The Foot-Bringing yoga and massage together
The Foot is probably the most abused part of the body. All stuffed up in a shoe, covered with a sock to make it nice and stinky and do you ever think about stretching or strengthening your foot?
I believe the health of your feet is just as important as your hamstrings, biceps and hips. Why? Because as we walk, possibly run and maybe even hop the pliability of our feet is important for the whole body. Think about it this way…if your foot is hard as a rock and you run on that rock foot their is no absorption of the impact of that foot (usually on the concrete right?) If your foot is pliable, subtle and healthy the absorption of that impact is much less allowing the rest of your body to be much happier.
Usually it’s only when I feet have so much pain we start to take care of them, but why? Preventative care is everything, we do a little bit of work now for a lifetime (hopefully)_ of a healthy foot or body.
Today’s blog will talk about the anatomy of the foot, ways massage could help (including self massage) and yoga poses that will help keep those feet pliable, flexible and strong.
There are 26 bones in the foot. Over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. The foot is wild, busy and complex, but it doesn’t take much to keep it healthy.
It’s important to remember:
To not only take care of the foot, but also to take care of the rest of the body and movement for the foot.
The lower leg muscles create a sling to create a medial arch for the foot. We have to have well balanced calf lower leg muscles in order to have a healthy foot/arch. Strengthening the lower leg and stretching it is important. Also massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic can help.
Hip issues can force the hip into an internal or external rotation forcing you to walk more on the outside or inside of your foot.
The whole body impacts the foot, so if there is an issue in the foot we also need to look at alignment in other areas.
Also the foot impacts the whole body so if there is an injury there it could cause an imbalance all the weigh up. For example if you start to put more weight on one side due to injury this will impact all the muscles up to the hip and may even create issues in the shoulder.
I use Thai massage, fascial work with movement, Sarga techniques and reflexology to heal the feet or keep them happy. See my Instagram page in October 2019 for examples.
You can use a tennis ball, la crosse ball or golf ball to make slow strips from your pad of your foot to your heel. Start at the big toe and work your way to the pinky toe. So 5 strips. You can also go side to side at the base of the pad and in front of the heel.
All poses can be directed to healthier feet. Balancing poses are excellent places to start. Also techniques such as picking up socks or a small towel from the ground will help muscles strength in the foot. Warrior poses are great poses to work on building an arch. These techniques are something we would have to go over in a private session. They are advanced thought. You can find some examples on my Instagram feed in October 2019