I was reminded recently when watching a guest on a TV program. Her heels were so far off the floor they were almost perpendicular to her toes. This reminded me of a visit to China. 1985 was the year where I saw Chinese women appearing to be running down the road on their toes. A few seconds later I realised they were born when females had their feet bound in infancy. From then onwards they could never walk using their heels. If you have unfortunately had a problem with your toes/feet you will be shaking your head remembering how painful it was.
More recently a friend and I were chatting about her recent visit to Italy. With her husband they toured Italy from north to south. As women we spoke about the shops. She said “You know what was interesting. It was what I saw most of in Parma. I was looking for a particular thing and we went in and out a lot of small shops. It didn’t matter what type of shop it was, chemist, glassware, food, souvenirs, clothes, they all had one big display stand in a prominent position as you walked in the door.
Every display stand was full of treatments for your feet.
A sign of the times or a warning?
Do you give some positive attention to your feet every day? As a part of your physical body your feet are a long way from you head and often go un-noticed until they complain loudly and sorely.
I suggest you massage the soles of your feet every day to reap rewards. These rewards include improvement in your health and prevention of problems, present and future, in many parts of your body.
If you do not have a foot, or cannot walk still do the practices. Think of where the foot would be and give an energy massage – like it is a phantom foot.
Without care your feet can lead you to problems such as osteoporosis, hip and spine displacement, knee -bone muscle and tendon strain and pain, ankle rotation, with plantar warts, bunions, hammer toes, ingrown toenails and infections, fallen arches and more in or on your feet. Anyone who has suffered gout in one or both feet will certainly attest to the pain they experience as a result. To ease the pain of bunions often requires medical removal of part of the toe bone and replace it with a straight piece of inflexible metal or artificial material.
Two more major problems stand out as a cause of foot problems now: lack of walking in bare feet on the earth or grass and wearing shoes made from synthetic materials. Our feet are not flat. They are made to walk on uneven natural surfaces not concrete and flat modern material. If covered they still require the skin to breathe and release energy and perspiration when hot. Unless the footwear is of a natural material this can’t happen and many foot problems become chronic.
However a dangerous desire has come upon the female population in recent years. Following this desire can, and most likely will, lead to many of the foot problems stated above.
The desire of course is to follow the current shoe fashion for extreme high heels. The fashion is sold to females as making them taller, slimmer, and more desirable etc. If you are a female and think the shoes do make you taller, slimmer, and more desirable they probably do. It is how long and how often the shoes are worn that does or does not lead to more serious problems than aching feet.
If you wear high-heeled shoes I do not advocate you give them up. The tips here give some assistance to your feet so they can give you their best service.
1. Massage the soles of your feet.
In the evening massage the sole of each foot with the palm and heel of your hand. Simply place the palm of your hand on heel sole of one foot and with the other hand press firmly as you move it up the sole and off the foot at the top of the toes. Do this for both feet. Start with 30x per foot and build up to 100.
2. Personalise your shoe choice.
We are all aware that if your feet hurt it shows as tension on your face- not a good look. The centre of gravity (balance) in your body is in the middle of the body about three finger widths below your navel. Before you choose new shoes try them on. Then bend your knees slightly and lean forward and backward a little, and straighten up again. Check if your body, especially your spine, is in balance. If it isn’t and you intend to wear these shoes it helps if you wear them for only a couple of hours or less at a time. This applies especially if the heels are more than 5 centimetres/3 inches.
3. Ankle Rotations.
To support your feet do some ankle rotations often. You can do them when you wake up in bed. Just rotate your ankles 9x in one direction, then 9 times in the other direction. It doesn’t matter whether you start clockwise or counter-clockwise. Do them whenever you stand for a few moments especially if you have been sitting for more than an hour. If you are a plane traveller do them as soon as you can after landing. I do them while waiting for my luggage, during the journey, plus pinching My Toes practice as given in point 4 below. Every time counts.
4. Toe stimulation.
Place your thumb and index finger at the base of the nail on each side of your big toe. Pinch hard as you bring your thumb and finger against the toe and pull up and off top end of toe. Do the pinching on each toe. This stimulates major energy pathways through your whole body.
4. Heel stimulation.
Pinch strongly 9 times on both heels. Place thumb and index finger beneath the ankle base, around the back of the heal so they are touching the skin. Give a strong pinch off. Do 9 times on each heel.
Enjoy your walking with healthy happy feet and smile on your face.