Our feet are our foundations, a masterpiece construction with 26 bones, 33 joints, 5 arches, over 7000 nerve endings, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in EACH foot! 25% of your bones are in your feet. The body is so complex that science is still scratching its head at many of the functions. One thing that we know for sure, is the body doesn’t have any bone, joint, muscle, nerve ending without a reason.
Just about every movement we do, our feet are involved. To get anywhere, walking is involved in some capacity, it’s the most functional movement we do. One of the major problems I see in clients is their feet are the most neglected part of their bodies. Stick them in a pair of shoes (foot coffins) and forget about them (unless they are giving us pain).
One of the problems wearing shoes is they desensitise the nerve endings in your feet, meaning that the signals can’t send the messages through the nervous system to trigger muscle activation in the correct order or with the right amount of force meaning the likelihood for injury (eg stress fractures, plantar fasciitis etc), falling, wear and tear on the joints is much greater. The thicker, more cushioned the sole of your shoes, the more desensitised your feet become. Then the older you get, the more at risk you are.
That’s why I start every Pilates session with time on our feet, connecting to our feet, rolling them out on a ball – you can use a tennis ball, golf ball, lacrosse ball, spiky massage ball, wooden foot roller. Even if you don’t have a ball, a rolling pin, foam roller, even a can of soup could be used as an alternative or you could get your hands on and give them a massage.
As you begin to bring more awareness to your feet you will notice how much they can change throughout the day depending on: what shoes you are wearing, how much you have moved around, how much attention you have given them, if you are holding pain anywhere else in your body.
It doesn’t matter what age you are, practice will reconnect you with your feet. I have client’s in their 70’s that start working with me and notice a difference in their walking with just a little bit of attention.
Check out my video to Free Your Feet https://youtu.be/WCWQeYO5FhY
The Pilates fundamentals course goes in to this in detail check it out www.iamjenwilson.com/pilates