Free Your Feet!
The foot is one of the most neglected parts of our bodies. It's the foundation of our structure and yet apart from slapping on shoes and perhaps a coat of paint once in a while we do very little to attend to them.
Unfortunately, when they go on strike and plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, and other maladies occur, they have been a long time in the making and are not like our feet have caught a virus. The remedy to all things foot related is some focused and consistent retraining of not only the foot itself but also how the foot sets the stage for how everything above it functions. Most people don't know this is possible and end up going under the knife or giving up doing things they love to do.
When my foot discomfort gets in the way of my hiking, that's when I hit the books, remind myself of the movements my feet make and set about restoring them.
As much as I'd like to tell you that if you roll your foot on a ball or scrunch a towel under your foot that all is fine and you can call it a day, it's a little bit more complicated than that.
I can remember towel crunching myself into a painfully tight pelvic floor...yes your arches are part of your core and arches that are too stiff or too loose create imbalances all the way up through the body. Kegels can be killers.
A lot of exercise remedy is focused on strengthening or stretching a single or group of muscles.
At first this may be necessary to just get said muscle or muscles activated. But an important component to getting the feet working is about teaching the foot to do what it has been designed to do.
As far as feet are concerned the best way to restore function of the feet is to return the foot's ability to both pronate ( yes I know you think pronation is bad because your podiatrist said so) and supinate .
Your foot is like a spring..when it hits the ground it spreads and absorbs force and then it recoils and uses that force to propel us forward. If your foot is stuck in pronation then it is very difficult to walk as the recoil motion of the foot is lost.
The ability of the foot to supinate ( the arch lifts, the foot shortens and narrows) has to do with all of the bones in the foot working together. Pronation ( the arch flattens the foot gets wider and longer) has to do with the bones moving away from one another ( only slightly).
Author of "What The Foot", Gary Ward says "ninety-five percent of people have pronated feet and only five per cent have supinated feet.
I have one of both. If you are like me you've probably been told you have a twisted pelvis, scoliosis and other issues that more than likely started...at your feet.
Poor feet..they really are the most used and under appreciated part of the body. We buy shoes, we get pedicures but most of the stuff we do for our feet is superficial at best.
In class I focus on feet..getting them to wake up, restoring the spring like motion back to the 26 bones and 30 joints and learning how to center your weight over your feet which improves balance and posture.
In terms of ageing well..your feet are an integral part of the Fountain of Youth!