Most people tend to ignore their feet, except for a pedicure that many will do to pretty them up. To truly take care of these magnificent structures requires a little time and attention. You may wonder why it’s necessary seeing as they are usually covered up, however, the structure and function of your feet are incredibly significant to consider when addressing the alignment and shape of your entire body.
There is an expression – death starts in the feet. This is because this area is furthest from the energy source of the body – the diaphragm. Every cell has mitochondria which emits energy for the body, and the fuel is oxygen. The diaphragm is the key to ensuring the cells in the feet receive this life force, but unfortunately, for most people this muscle is weak and underused.
By the time you even begin to pay attention to the marvels of the foot structure and their connection to your entire body’s health and alignment, you will already have patterns in your fascia that have been manipulated by the way you walk and stand, and even their alignment when not bearing any weight on them. If you pronate or supinate (and everyone has some degree of ankle instability), if you have bunions, if you stand with your feet internally or externally rotated . . . unless you have perfect alignment in your ankle structure: everything up the chain will be affected.
The toes are of particular interest, as they are the eyes of your feet. In fact, in reflexology, the area where the feet meet the toes is what is responsible for the eyes . . . and ears. When you walk, if your toes are engaged, that creates a very different gait than if you have little connection to them. Imagine a foot without toes – it’s like a club. There would be poor balance and little opportunity to turn on a dime if your toes were missing.
In yoga, they teach that in all positions you should be aware of your pinky toe as it needs to engage in all actions to ground the body and create the proper support so you can fully activate the core. Therefore, so many yoga postures can be challenging as most people’s toes are not actively involved. This lack of connection diminishes the energy that would otherwise be available to the body to add support for these more challenging positions, and without their involvement, create a heaviness in the body that is forced to be supported by other postural muscles.
When it comes to using the body, effortless effort is the goal. Everything you do with your body requires effort, however, the difference between supporting proper foundations, compared to holding up a collapsing structure is very different regarding how much energy is needed. Supporting something that is falling is exhausting, yet that is what most people are unconsciously doing every minute of every day. If they don’t pay attention to their fascia system, and most don’t, the alignment of their feet will take them on a journey of twists and turns that will affect everything. The energy to deal with this will take most of their attention, rather than having that energy available for creative endeavors.
Giving your feet some love and attention will take you and your health to new heights – literally. You will gain height as you release your old fascia patterns and strengthen proper alignment, as well as unwind much of the challenges that have been responsible for creating adhesions in your fascia and blocks to your energy flow. And . . . this is not hard to do. It is simply a matter of giving them some time and attention – and this can be done when doing other activities – even when watching TV.
Once you learn some basic ways to keep your feet aligned and alive, then the entire premise of death starting in the feet has no hold over your fascia system. You can keep your cells energized, your body aligned, and you can spring through life like you did when you were a kid. This is totally accessible if you put in a small amount of time and effort. Think of your feet as the Ferrari you always wanted and give them the attention they deserve – your body and life will love you for it!
Listen to this week's episode of The Fascia Masters below.
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