This little piggy

Toes and the soul

| March/April 1998

The old nursery rhyme about little piggies going to market has more than a little relevance to Imre Somogyi, who has parlayed his foot fetish into a successful -- albeit bizarre -- business: toe readings.

A Dutch practitioner of alternative medicine, Somogyi is selling the idea that toes are 'a mirror of the personality and the soul,' according to an article in Yoga Journal (Nov./Dec. 1997), and has created a system that assigns each toe a set of emotions and chakras, or elemental energies (see chart). By comparing the shape of a person's foot (set at birth) and the positioning of her toes (which can change frequently) with a standard foot 'map,' Somogyi claims he can divine a client's current emotional state and certain behavioral tendencies.

His toe readings have spawned something of a cottage industry for Somogyi, who conducts week-long toe reading training programs and oversees a website (www.readingtoes.com) that offers virtual toe readings for all those piggies who'd rather stay home.

Diagram: Karen Oh