How often do you consider, or even notice your feet? Maybe when they protest after being squashed into uncomfy shoes, or when you’ve been standing at a concert for a long time? Aside from these blaring incidents, most people totally neglect their feet, even though they are there for you always – feeling your way out of bed in the morning, and carrying you around throughout the day. I guarantee they don’t get half as much love as your face or hands… it’s time to give those feet some love!
From the moment you were born your feet have helped you navigate your way from the ground up to standing. It was the feedback you got through your feet that helped the baby you figure out how to roll from your back to your front, and it was your big toes that helped develop the essential communication between the arch of your feet, lower back and neck. Now you’re upright, your feet are your foundation – a ‘moving’ foundation that supports all the structures above – just considering the laws of physics it’s obvious why it’s so important that the feet be flexible, adjustable and strong. They also must be alert and sensitive to allow clear messaging to the brain and rest of the body about what is underfoot – a slippery surface/uneven surface/cold surface and so on…
As we well know, emotions are stored in the body’s tissues. Everything you have experienced in your life is felt through your whole body, they are not just memories in your brain. Think back to a memory when you were really embarrassed, or scared, or really super happy – I bet you have started to feel that emotion all over your body, and perhaps more concentrated in one part. The feet, like the knees, are said to carry the energy of your negative emotions. This is because the vibration of negative emotions is lower, heavier and more dense which causes these feelings to drop to the lowest points of your body. Inflammation here can show you’re nursing hurt feelings, while tension can show resentment. These characteristics aren’t something to fear but something to now be aware of so you can also help to work through and release as you go about your barefoot walking and new massaging techniques, which I will outline later on.
So what does the average adult do with their feet?
- Shoves them into shoes that bind and restrict and reduce fluid flow throughout our system = blood and lymph stagnation, stiff joints and inelastic muscles.
- Walks around on hard, unvarying surfaces = denying them the ability to explore their dexterity, potential for rolling, smooth and spring loaded movements
- Sits them on the floor for the most of the day while staring at a screen = deactivating the nerve endings so dumbing down the communication to the rest of the body
- Straps them into ‘high tech’ running shoes and runs on hard pavements or machines = impeding our natural gait by making us heel strike instead of forefoot strike (pushing off from the front of your foot makes use of our arch – our natural inbuilt spring). This shortens our Achilles tendons, calf muscles and puts undue pressure through the knees and spine
However: it’s not too late to show your feet some much love and affection!
- GO BAREFOOT AT HOME – allow your foot to spread and explore its full range of movement. This alone will help to mobilise and strengthen your whole body.
- GO BAREFOOT OUTSIDE ON NATURAL TERRAIN – having the soles of your feet make contact with the earth recharges the body with negatively charged free electrons. This is essentially earth energy which is crucial to the health of every cell in our body!
- ALTERNATE YOUR SHOES – so your feet don’t get sit in the same mould day in day out
- SOAK YOUR FEET IN MAGNESIUM/EPSOM SALTS – 100% natural muscle relaxant that also takes the acidity out of the body helping you feel way more chilled out, can also help with headaches, respiratory disorders, sluggish digestion and joint pain.
- MASSAGE YOUR FEET – with a tennis ball, or spiky massage ball, or with your own hands! Get to know your body and help it yourself! Doing this stimulates all sorts of important pressure points that respond to different parts of the body including organs, bones, muscles, nerves and so on. This is a key tenant of reflexology.
Some other useful exercises:
STRETCH YOUR FEET – alternate between 1 and 2 for 5 mins
1) Sit on your heels with your toes pointing in the same direction as your nose – this stretches the sole of your feet and will help to open the back line of your body (the back of the legs, butt, spine and head)
2) Sit on your heels and the front of your feet so the toes are pointing backward – this stretches the front of the feet and will help open the front line of your body (front of the legs, belly, chest, neck and face)
USE YOUR FEET – our feet have amazing potential for movement, as much as our hands!
1) Pick things up with your feet – pencils, towels, clothes….
2) Point and flex your feet holding each one for 10 seconds
3) Spread your toes as far apart from each other as possible – try putting your fingers between your toes, right up close so webbing touches webbing!
4) Rise up and down on your toes for 1 minute each day
I promise that when you start moving and freeing up your feet, your whole body and state of being will feel and move in a healthier and happier way. It has taken a long time for your feet to be in the pattern they are now, so respect that good change takes time – go gently and slowly with these tips, and wait for the benefits to rise from the ground up!