Your feet are one of the most jam packed and complex anatomical structures in your body. You cannot have a healthy body if you don’t have healthy feet.
Did you know? Your feet hold more than one-quarter of your body’s 206 bones: 26 in each foot – plus two sesamoids (bones embedded within a tendon). Each foot has 33 joints and is supported and stabilized by a complex array of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Did you also know that the average adult exposes the foot to over one million pounds of force daily.
Your feet are your first level of ground contact and are responsible for taking you from place to place. In addition to making you mobile, your feet are the root of balance, your primary foundational sensory organs and act as one of the bodies shock absorbers. They endure enormous amounts of stress and pressure each time they are called upon to move the body. It is critical that we pay close attention to their health and wellbeing with special care and attention.
A problematic foot can cause misalignments and negative stresses further up the chain oftentimes resulting in additional knee, hip and spinal strain and breakdown. Misalignment of the foot bones and joints can also result in limited mobility further up the body. The well-being of the foot is ultimately a major contributing factor to the well-being of the rest of the body … happy feet – happy body.
Your feet are also subject to certain health problems because of their distance from your heart. Arterial blood flow to the foot can be compromised by numerous problems such as reduced circulation, slowed metabolism and being sedentary. In these situations your foot and lower leg may not get the oxygen-rich blood they need to stay healthy and thrive.
Wearing stiff, rigid, supportive shoes and/or orthotics will only serve to weaken the foot by robbing it of its primary function which is to bare the load and activities of the body. The foot needs this loaded activity in order to stay healthy and strong. Your feet work best when they are not supported by footwear – choose to go barefoot as often as possible and wear shoes that encourage and challenge the foot to develop strength, mobility and increased ground sensation. If you are wearing shoes then you are overdressed!
The muscles in your feet are responsible for joint stability, flexibility, mobility and the proper alignment of the bones. This is essential to the health of all that exists above and is reliant upon them. Going barefoot is a sure fire way to ensure that the muscles of the feet stay strong and functional. This will also lead to heightened sensory feedback and increased proprioception.
Ancient healing modalities like reflexology believe that specific points on the foot are connected to the bodies internal organs and body systems. It is believed that applying appropriate pressure and stimulating these points can have a therapeutic and positive effect on body organs and your bodies overall health and well-being.
In my Future Proofing program, we focus on a few simple stretch sequences and use this cork massage ball and toe action elastic that will not just change foot health, but will positively affect your whole body.