FOOT PAIN AND THE CONCEPT OF “FENG SHUI” FEET
The Ancient Taoist philosophers of China understood that all of life was based on principles of change. This philosophy comes to us as The Book of Changes, the I Ching, which was first conceptualized by Fu Hsi the first emperor of China (2953-2838) BC. It is said that he studied all heaven and earth. Together with many wise persons, they developed tools to enrich the internal lives of people, including acupuncture and martial arts, among other disciplines. They also developed an understanding of how our inner health is related to our external environment, and this is the focus of Feng Shui. “Feng Shui” Feet is an analogy to explain how our feet work in very contrasting ways to help us move while keeping in balance. It is the harmony of the two opposite forces, like Yin and Yang. We must have balance to prevent from falling, yet we must be able to move, from slow controlled leaning to quick explosive sprinting, and the lasting endurance of a marathon. All these terms apply to the feet: Power, agility, shock absorption, sprint, balance, mobility, flexibility, control, accommodation, barefoot, shoes, clean… And these terms apply if we lose the harmony of the foot: Pain, rigidity, arthritis, degeneration, strain, sprain, fractures, spurs, numbness, neuropathy, dirty, fungus growth, etc.
APPLYING THE CONCEPT OF “FENG SHUI” FOR OUR FEET?
How often do we look at our feet? How often do we touch them? Do we wear shoes all day? Or do we go barefoot or use sandals? The feet are like an individual in the body, which is its environment. If the environment is not nurturing, then the foot suffers. The foot is like an employee far from its headquarter (the head), but is essential to the job. If the corporation (body) does not take care of its employee, then the employee will not support the company. How often does one wear gloves, do the hands work well in gloves? Can the hand feel properly in gloves? They had rather not! A similar situation exists with the foot. If we wear shoes all day, and the toes and rays are compressed in the shoes, can the foot and its joints move properly, do the sensory receptors give proper feedback? Do the ankles move enough in the shoes? How about the small intrinsic muscles of the foot, between the rays, or in the plantar surface of the foot? We must work to harmonize all elements that are needed for the good health of the foot.
Balance requires flexibility, strength, coordination, and equilibrium reactions. The power of the foot come from the calves and anterior tibiales, but the fine motor control are important. All leg muscles and foot intrinsics contribute to the fine motor control. We need to develop movements and proper recruitment of all muscles, large and small. Flexibility exercises are vital to keep all muscles working at their maximum potential of contraction range. Coordination and equilibrium fine tuning comes from challenging the body and foot for quick changes in environment, such as righting reaction, quick foot work, varying speeds in an unexpected way, working of different floor surfaces and quality, turning in unexpected directions. Vestibular stimulation exercises help improve balance reactions and coordination. Strengthening exercises help increase muscle mass and performance.
- Toe and foot joint mobilization
- Nerve Stimulation
- Reduce pressure points- callus formation indicate areas of stress in the foot
- Nail Care
- Using proper shoes, allowing barefoot time, to keep warm use socks, slippers