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

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Managing Seasonal Allergies...

As a young girl I was plagued with a number of respiratory concerns from asthma to bronchitis to hay fever. Living with parents who were heavy smokers added to my breathing problems. One of the physicians that my parents took me to conducted the dreaded ‘scratch test’ to determine which types of plants that I was allergic to. This test is incredibly uncomfortable and left my back full of raised welts. After receiving allergy shots and taking a number of medications to manage my allergies I felt doomed to a life of sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. My maternal grandfather stepped in and encouraged my mother to take me off the medication and begin adding local bee pollen to my diet. My grandpa was a beekeeper. He knew that by ingesting local pollen I would build up a natural immunity. Within a few months I was, and continue to be, allergy free. Removing dairy from my diet also helped tremendously. Speak to your doctor about this remedy and if bee pollen could help you manage seasonal allergies.

Be Well! ~Tiffany

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Your Bone Bank - Deficit or Credit?

It wasn’t until I took a college anatomy class that I learned that bones continue to strengthen until around age 30. At this time our bones peak with strength and are the most dense. Afterwards, bone health changes and can weaken with wear over time. This is natural and to be expected, especially for women that are prone to more bone loss due to menstrual cycles, childbearing, and menopause. Mature adults can slow bone loss with exercise, a healthy diet, moderate sunshine time, and avoiding caffeine which leaches calcium from bone. Osteoporosis is one condition that many people, especially women, fear and are concerned about. By eating a healthy diet and practicing a healthy lifestyle this condition is avoidable. Get the facts and learn more about bone building.

Be Well! ~Tiffany

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Relief for Foot Pain

Our feet work very hard for us. Through an intricate group of bones, muscles, and tendons they support the weight of our body, motor us about, and keep us upright. Besides back pain the most common request I hear from a massage client is, “please work my feet”. Feet are often neglected, and frankly, I feel most of us take our feet for granted. Below are a number of ways to manage and relieve foot pain…once you know the cause of your pain. Foot pain can be neurological, physical, or stem from conditions such as Gout and Diabetes. Try one or more of these remedies and take good care of those tootsies!

  • Reflexology - Many massage therapists such as myself are well versed in this method. Reflexology focuses on specific pressure points on the feet and hands that can ease stress, manage pain, and restore balance to the entire body.

  • Pedicures - Visiting a local nail salon and receiving a pedicure is a wonderful way to care for your feet. Both men and women can benefit from having their nails professionally trimmed, cuticles managed, dry skin sloughed off, and best of all…a terrific foot massage! This is a very affordable way to pamper your feet.

  • Foot soak - At home, soak your feet in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts and either peppermint oil (2-4 drops) or a peppermint tea bag for an invigorating soak. Moisturize well afterwards.

  • Exercise - Ensure that you wear quality footwear and walk at least 3-5x per week for 15-30 minute. Afterwards, while you stretch your entire body, make sure to include your feet. Point and flex your feet, spread your toes wide, and rotate your ankles. Strengthening your feet ensures balance, improves posture, and relieves pain.

  • Elevate - Our feet and ankles are prone to swelling. Elevating regularly supports circulation, relieves pressure, and relieves tired leg muscles, Relax in stretches such as ‘Legs Up the Wall’ or raise your feet while resting for best results.

Be Well! ~Tiffany

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Heal...Lose Weight...Feel Terrific! Tune in - Free Webinar!

I experienced a sudden and unexplained health crisis in my mid 40’s that nearly took my life. Within a matter of months I faced heart failure, liver failure, and found myself requiring dual hip replacement. A key factor to maintaining the health of my artificial hips is to maintain a lean weight. My surgeon had emphasized that an extra 5 pounds places 25 pounds of pressure on a joint. Hip replacement surgery is painful, requires a lengthy recovery, and is very expensive. I have no desire to ever face those surgeries again. My story and resource guide, Butternut to Bionic, outlines the tips and tools that I applied to recover from organ failure, three life changing surgeries, and my return to an active lifestyle. One of the resources that I discuss is the importance of following a healthy diet.

To stay lean I adopted a whole food plant based oil free diet. I feel amazing, experience little to no pain, and use very little medication. To successfully shift to this lifestyle I first watched the film Forks Over Knives and then read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall. I followed his free 10-day program as outlined on Dr. McDougall’s website and then read The China Study to fully understand how starch would become the foundation of my meals. Spud Fit Taylor also attributes his health success to Dr. McDougall and has also inspired and motivated me. Today, Dr. McDougall interviews Andrew Taylor and discusses how plant foods heal and transform our bodies. Tune in! Register here.

Be Well! ~Tiffany

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