Foot Health as seen in Spokane/CDA Magazine
Did you know our feet are comprised of 35 joints and 7,000 nerve endings? Together they send information to the brain about where we are going, the terrain we are walking on as well as how our body needs to move, balance and counter balance in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Our feet are designed to carry our bodies where they need to go at any given time.
When our feet are healthy and unrestricted it translates into a healthy body. The more flexibilitywe can create in our feet, the greater our quality of life will be as we age.
What we do with our feet translates up through the body and effects everything from our knees and hips all the way up to our necks. Try walking around while keeping your feet rigid and tight for a few minutes to feel how quickly all of that tension travels up through the rest of the body.
As an Ashiatsu barefoot massage therapist, I massage people from head to toe with my feet.
This practice has opened my feet up to their full range of motion as they have had to adapt to sliding over the uneven surfaces of the body and face new challenges and terrain every session.
Not everyone has the chance to use their feet in this manner. However, you can benefit from using your feet in new and unusual ways to open the joints, adding greater range of motion in your feet and body.
Moving your feet in new ways matters to your overall health, but you don’t have to become an ashiatsu massage therapist to enjoy the benefits. Here are a few simple things you can do to begin mobilizing your feet.
Shake hands with your feet. Lace your fingers though each toe as if you are shaking hands with your foot as your fingers spread the toes, feel the space you are creating between your bones.
Walk on uneven ground. Next time you go for a walk do your best to walk on the rocks, on the side of the path, hike on a bumpy trail , or simply walk in the grass, find ways to change the path your feet are walking on.
Walk further. Take your daily walk goal and double it once a week.
Go barefoot. As often as you can, kick off the shoes and let your feet touch the ground your walking on.
This can take some work, so go slow and don’t push yourself too far.
Mariah Neeson can be found on her feet at THE SPACE most days, practicing Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage, teaching massage therapists how to do Ashiatsu, or teaching couples how to massage one another. Find out more at SpokaneSpace.com