jane says my heels are healthy with a lack of hard skin and this means I have a firm foundation for moving forward and taking the next steps for my future.
Oh – and my choice of nail varnish colour says I want warmth and affection in my life.
All in all, I found the foot reading extremely intriguing and was fascinated by the amount of detail Jane gave me.
Apart from being wide of the mark by saying I’m not a hoarder, I thought most of what she had to say was probably quite true of my traits.