Foot Fetish Heaven? (Photo credit: DJOtaku)
The biggest problem our feet have are shoes. A study reported in podiatry journal, The Foot, in 2007 found that when the feet of 2,000 year old skeletons were compared with three different modern populations, feet and posture were generally healthier before the invention of shoes. I do encourage my clients to walk barefoot at home as much as possible, but of course it's not really practical to give up shoes altogether! But it is really important to wear shoes that allow your toes to move freely and that don't take your feet into unnatural positions - sorry ladies but high heeled shoes are the worst! A few years ago, I liked wearing heels, but now I am a total convert to flats and particular love Vivobarefoot and have been wearing their shoes for around 4 years. My feet feel amazing in them and I tend to carry them with me if I need to wear other shoes as I can't wait to get them back on! If you are a runner, the store in Covent Garden runs hour long sessions (priced £50) teaching you how to run in barefoot shoes.
I also suggest keeping the muscles and other tissue of the feet nice and soft by using a tennis ball on the sole of your foot. Imagine the ball is coated in brightly coloured paint and you want to cover the entire sole of your foot in paint. You can do this seated or standing. You will find some sore bits - spend extra time on them! It only takes a minute per foot and you will feel lovely afterwards!
I often teach my clients to twirl their big toes with their hand. In Japan, many people view the big toe, or hallux as it is properly named, as essential to health and they keep it mobile by turning it 90 times in each direction every day! They are very wise as if your big toe cannot flex to 90 degrees, it cannot act as the necessary fulcrum for the rest of your body to move forward in natural walking so you compensate in all sorts of unnatural ways which can lead to ankle, knee, hip or back pain. If you are a client of mine and would like me to show you how to do this properly, please let me know!
How about finding a friend or a partner and give them a foot massage - or even teach your kids to do it! It's good fun and feels fabulous. You can experiment with different oils and scents too. Coconut oil is wonderful and because it is solid until warmed in the hands, there's less waste or chance of spillage and the smell reminds me of tropical holidays - very nice at this time of year!
So, here are a few simple ways in which we can love our feet and keep ourselves moving and living life as actively as possible for as long as possible! Have a go - your seventy year old self will thank you! :-)