Your Feet Can Empathize
British philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Now we’re not sure if Bertrand was referring to feet when he initially made this now famous comment, but it did get us thinking. And, if you do think about it, both figuratively and literally, it seems our feet are the furthest things from our minds!
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) 2014 Today’s Podiatrist survey, we (US adults) in theory understand the importance of foot health; however, we don’t think about it often and don’t care for our feet as regularly as our teeth, eyes or some other body parts. The majority trims our toenails, but after that, less than half adhere to other foot care regimens. Is taking our feet for granted perhaps an unseen obstacle to preventing foot related ailments, injuries and maintaining happy, healthy feet? If we do not appreciate our feet, why would we take the time to maintain them?
The most common example of foot neglect we see is that of the skin. Functioning as the body’s largest organ, the skin has many roles beyond serving as a protective barrier to disease and infection. Additionally it regulates body temperature, synthesizes Vitamin D, aids in healing processes and houses the nerves which provide sensitivity to touch, pressure, vibration, pain, cold, hot, etc. Its functionality (skin of the feet included) is vital to our overall health and well-being. Somehow this connection to the whole body goes missing until we experience a problem. Foot care regimens should be preventative in nature and go far beyond keeping the feet pretty. They should involve cleansing, moisturizing, basic grooming and hygiene. Ask any diabetic or even someone who suffers with chronic Athlete’s Foot. The days of putting off foot care are but a memory to them. For more information about how to take care of your feet go to http://www.ipfh.org/foot-care-essentials/.
While awareness in many cases is all that is necessary to prevent injury, the larger majority of issues may require action beyond awareness on a daily basis. For instance, you can prevent falls, twisted ankles, and alignment issues of the knees and hips by being mindful of foot alignment. This requires little to no physical energy. However, it takes more than mental attention to keep the skin on your feet healthy. For example, calluses are a common complaint. Did you know they often set the stage for imbalance and pain if left uncared for? Knowing this is only half the battle. A little action is necessary to control troublesome calluses from building up.
You must take time to purchase a pedicure kit, or keep a pumice stone in your shower. Use the right cream for keeping the skin soft. Then you have to remember and take time to use it.Whether or not you care to think about your feet can be a barrier to your overall health. Education and awareness can only get you so far. Take action and make foot care a part of your daily life. It is as important as brushing and flossing…and it feels good!
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