Get healthy, feet first
Get healthy, feet first
BY : LYDIA NEUBAUER
Rare & Well
Best foot forward, always...
Our bodies are made up of insanely intricate systems creating this complex and super smart machine. And like most processes, one part’s ailments can impact the whole system. Understanding that it’s all connected is crucial for overall health and well being. In Chinese medicine, it’s believed that our feet are a major indicator of our overall health.
I’m sure you’ve seen the colorful reflexology foot maps in many massage parlors and if you ever examined it, you’d notice that each organ and part of our body correlates with its own unique location on our feet. It’s super important to give your feet some love and attention, especially if you live in NYC or you’re on your feet for most of the day. After all, they are our foundation, what carries us through each day in this physical life. Like a plant needs roots to grow, our feet need to be loved and tended to in order to flourish and put our best foot forward everyday ;).
Maybe you get a massage or a pedicure every once in a while, but we should all look at foot health with daily consideration like brushing your teeth. Before I go to bed I love to rub my feet with some oil or CBD lotion (Charlotte’s Web is what I use) while watching some garbage TV. It’s a great way to check in with our whole body because our feet have nerve receptors that send messages to our central nervous system. Not only does massaging the foot calm our nerves, it promotes circulation, helps eliminate toxins, and stimulates bodily functions.
In conjunction with massage, it’s important to stretch and strengthen your feet too! If you walk often, your feet settle into patterns and misalignment of the bones can be a long term effect. This results in blockage of energy and acupuncture meridians that affect the glands and organs.
Here are a couple quick foot stretches and exercises to keep your foundation stable.
Sit on your feet
Come to sit on your shins with your heels under your bum. Flip your toes under as if you were wearing super high heels, and use your hands to make sure all 10 toes are tucked underneath you and sit on your heels. Sit here for 1-3 minutes or as long as you can handle! This can feel very intense if you do not practice often so continue to breathe into your feet.
As a counter stretch, relax the tops of your feet under your bum and come to sit on your heels again. With the support of your hands behind you, begin to lean back onto your feet and lift your knees into the air, putting all your weight onto the tops of your feet. Move just to the point where you feel an intense stretch on the tops of your ankles. Move up and down and make tiny circles with your knees to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Downward dog with flipped feet
If your knees are sensitive you can do a very similar stretch in downward facing dog. Come into down dog with your toes tucked, then flip your foot so the top is on the mat. Lift your hips higher until you feel the stretch in the front of your foot. You can do one foot at a time for more stability or both feet together. Move to the point of stretching, but not past discomfort.
Hold hands with your feet
Interlock your hands with your feet. Use your right hand with your left foot placing each finger in between each toe. This can also feel extremely uncomfortable if you have never done it before. I like to do this one in the sitting in the shower when my hands are a little soapy so it’s super easy to slide your fingers right in. Hold and love them like you would your partners hand, and say thank you for all they do!