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Articles by our Therapists


Healthy Feet

Posted 07/04/09 by Leah Vesta Hansen

Why is it that when our feet hurt our whole body hurts? Think about it. The foot is our bodys main source of support. With 26 bones, 11 muscles, and 7,000 nerve endings, it deserves the same wellness considerations as the rest of our body, and yet it is an area that is often neglected until we start to experience problemsand nearly half of the U.S. population will at some point in their lives.

Following are some things you can do that can make a difference between tired, aching feet and happy, feel-good feet.

Wear the Correct Shoes and Check the Size Regularly. Despite their popularity, flip-flops were never designed to be worn as an all-day work shoe. Even as part of the latest trend, people should use caution about wearing them for hours at a time on cement and hard surfaces. Flip-flops are beach shoes, meant to be worn to protect the soles of our feet while waling on a surface like sand. They offer no arch support and no protection for your feet. If you want to wear a sandal to work, experts say something like a Birkenstock or Chaco, that offerso some support, is a much better choice.

Pamper Your Feet. Get a pedicure from a professional at least once a month. Good nail care can help present future foot problems as well as help your keep an eye out for issues, like the start of a nail fungus, a callus, or a blister. The leg and foot massage portion of the pedicure feels great and will relax not just your feet, but your whole body. To pamper your feet at home, try a little at-home foot spa.

Stretch and Strengthen. Most of us will log about 1,000 miles each year on our feet. Because of this, it is important to stretch the muscles in the foot, ankle, and arch. An effective way to stretch the bottom of the foot is with a tennis ball. While sitting watching TV or even while working on the computer, roll a tennis ball along the bottom of your foot from heel to toes, applying medium to deep pressure as you go. Another good stretch is to grab all of the toes on one foot with your thumb on the bottom, and the rest of your fingers on the top and stretch by pulling toes up toward your knee and then curling them down toward the floor.

Ask Your Therapist for Help. Of course, one of the best resources for you and your feet is your massage therapist. Next time youre scheduled for a massage, be sure to ask your practitioner for a little extra attention to your feet. A professionals trained touch can do wonders for aching feet.

Your feet work harder for you than almost any other part of your body. Keep them happy and healthy and they will keep you wanting to dance the night away!!!

Reflexology Routine Following is a good stretch to help prevent plantar fasciitis and help relieve general foot pain.

*Give each toe a good squeeze and a gentle pull. Pay attention to the big toe, using your thumb to "walk" little lines all over its surface, thereby stimulating the head, neck, face, and brain reflexes. *Grasp all of the toes between the thumb and fingers. Stretch them forward and back. *Squeeze the balls of the feet from above and below at the same time, use your thumb below and your index finger on top of the foot. *Place your thumbs on the sole of the foot, pointing up toward the toes, "spread" the thumbs apart out toward the edges of the foot while squeezing at the same time. *Pinch all over the bottom of the heel. *Inch the tip of your thumb up along the arch of the foot from the heel to the big toe, stimulating the reflex points for the spine. *Use the tips of your fingers to make little circles all around the inner and outer ankle bones. *Make circles on the sides of the heels. *Finish with gentle kneading and smoothing-out strokes over the whole foot. *Slap and pat all over the foot and up the calves.

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DISCLAIMER: Awakenings Wellness Center is a cooperative effort of healing practitioners with individual businesses at 1016 SE 12th Avenue in Portland, Oregon (hereafter knows as "Awakenings"). Despite the cooperative nature of our healing community, each practitioner at Awakenings is a sole proprietor and not liable for the practices of, or potential claims against, other practitioners at Awakenings or against Awakenings LLC. Awakenings LLC is a property management company that leases offices at Awakenings to healing practitioners, and rents the studio and other facilities to instructors and other facility users. All facility users, instructors and practitioners operating at Awakenings are sole proprietors, and Awakenings LLC is not liable for their activities or any claims that may arise therefrom. Furthermore, use of this website is for informational purposes only and contingent upon acceptance of the conditions spelled out in this disclaimer. Awakenings LLC and the Awakenings wellness community do not warrant its accuracy or reliability.