by Erica L. Thorneburg, LMBT 00183
We have all heard the expressions, “jumping in feet first” or possibly, “jumping in with both feet”. Figuratively speaking, these would describe actions without caution or a little more positively, taking on something new and giving the best effort to the task. “Feet first” may also refer to being born, as in “she came into the world feet first”. Likewise, it may portray death. “They carried him out of the room feet first”.
Since we are concluding National Foot Health Awareness Month, I believe there’s now the possibility of assigning a new, more literal meaning to this old saying of “feet first”. It is a time for us to bring full attention to our feet and take advantage of the vast body of knowledge around the causes and symptoms of foot pain, how to properly care for our feet, and how to prevent future disorders of the feet.
What if just giving our feet a higher priority, putting our “feet first”, could result in us having better health, a higher quality of life, and ultimately, a longer life?
Feet First at THOR●LO
Aside from my THOR●LO family, most people do not understand the significance taking care of their feet until they hurt. So, instead of writing something up about taking care of our feet, I thought it would be interesting to take a step back, and look at foot health awareness from another angle. It is not a new angle altogether, but for people in pain, it can be a “game changer”, both mentally and physically, when we finally do “see it” or experience it. It is often overlooked or just plain missing for many people, maybe because it is just so simple. Our foot health really does affect our wellness.
So why are our feet so important to our overall health?
The simplest reason is, if you have them, you are walking on them. If we strip away all human “elements” down to just the body itself, it is a bilateral machine. Muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments work together to create motion. A weakness in any one part creates burden on all the other parts. This is how a minor problem with our feet, such as a painful callus can literally create knee, hip, or back pain. Walking “funny” for just one day can create the space for imbalances in structure. Left over time, dysfunctional movement patterns emerge, creating greater and greater dis-ease for the structure. Chances are that the development of the callus was our first visible clue that an imbalance exists. It could originate from anything like footwear to old and new injuries, and in some cases from just how we are built and the effects of gravity. Each of us has our own history, making the incredible array of problem/solution scenarios mind boggling.
Thank you for taking the time to read part one of this series entitled, “Feet First.” I’m hopeful that you are now more conscious of your feet and their impact on your entire body. Stay tuned for part two which will discuss more in-depth the steps to take (no pun intended) in identifying how your gait affects your skeletal structure and balance and the corrective measures you can take toward more comfort, ease in mobility and vibrant health.
If you haven’t yet experienced Thȯrlos comfort benefits, visit www.thorlo.com and sign up to receive a free pair.*
*$4.90 S/H fee.
Erica Thorneburg has been a massage therapist (specializing in neuromuscular therapy) for over 18 years and provided more than 25,000 hours of massage thus far.