Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Finding Your Feet

Here’s a thing I find myself saying a lot.

Feet do stuff. They are highly complex 'feets' (sorry had to) of engineering. All of the postural muscles in our bodies are attached to our feet, whether directly or indirectly through other fascia. The feet not only propel us forward, they also help us to store energy, so that we can be propelled forward more efficiently. They absorb impact and deliver to our brains masses of sensory information about the environment, allowing us to make adjustments to our posture, to stay upright and stay safe. Left 'au natural’ to do their thing, they grow wide and flexible, sensitive, tough and powerful.
Stuffed into tight fitting  'supportive capsules (ie regular shoes) and deprived of sensory feedback, they become stiff and weak and flacid. Many feet remind me of dead fish, in shape, appearance and odour. The bacterial build up, due to encapsulating such a naturally sweaty appendage, is pretty distinktive.

dead foot
2 years later
People are often surprised that their sore hip, knee or even neck can have anything to do with their feet. People seem to assume that if they put the right shoe on, then they need not work their feet or exercise them at all. Why? We do not apply this logic to any other part of our body! 

People often say, "But the guy in the shop says these shoes are ideal for me as I pronate/invert/have fallen arches..blah blah”.  Please remember people that the guy in the shop, however lovely and well-meaning he may be, is there to sell you shoes. He is not qualified to give you movement advice or correct your posture. ( I know the odd one might be but then he wouldn't be putting your feet into coffins if that is the case)
As a child did you ever make stilts out of tin cans and holding onto a length of rope you'd go marching about and have races with your mates? It took a while to get the hang of the movement and it was always awkward and inefficient. You had to learn a new movement technique that excluded the foot. Jumping was impossible!

Yet I see many people who seem to have learned to do something similar in fashion shoes. 
High heels of course make the feet rigid and puts you out of balance. Lack of space reduces the elasticity of the foot, lack of flexibility stops the foot from working and distance from the ground means we have no sensory information. I do wonder if the blood even gets to some of them.

This issue of foot destruction is not easy to correct and the longer your feet have suffered from incarceration the more difficult it will be to undo the atrophication. But if your boby is aching and you can't get to the root of the problem, Look at your feet and start there.

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