Monday, February 2, 2015

Best Foot Forward

Connection Matters   Movement Matters   Mindfulness Matters
Why do my feet hurt??

Many baby boomers come to see me with the same complaint:  excruciating heel pain in one or both feet.  I feel like it is becoming an epidemic!   I can’t say for certain, but I believe it’s because we’re exercising more than the generation before us; and we have greater expectations of aging gracefully.

I’m often asked, “Should I walk less?  Stretch more?  Tighten my core?  Get a massage?  Change my shoes?”  These are examples of advice given by most professionals who treat plantar fasciitis,  (heel pain that spreads to the underside of the  foot)  which seems comes on for no APPARENT reason.

They have taken anti-inflammatories.  They have eased activity.  They have been stretched, taped and braced.

But the pain always comes back. 

People ask if I treat sore feet.  As Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais said, “I treat people, not diagnoses.” 

What do I do differently?   I help you figure out another way *to do* your activity, not *stop* doing it.

First, you must start learning how you move.  Here are some simple steps you can take right now:

1.       How often do you notice your feet when they aren’t hurting?  Touch your feet.  Play with them, the way you did when you were a child.      Meet Maddie   Adorable right?

She’s actually working as she is playing in this picture.  Her job right now is to form connections in her brain because that’s how her brain develops and learning occurs.   Babies play with their feet because it’s how they form those critical connections.

So how do we re-connect with our feet as adults?  The same way we did when we were Maddie’s age. Take the time to get to know them again by playing with them!

We need to explore the way babies do.  We need to let go of old patterns that no longer work for us and form new sensory and motor pathways that will in turn improve skill and action.  (And don’t worry, we can learn a lot without sucking on our toes…unless, of course you wish to.)

2.       Think of your foot as a triangle; the ball of your foot by your big toe, the ball of your foot by your little toe, and your heel.  Notice the triangle as you sit with your feet on the floor, as you stand, and as you walk.  Pay attention to how each part feels on the floor.

3.       Sit on a chair and put a tennis ball under your foot, one foot at a time.  Allow the ball to roll in different directions under your foot as you move your leg.  This is something you can do easily as you sit and watch TV.

You are never too old.

You need to rediscover what you already know but have forgotten:  how to move with comfort and ease in order to maintain your vitality.  It’s the key to being free from pain.

Once you do this I promise you, you’ll never think of your foot the same way!    You’ll have opened the door to awareness…and that’s the first step toward healing.  You need to rediscover what you already know but have forgotten:  how to move with comfort and ease in order to maintain your vitality.  It’s the key to being free from pain.

When we work together, we’ll explore how your body connects to itself; and to your brain.  Remember, it’s not about muscles, it’s about movement.  We’ll explore how you move and discover what works best for your body.  I help people learn.  We work together to discover the way you, as a unique individual, move.   I help lead you to a place where you can do whatever activity you want ; not through stress or effort, but through comfort and mindfulness.

Exploration and awareness is thedifference that makes the difference.

Stepping into awareness,


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