The Power of Your Feet
The foot, according to Leonardo DaVinci, is a “masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”
And yet, our feet bear the brunt of daily living. They are often over-looked when dealing with any body pain. We often take them for granted.
The feet are crucial for proper movement, balance, strength, stability and body awareness.
Nearly One Quarter of Your Bones are in Your Feet!
The body contains 206 bones, but did you know that fifty-two of them reside in the feet? That’s nearly one quarter of all the body’s bones! Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and soft connective tissues. There are more nerves in your feet than any other body region.
When the feet are unable to do the job they were meant to do, the signals from feet to brain dull and we become “blind” to the ground. Shoes, built for protection and comfort, take away the stress to which the feet and ankles should be adapting.
Our Bodies are Supported from the Feet
Our bodies and feet are shaped by the environment. When we interfere with the signals transmitted between ground and feet, we create stress or overcompensation elsewhere in the body by putting strain on other tissues that are now forced to pick up the slack for the feet. When our feet rely on an external support system like a shoe or orthotics, the muscles and connective tissue no longer work very hard. This can eventually lead to weakness and stiffness, not only in the feet, but in the whole body, affecting entire kinetic chains.
Imagine wearing mittens while you drive, type, cook. Not only will it be frustrating, it will also limit your motion and senses. This is what happens to our feet when they are constantly in shoes. It’s time to get them back to work.
If you are not used to going Barefoot, start Slow
Our bodies are feedback loops. So, when we go barefoot, we allow a vital feedback mechanism to kick back in. Once you have become comfortable going barefoot, you can start doing more walking and working out without your shoes. The more stimuli your sensory organs absorb, the less work the rest of your body will do to keep you balanced.
Body awareness and proprioception increase, as does overall stability and range of motion, as the body becomes more integrated, to work efficiently as a unit.
A word of caution – before you go far and fast. Too much loading on weak arches and stiff feet can backfire. You might begin with learning some foot activation to help get you off on the “right foot.”
First step is to take off your shoes. Next, feel the sole of the foot make contact with the floor/ground beneath you. Then, spread even pressure across the base of both your big and pinky toe, as well as your heel – this is what we refer to as the foot tripod or foot triangle. This is a starter for beginning to activate the intrinsic muscles of the foot.
– > For some products that will help with better proprioceptive awareness and strength, you will benefit from Naboso tools, insoles and classes.
Want more? Let me know via email.