Got Toe Woes?

It’s inevitable. When I work with a client, whether during a therapeutic massage, health coaching, or Reiki session, I spend time working on or discussing foot health.

Take a moment and look down towards your own two feet. These amazing appendages support our entire body, keep us upright, and motor us about. How much time and effort do you spend caring for your feet? If you’re like many people…you may neglect your feet and pay dearly with this lack of self-care. Foot pain, poor posture, and an improper gait are just a few of the problems you may encounter. Simple steps can help you to build happy feet and beat the toe woes!

Ankle Rolls: Lie on your back with one leg straight, lying flat, and the other leg bent, foot raised, supporting your hamstrings with both hands. Make 20 ankle circles in each direction, then point and flex the toes 20 times. Lower and repeat with the other ankle. Ankle flexibility helps us to maintain balance, prevent falls, and strengthens the lower legs.

Reduce Weight: Extra weight places significant pressure on the joints. In fact, an excess of only five pounds places twenty-five pounds of pressure on our joints! A small amount of weight loss can significantly improve the health of all joints…especially the ankles which supports the weight of our entire body.

Play Barefoot! Nerves on the bottom of our feet are more receptive than the nerves of our hands. Provide the extra stimulation feet need by walking barefoot at home and incorporating more barefoot exercise - like Pilates and yoga. Rolling your foot on a ball for five minutes a day stimulates nerves, improves stability, and mobility.

Decrease Inflammation: Foot pain related to swelling is typically dietary related. Eat anti-inflammatory foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This type of eating also prevents and treats degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis.

Reflexology: Much more than just a foot massage! Scheduling an appointment with a licensed therapist such as myself, a reflexology session can provide pain relief, reduce muscle tension, relieve stress, and improve circulation. Pressure points along the feet correspond to spots on the entire body, making reflexology a very healing and therapeutic modality.

Soaking: Make a cocktail for your feet! Use a shallow rectangular container or your tub to soak your feet. Add Epsom salts (1/2 to 1 cup) and either a few drops of peppermint essential oil or add a peppermint tea bag to warm water for a stimulating and regenerative soak. The magnesium sulfate in the Epsom salts relieves muscle soreness and the peppermint invigorates and deodorizes hard working feet! For best results soak feet for at least 10-15 minutes.

Foot pain is unfortunately common. One in four Americans over the age of 45 experiences unhappy feet. Though foot pain is not a normal part of aging and is simply a symptom that is both treatable and preventable.

Be Well! ~Tiffany